From: Alsace, France
Taste: A beautiful pale yellow color with great clarity. This Riesling is fresh, structured, and fine. The palate reveals concentrated and ripe citrus at the core with notes of juicy apricot and tangerine. It finishes on a refreshingly complex fruity note.
Pairing: Though you can absolutely pair this Riesling with fish and shellfish, or dishes featuring sauerkraut, which are traditional in Alsace, we think that this would be delicious with Banh Xeo. Here we’re including a recipe by Kay Chun featured in NYT Cooking, but Green Tree, down the block, also makes a great version if you don’t have the time to whip it up from scratch.
This wine. Here we’ve got a wine made from old vines, which can provide concentration and power to the resulting wine. The average vine age is between 30-70 years. Coming from the Kreffzen vineyard in Scherwiller, which is where some of the most renowned grapes of Frey-Sohler are grown. Kreffzen’s soils highlight specific aromas of the individual grape varietals, the ripeness of the Riesling fruit and its maturity.
In terms of sweetness levels, 8 grams/liter is generally where residual sugar is perceptible on the palate. This bottling has close to 9 grams/liter of residual sugar, but the high levels of acidity in the grapes balance out the sugar to create a beautiful equilibrium.
About. Based in Scherwiller, 50 km south of Strasbourg and 20 km from the German border, the village is nestled at the junction of the valleys of Sainte Marie aux Mines and Villé, on the site of a major battle fought during the Peasant War. The name of the Frey-Sohler estate comes from the association of grandfather Xavier Frey (born in 1902) and his son-in-law Charles Sohler, who ran the family business together. The Frey-Sohler estate has evolved through several generations, all intimately linked with the village and the wines of Alsace. Currently occupying 29 hectares in the Bas-Rhin department spanning across the rocky slopes of the Rittersberg (“hill of the knights”), at the foot of the imposing Château de l’Ortenbourg, which looks down upon these magnificent vineyards. The estate is run by Damien and Nicolas Sohler.
Committed to preserving the qualities of the environment and protecting people, the winery is certified HVE (‘Haute Valeur Environmentale’ or ‘High Environmental Value’) which indicates sustainability and environmentally friendly practices including biodiversity conservation, plant protection strategies, management of fertilizer use, and water management, and Terra Vitis certified, which conforms to a similar sustainability model, with greater focus on the use of pesticides (limiting the use of CMRs or ‘carcinogenic synthetic products’) and greater regulatory traceability. Only half of the vineyard rows are tilled, every as other vineyard row is planted with a cover-crop of clovers to enrich soil health and reduce erosion as well as the need for certain herbicides.
The primary vineyards of the Frey-Sohler estate are: Rittersberg which has shallow granitic soil, so the wine must struggle to thrive, producing refined and dignified wines with a saline and mineral character; Ortenberg which is also granitic, but has a deeper subsoil resulting in wines with intense fruity aromas; Scherwiller, where only Riesling can be used in its appellation wines, a precocious soil, alluvial, hot, and dry with a filtering effect that gives the wine a nutmeg fragrance with a hint of lemon in the mouth; and Kreffzen (the site where the peasants who rose up against the Duke of Lorraine were slaughtered) in the north/central north end of the Vosges mountains to the west with more alluvial, dry soils of gravel and sand.
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