Now run by the 6th and 7th generations, Domaines Schlumberger was founded in 1810 by Nicolas Schlumberger, who established vineyards on the renowned slopes above the town of Guebwiller. These vineyard sites have a history of viticulture, having been planted since 207AD. Through successive generations the holding has grown to be one of France’s largest and finest domaines.
Domaines Schlumberger now own 130 hectares of vineyards, 70 of which are Grand Cru. The grapes for the Christine (named after Christine Schlumberger (1894-1971) who managed the estate for 20 years) come from the Kessler vineyard, which has pink sandstone soil and faces east, south-east, which protects it from north winds and cold air streams in the valley. Yields are 35 hl/ha. Kessler produces structured and elegant wines.
The vines were carefully tended from their winter pruning until harvest carried out on 1st December. Hand-harvested, the grapes are then transported in small crates (to prevent the berries from getting crushed) to the winery where they are then slowly pressed. After static settling for about three days, the juice is transferred to tuns for fermentation, which takes place at strictly controlled, cool temperatures for one to three months. The wine is then stabilised, filtered and then bottled in April.
After good weather over the summer months, without extreme temperatures, the pre-harvest conditions were ideal with clear and sunny days and cool nights. 2011 was a classic vintage, the hallmark being wines of structure created by high levels of tartaric acid.. The Late Harvest (an appellation since 1984) wines are harvested at over-maturity, several weeks after the harvest. Contrary to certain types of sweet wines, they maintain a freshness and natural acidity with a unique flavour. Bearing the name of family members, these wines are exclusively produced in vintage years.
Honey yellow with gold hues. Expressive notes of apricots and mirabelles with a hint of spice such as coriander or nutmeg. A complex, generous nose which is reflected on the palate with great concentration and a lingering linear freshness. Mature and spicy, the wine has refreshing acidity on the finish.
Ideal with fruit desserts, crepes Suzette or as an aperitif.
Serve at 12°C
James Suckling: 95 Points
The Wine Advocate: 93 Points
AOC Alsace Vendange Tardive