Not only does Julien & Sophie Schaal produce some fantastic Chardonnays from South Africa, but for the past few years, Julien has been making an array of Grand Cru Alsace dry Rieslings under his own name separate to his partnership with Olivier Biechler and the Biechler & Schaal wines. When it comes to Alsace vineyard pedigree, they don’t come more illustrious than the Rosacker Grand Cru vineyard in the village of Hunawihr that is also the source of Domaine Trimbach’s Clos Ste Hune Riesling, probably Alsace’s most famous white wine.
The official Rosacker Grand Cru classification covers over 26 hectares on predominantly limestone soils at between 260 and 330 metres above sea level, facing east and south east. Permitted varieties include Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and of course Riesling, which forms 65% of the Rosacker Cru.
Julien Schaal Rosacker Grand Cru Calcaire 2017, Alsace, 12.5 Abv.
Vibrant and youthful, this delicious dry Riesling made from 41 year old vines bristles with dusty limestone mineral lift, lemon rind, spicy citrus, crushed gravel, fresh fennel and dried baking herbs. Initially quite restrained and tight, the nose slowly starts to reveal notes of waxy green apples and wet slate petrichor notes with time in the glass. The medium bodied palate shows fine intensity and a wonderful harmonious balance between sweet lemon pastille fruits, dried herbs, boiled apple bon bons and bright linear acids. A mouth watering example that has ample glycerol palate weight and a lovely dry mineral finish. Drink this beauty now and over the next 5-8+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 93+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)