Helfrich Steinklotz Grand Cru Riesling 2005
Riesling from Alsace, France
Steinklotz is one of only fifty one vineyards in Alsace that has the Grand Cru designation. It's located at the Northern end of the Alsatian wine trail. The vineyard itself faces South / Southeast and is very steep with an altitude of between 600 - 1,000 feet. The soil is comprised of barely 8" of loam covering a hard calcareous bedrock. Dry farmed (it's the law in Alsace) and hand picked in October / November, the vines are trained upwards for maximum exposure to the sun. Steinklotz is one of the oldest vineyards recorded in Alsace and was reported in 589 AD to belong to the Merovingian King
This wine is austere and well-structured with aromas of peach, pear, white flowers and apples that meld together with a hint of minerality and a touch of petrol. This Grand Cru has gravitas and should blossom nicely over time.
The Wine News - "Wonderfully varietal aromas of lime peel and gravel are steely, and the very essence of Alsace. Superb balance in the face of intense minerality and freshness; flavors of lemon and wet stone with a pleasing peach note lifting the close. A steal for the price. "
The Helfrich family, which has been crafting wines in Alsace for six generations, is committed to promoting the reputation of Alsace as a region which produces world class wines of great flavor and complexity. The Helfrich family is leading the Alsatian Renaissance with grapes from centuries old vineyards and employ modern wine making methods with a minimalist touch to allow the terroir to accentuate these fine wines. View all Helfrich Wines
About AlsaceView a map of Alsace wineries France and Germany, nestled between the Voges Mountains and the Rhine River. These landmarks give Alsace an ideal climate for the white grapes that have become the mainstays of the region. Pinot Noir is also grown, with plantings of the grape increasing with consumer demand for red wine.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Alsace underwent a territorial tug-of-war, bouncing from France to Germany and back to France again at the end of the first World War. While the French led the renaissance of fine wine production in the 20th century, Alsacians have integrated both French and German influences in their wine. Alsacian wines are mostly white, with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer leading the plantings. Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner are also popular varietals. The bottles are flute-shaped, like many German wines, and the type of grape is clearly placed on the wine's label – quite unlike the typical French practice of labeling wines by region.
Notable FactsAlsace wines have four noble varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. These are the only varietals allowed in the 50 Alsacian Grand Cru wines. Pinot Blanc, while not noble, is key in making many of the Cremant d'Alsace (sparkling wines) and is found in many Alsace AC blends. Most of the wines from the region are dry – with steely acidity and round fruit flavors, typically more full bodied (aka, more alcohol) than their German counterparts. There are also sweet wines and, of course, sparkling.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.