Variety: 100% Auxerrois (yes, 100% Auxerrois!)
Country, Region: France, Alsace
Rare wine alert..!! Just two cases of this fabulous wine for Australia. Made in tiny quantities from 100% Auxerrois grown in the Grand Cru Kirchberg vineyard. Pinot Blanc can not by law be labelled Grand Cru so this is Kientzlers way of showing how great old vines from this variety can produces wine of Grand Cru intensity and character. They have always made this wine as a late harvest version with residual sugar of 20-40 gms/litre which the wine needs to buffer the natural acidity that comes from this vineyard. The 2020 shows white flower aromas with fine reserved citric and mineral inflected fruit. This is an exotic wild ride of a wine that pairs brilliantly with many richer dishes and also some spicy Asian cuisine. 13.0% Alc/Vol; 41.62 g/l RS; 5.77 g/l TA.
'One of the most talented Winemakers in Alsace ... he has Riesling and Gewürztraminer growing in prime sites and it is what he manages to do with these that ranks his wines among the very best in Alsace. Although his generic Riesling has great class and finesse, his Grand Cru Geisberg and Grand Cru Osterberg are very much finer. The Geisberg is the riper and more opulent, with a wisp of smokiness to the fruit, the Osterberg is more classic and flinty, requiring longer in bottle.' The Wines of Alsace, Tom Stevenson.
The Kientzler family has been growing vines for more than 5 generations in Ribeauville and the surrounding area. As early as 1866, Dominique Alphonse Kientzler had inherited vines from his father and grandfather and in 1895 was involved in the creation of France's first winemaking cooperative in Ribeauville, in addition to running the local grocery shop. His son Alphonse carried on the grocery business while also tending to the vines; he eventually became the Mayor of Ribeauville either side of World War II.
It was Alphonse's son Francois though, who was the first to fully concentrate on wine production, taking himself off to Switzerland to study viticulture. By the 1970s, he was joined by his son Andre in the wine business and the pair undertook a massive replanting program to replace much of the old Chasselas with the noble Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer varieties.
Today, the Kientzlers farm almost 14ha of vines in Ribeauville, Bergheim, Hunawihr and Riquewihr, including significant parcels in the Grand Crus of Geisberg, Osterberg and Kirchberg. And in turn Andre handed over the reins to his sons in 2009; Thierry looks after the winemaking and Eric the commercial side of the business.