Alsace Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé
The Kirchberg hill at Ribeauvillé. Classified as Grand Cru by a ruling of 1975, the produce of this land has been recognised as exceptional for very many years. According to Médard Barth, the famous historian of the Alsace vineyards, the wine land was first mentioned in 1328.
Type of soil:
This hill benefits from a South and South East facing positioning which, in conjunction with a very steep slope, confers it an excellent level of sunlight during the fruit's maturing period. The substratum at the foot of the hill is composed of dolomitic marl from the triassic period and dolomite from the lower Muschelkalk. Higher up it is composed of brightly coloured sandstone and gypsum marl from the middle Muschelkalk. At an altitude of 270 to 350 metres, the vineyard's soil is rich in clay and often very stony. Our plots of Riesling are partly situated on the steep Southern slope, and partly in the central plateau. The stony core of the soil lies fifty centimetres below the surface. This forces the roots of the old vines (average age of 30 years) to penetrate deeply.
Its nose shows a big aromatic complexity : citrus flavours combined with hints of white fruits, apricots, and cherries. The palate is dry, well balanced and presents a delicate freshness.
Tips for consuming:
Will accompany any dish which goes well with a great white wine which is both dry and ample: shellfish and crustaceans, fish in sauce, white meat. It will also work well throughout an entire meal.
May be drunk immediately, but will benefit from maturing in the bottle so as to develop its full bouquet and those hints of minerals which are typical of a great Riesling Kirchberg.
Special note :
The 2003 vintage will remain in all the memories for its hot and dry summer as well as for the very early date of the grape picking.
The winter was very cold with two freezing periods in January and February. Spring came earlier than expected during March. The cycle of the wines started in the first days of April. But the winter had not said its last word. A freezing period damaged some parts of the vineyard in early fruiting locations.
As from May, very hot temperatures induced the flowering process which reached its peak around June 3rd. In summer, extreme temperatures were combined with almost no precipitations. Luckily we have not been hit by the few hail storms that occurred locally in Alsace. We have been very surprised by the resistance of our vines. Only a couple of young vines seemed to suffer from the heat and the drought. Our old vine with root systems well implanted deep in the soil did not seem to suffer at all as they could reach the water in the deep underground.
We started the harvest on September 3rd. They took place with very good weather conditions. The grapes were ripe of course but also very sound.