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Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Pinot Gris 2014

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Alsace, France
  • WE90
13.5% ABV
  • WE92
  • WE91
  • JS92
  • WS92
  • WS91
  • WE88
  • W&S92
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The robe is light golden-yellow with light green reflections of good intensity. The disk is bright, limpid and transparent. The wine shows youth. The nose is marked, pleasant, intense and distinguished. We perceive a dominant of complex, crystallized and fruity scents, Mirabelle, Dante plum and honey with a fine smoky touch. The airing reminds and enhances the previous scents and reveals orange blossom and quince. The healthy maturity of the grapes is excellent and provides a clear and distinguished profile. The onset in the mouth is moderately ample and round. The alcohol support is apparent and full-bodied. The wine evolves on a medium of marked vivacity, with a sparkling note. Therange of flavours is in line with that of the nose, still dominated by yellow fruits, Dante plum, Mirabelle, quince, honey and this slight yet complex smoky touch. We can taste a delicate bitterness.The finish has a good length, 8 caudalies, and a frank and persistent liveliness. The structure is rich and opulent. From this range, we can see the really beautiful fleshy and soil profile of the grape variety.

It can be associated with duck rillettes, a goose foie gras sausage or a sliced poultry with caramelizedonions. It goes wonderfully with soft and washed-rind cheeses, such as Livarot. This wine goes particularly well with the Winstub cuisine. Quiche Lorraine, a hot pie or pikeperch on sauerkrautbed.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
The nose of this wine is restrained, just giving away pear and citrus, but the dry palate is concentrated and spiced with almond and marzipan. Ample tone from mouthwatering acidity will make this a huge winner at any table. It has great poise and balance.
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Domaines Schlumberger

Domaines Schlumberger

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Domaines Schlumberger, Alsace, France
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The vineyards of Domaines Schlumberger were originally planted by the Romans and were later controlled by the Prince Abbotts of Murbach, an order of monks who established their seat at the town of Guebwiller in the southern end of Alsace. When the estates of the Abbey were put up for sale after the French Revolution, a local mill owner named Nicolas Schlumberger purchased 20 hectares.

Today, the Nicolas Schlumberger's heirs own and cultivate a 135 hectares spread located over four miles on the steep flanks of the Vosges Mountains. The Schlumberger vineyards are the largest in Alsace, and one of the largest blocks of contiguous vineyards in France. The domaine also has the distinction of owning the largest acreage of Alsace grand cru vineyards, and references to the famous blocks of Kessler, Kitterle and Saering date back to ancient Roman times.

These impressive holdings are the result of efforts devoted over six successive generations of the Schlumberger family. Many growers gave up their property in the late 1800s as they became involved in industrial and commercial activities, leaving the vines to languish untended. In the beginning of the 20th Century, phylloxera further ravaged the vineyards, and war completed the devastation.

In 1911, Ernest Schlumberger undertook the rebuilding of not only the familial vineyards, but the whole of Guebwiller. Over the years, he pieced together more than 2,500 parcels abandoned by their owners. In time, the small domains grew from an original 20 hectares to its present 135 hectares. Today, Schlumberger wines are made exclusively from grapes grown in these estate vineyards.

Planted at altitudes of 750 to 1,450 feet, much of the terraced hillside vineyards above Guebwiller are so steep that driving tractors can be extremely hazardous. Therefore, the domaine uses draught horses specially bred for balance and unaffected by vertigo.

The vineyards are divided into large parcels, each planted to specific Alsace varieties selected according to microclimate and soil characteristics. In general, the soil is light, sandy and porous, ideal for grapes. The natural dryness contributes to the richness and mineral flavor of the wines.

Due to the aridity and steepness of the domaine, production levels at Schlumberger are generally 50% lower than the average in Alsace. By law, Schlumberger could produce 160,000 cases a year from its vineyards, but they limit production to 80,000 cases per annum. Limits dictated both by nature and the domaine result in small yields of very high quality grapes, with an exceptional concentration of flavors.

After harvest, all Domaines Schlumberger wines are fermented and aged in large oak tuns. These large casks have been used in the cellars for decades and are the heart of the Schlumberger cellars.

Domaines Schlumberger is renowned for its luscious wines, full in body and flavor. Their richness and delicate sweetness is balanced by excellent acidity. Therefore, the wines are never cloying or overly heavy. Even the vendange tardive, or late harvest dessert wines - the Gewurztraminers Cuvée Anne and Cuvée Christine capture exquisite honeyed flavors with an ethereal lightness.

With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.

The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.

Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.

Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsatian wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.

Pinot Gris/Grigio

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Showing a unique rosy, purplish hue upon full ripeness, this “white” variety is actually born out of a mutation of Pinot noir. The grape boasts two versions of its name, as well as two generally distinct styles. In Italy, Pinot grigio achieves most success in the mountainous regions of Trentino and Alto Adige as well as in the neighboring Friuli—all in Italy’s northeast. France's Alsace and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce some of the world's most well-regarded Pinot gris wine. California produces both styles with success.

In the Glass

Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity but full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are aromatic (think rose and honey), richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to its Italian counterparts. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often much lighter, charming and fruit driven.

Perfect Pairings

The viscosity of a typical Alsatian Pinot Gris allows it to fit in harmoniously with the region's rich foods like pork, charcuterie and foie gras. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Given the color of its berries and aromatic and characterful potential if cared for as it is allowed to fully ripen, the Pinot grigio variety is actually one that is commonly used to make "orange wines." An orange wine is a white wine made in the red wine method, i.e. with fermentation on its skins. This process leads to a wine with more ephemeral aromas, complexity on the palate and a pleasant, light orange hue.

CGM33303_2014 Item# 161220