In a nutshell: An excellent rich and silky, dry Grand Cru Alsatian Riesling from a leading producer.
The lowdown: Riesling is one of the grape varieties that's long been a mainstay of Alsace and the best examples like this from Domaines Schlumberger show it off at its best. You can consider this a traditional style, but it's none the less impressive for that. After the juic has been fermented in stainless steel it's aged on its lees for a further eight months to gain structure and depth. The end result is a wine with aromas of ripe citrus, lemon peel, nutmeg, while flavours of cloves and basil follow through onto a full-bodied palate with a long, clean minerally finish. It's a wine that's both rich and elegant with a lovely mouthfilling fruit intensity.
When to drink: Smooth and citrus, this is great with seafood, sole or flat fish. Charcuterie also goews well and it's an ideal aperitif.
In 1810, the founder, Nicolas Schlumberger, after establishing a textile machinery factory in the Alsatian town of Guebwiller in Eastern France also bought about 20 hectares of vines in the surrounding area. In doing so, he laid the foundations of Domaines Schlumberger.
Three generations later, Ernest Schlumberger assumed control of the estate which, by then, was deeply affected by the phylloxera louse that struck widely early twentieth century. Most Guebwiller vineyards, as a result had been abandoned by their owners. Shrewdly, Ernest Schumberger spotted an opportunity and bought as many plots of land as he could and replanted vines. He then arranged the whole vineyard in terraces and introduced horizontal vine planting. It was during this period that they grew to be one of Alsace's largest domaines.
Since the arrival of Eric Beydon-Schlumberger in 1971 who fully involved himself in the company and replanted many of the ageing vineyards and brought modern practices to the domain it has gained the international reputation it now enjoys. The current owners are brother and sister, Thomas and Séverine Schlumberger.