“Greenish tinge to straw colour. Gloriously complex nose that suggests some botrytis and great richness (though not sweetness) and depth. This is Alsace Riesling at its very best. Such depth and reverberation already. This is the sort of wine I could drink all night. Pure, broad and long.” 18 points, Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com
The Schlossberg hill has long been revered as one the world’s greatest Riesling vineyards. It’s a granite outcrop that rises north of Kaysersberg and Kientzheim to an altitude of 230-350 metres. The quality of Schlossberg’s wines was well-known as early as the 15th century and this was the first vineyard in Alsace to receive Grand Cru status in 1975. With their eight hectares, the Faller family are the largest landowners in Schlossberg. They craft an extraordinary series of Rieslings from the hill, parcellated and bottled according to vine age and altitude.
This wine was cropped from three parcels of the highest vines the family own, at the very top of the slope. Here the soils are shallow and rocky, and therefore very mineral, with the eroded granite having a reddish tinge and high magnesium content. This combination of altitude, low-vigour soils and low yields is a potent one, and gifts a deep but always very dry and mineral Riesling, with an intense freshness to balance the wine’s flesh. The 2019 was raised in large, old cask for 14 months.
This is a beautifully weighted Schlossberg—the terroir’s high altitude and granitic heritage shine through waves of lime, apple and acacia blossom-noted fruit, with brisk and vivid acidity, powdery grip and a long mineral close. It’s again, deep and yet so vibrant, with the kind of balance that can only come from a great terroir farmed very well. Very young, this will benefit enormously from several years in the cellar. Bravo!