2014 DOMAINE GESCHICKT RIESLING FROM GRAND CRU KAEFFERKOPF – DAVID’S WINE OF THE WEEK
A modern take on Alsace Riesling.The Geschickts in Ammerschwihr, are one of the foundation stones of natural wine in Alsace. The 12 hectares of vineyards have been farmed with biodynamic principles for 20 years.
The domain is run by Frederic who took over the reins of the family business in 1993, his nephew Arnaud, and Aurélie Fayolle (Arnaud’s partner, who runs the commercial side of things). Frederic also holds the lofty position of President of Demeter, France. A body that manages the biodynamic certification scheme for all types of agriculture, not just wine growing and wine making.
Now for the wine – 2014 Riesling from the Grand Cru Kaefferkopf, a 71 hectare vineyard that is split into four sections surrounding Ammerschwihr. This Riesling comes from plots in the mostly clay limestone area of the Kaefferkopf.
The wine is raised in barrels for 36 months, maturing patiently on the lees, with no filtration at bottling. This millésimé had an expected dark gold color from the barrel age and a well pronounced bouquet of ripe white fruits and pears. A lovely weight and structure on tasting, with a slight smoky touch. A dry finish with a lingering salinity. Fabulous long tears of glycerol as the wine warms in the glass.
The wine has that fascinating horizontal structure, something that the natural wine methods bring out. This makes it quite different from these tight, racy, nervous dry Rieslings, that are supposed to be the standard of quality.
The approach produces a wine that is alive with an energy and a nice weight in the mouth. It’s kind of crunchy, “croquant” in French.
We ran this into a carafe to help open it up and also to enjoy the fabulous color.
An avant-garde Riesling defining a key aspect of modern Alsace. The vintages of the Geschickt Kaefferkopf Rieslings are delicious to drink at 4-5 years of age, but will easily keep and mature for an additional 5-10 years.