Domaines Schlumberger, Gewürztraminer, Grand Cru “Kessler” 2015 | Alsace, France

By Dirk Smits

Wine of the WeekMarch 1, 2021

In German, Gewürztraminer translates to “spice traminer.” Traminer is a mutation of the grape varietal Savagnin Blanc, to which Gewürztraminer is genetically linked. It is one of the few white grapes recognizable from sight alone. Much like Pinot Gris/Grigio, its skin is pink, not pale green or yellow. This pigment translates to a medium or sometimes deep golden color in the glass. It offers undeniable aromas ranging from lychee and rose petals to stone and tropical fruits with hints of pepper and sweet spices. Dried fruits also appear when there is noble rot. Sweetness levels can vary from dry to sweet. Most Gewürztraminer is off-dry with just a touch of residual sugar in order to keep the acidity level in balance with the natural bitterness.

Gewürztraminer does well in cooler climates such as the foothills of the Alps in Italy and the Vosges mountains in Alsace. Here, the grape accounts for one third of the total world production of Gewürztraminer.

Domaines Schlumberger was founded in 1810 by Nicolas Schlumberger. Today, the 6th and 7th generations carry on the family tradition of producing 100% estate wines. With a single holding of 330 acres in Guebwiller, Domaines Schlumberger is the largest Grand Cru producer in Alsace. Seventy-five percent of the vines are planted on very steep, terraced slopes, requiring horses to be used for field work. The vines stretch for 35 miles in horizontal rows of terraced vineyards. Because of the aridity and steepness of the vineyards, the yields are about 50% of the average for the appellation of Alsace.

Their Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Kessler originates from the Grand Cru Kessler plot, first distinguished in 1394. The winery owns 53 acres of the 70-acre plot, which lies on a bedrock of Vosges sandstone with a limestone outcrop giving the soil a clay character.

Domaines Schlumberger, Gewürztraminer, Grand Cru Kessler 2015

Origin: Alsace, France
Varietals: 100% Gewürztraminer
Sustainability: sustainable practices
Suggested retail price: $39
ABV: 13.5%

The wine has a vibrant golden color with intense aromas delivering lychee, grapefruit, spices, candied pineapple, rose petals and a hint of honey. The taste is very silky with flavors repeating the aromas and a very long, juicy finish with a hint of savory varietal bitterness.

Suggested food pairings: It is a remarkable wine to taste alone but pairs well with spicy Indian, Chinese and Thai food, fusion cuisine, cheeses: Munster, Roquefort, Stilton or aged Gouda, desserts involving cinnamon, dried nuts and dried fruits.

> For more information, visit the Domaines Schlumberger official website.