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.
2018 was characterised by a mild winter. Lower than average temperatures in March and some snow around Easter delayed budburst to the third week of April allowing to avoid risks frost related. Alsace experienced record heat at the end of April, followed by heavy rainfall in May.
The growth of the vines has been spectacular with a large number of clusters on each bud that required disbudding of overly fertile plants between end of May – mid June. Heat and rainfall in the first weeks of June led to the rapid growth of the vines. The rest of the summer was hot and dry allowing the growth of very healthy grapes. Throughout the harvest, the weather was dry and the grapes remained very healthy. Overall, the 2018 vintage is comparable to that of 2016. The wines show elegance, intensity and harmony.
The nose is vibrant and generous with delicate exotic notes of banana, mango, papaya, passion fruit, blood orange and a hint of rose petals. After a few moments in the glass more aromas are revealed with notes of lemon, apricot, white peach, litchi, spices and candied ginger. A very long, perfumed and complex finish.
Ideal with fruit desserts, crepes Suzette or blue cheese. A fantastic meditation wine!
Serve at 12°C
AOC Alsace Vendange Tardive