Product information

Weinbach Les Treilles du Loup Gewürztraminer 2021

Gewürtztraminer from France, Alsace

$105

$100ea in any 3+
$95ea in any 6+
Alc: 13.5%
Closure: Diam

Description

“Such an exciting and radical gewurz with intense pink grapefruit character, but after a little aeration the rosewater and exotic fruit character of the grape comes through delicately on the nose. Powerful, yet so cool, dry and restrained. Then comes the extraordinary finish that has a freshness which almost knocks you off your chair. The final impression is of wet stone and very dry.”

Stuart Pigott, Jamessuckling.com 95 Points

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Check out all of the wines by Domaine Weinbach

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

This “radical” Gewürz is drawn from a parcel of 40–50-year-old vines from the Wolfreben lieu-dit in the Kaysersberg valley between the Clos des Capucins and the village of Kaysersberg. The soils are composed of sandy silt over granite pebbles. The Gewürz in this terroir ripens early, producing wines with complex aromatics and powerful concentration. The 2021 is just the third release for this single-vineyard bottling.

Finishing with 15 g/L residual, it’s an explosively aromatic wine redolent of petal, lychee, rose water and Turkish delight. Although intense and viscous, this is so wonderfully refined, pure and savoury with all the classic Weinbach precision and detail. The driven finish is epic and studded with the mouth-watering freshness of bitter grapefruit and mineral steel.

About Domaine Weinbach

Tastebud Disrupting Gear

Weinbach is one of those Domaines that disrupts your palate, and redefines your perception of a region, a variety, a blend, a style.

Most Alsatian wines are made using a single variety, a relatively modern approach, from precise, tight, acid-driven, mineral wines, demanding time to resolve, to richer styles from further south and then more oxidative styles with phenolics adding texture.

Tasting through an array of Weinbach’s wine raised the level of delight to another level.

They inspire, they mesmerise.
Such purity, texture and effortless precision is rare.

It took me back to the first time I tried Marcel Deiss’ wines. Weinbach too has a number of field blends, taking us back to the approach of the past, to go with their varietal wines. They have dry wines, sweet wines and everything in between.

The consistently high standard across Weinbach’s entire range is impressive

At the foot of the majestic hill going by the name of Schlossberg, surrounded by vines and roses, lies Domaine Weinbach. Named after the little stream which runs through the property and planted with vines since the IXth century. It was established as a winery in 1612 by Capuchin friars. These vineyards, to this day surrounded by ancient walls, are specifically named Clos des Capucins. In addition to this, the estate’s history is well remembered through the image of a monk which fittingly adorns our labels.

After being sold as national property during the French revolution, it was acquired by the Faller brothers in 1898 who then left it to their son and nephew, Théo. Théo Faller was a prominent figure in Alsace winegrowing and an ardent defender of quality wine production. He developed, expanded and enhanced Domaine Weinbach. In 1979, Colette -Théo’s wife-, Catherine, Laurence Faller and their team pursued the family’s passion for the great wines of Alsace and its unrelenting commitment to delivering excellence.

Since 2016, Catherine has lead the estate winery with her sons, Eddy and Théo. Longstanding maître de chai, Ghislain Berthiot, revels in the phenomenal quality of fruit the Faller family give him to work with.


An anecdote once told by a wine writer when asking the late Johnny Hugel how Laurence Faller (sadly also departed) could unfailingly deliver such quality over such a range of styles, he asked, “How does she do it?”, Hugel immediately responded; “Oh, that’s easy. Every night she goes down to the winery when nobody is around, and she sprinkles some magic dust into every vat”. It’s a kind of magic that clearly runs in the family. Under the guidance of her two progressive-minded nephews, Théo and Eddy Lieber-Faller, the domaine’s wines have become even more incisive and refined. Put simply, these are wines that inspire and mesmerise. They remind us that, at its very best, Alsace can effortlessly match up to any region in the world for the quality of its wines.


In the Vineyard

Domaine Weinbach farms 32 hectares of vineyards, predominantly Grand Cru. The most famous terroir is the majestic Schlossberg hill, closely followed by the walled Clos de Capucins; a Weinbach fiefdom that lies around the house and its cellars. Put simply, Schlossberg is one of the greatest Riesling vineyards in the world; the quality of this very famous vineyard was well known as early as the fifteenth century. For this reason, it was the first vineyard in Alsace to receive the status of Grand Cru in 1975. The Weinbach Domaine owns eight hectares of this terroir. Another of the Fuller’s great terroirs is the monopole, Clos de Capucins. Taking its name from the Capuchin friars who arrived here in 1619, the Clos is at the bottom of a slope, well protected from winds by the surrounding hills. Its soils consist of sand, alluvium, granite gravel and pebbles. And we should not forget the majestic Furstentum Grand Cru which, in the gifted hands of the Faller family, produces some of the world’s most profound Gewürztraminer.

The purchase, in 2019, of six hectares once belonging to Domaine Gérard Fuchs has added more Grand Cru land to Weinbach’s granite-rich bow. The parcels—now in biodynamic conversion—include mature vines from within the Grand Crus of Mambourg, Mackrain and Kaefferkopf and a one-hectare block in Furstentum planted to Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinots Blanc and Gris. Yet the sale lot was not limited to Grand Cru terroir, and Weinbach has also picked up some choice parcels of villages-level vineyard, all lying within a four-kilometre radius of the winery in Kaysersberg.

They have farmed organically for some time; however, in the late 1990’s they began the conversion towards biodynamics, a move which was complete in time for the 2005 vintage. Only organic compost is used, and the high value placed on hand vineyard management means there is no recourse for anti fungal, or insecticides. Since conversion, we’ve noted incremental rise in minerality and freshness of the wines, alongside a higher clarity and depth of fruit. The wines have more body, tone and shape too. Quality is still the key, but the wines are somehow more pristine, with brilliant intensity. They glow with life on the palate, as if they have been lit from the back.

In the Winery

Vinification carefully respects and reflects each of our grapes’ own qualities and characteristics; minimal intervention but constant attention allows them to flourish and blossom. The key elements are first of all grapes which are harvested at optimal ripeness but also meticulous and thorough selections. The must is then extracted through gentle and progressive whole bunch pressing. This is followed by alcoholic fermentation in ancient oak casks, by native yeasts – which are factors of authenticity and complexity.

The 2021 Vintage at Domaine Weinbach

Eddy Faller puts 2021 up there as one of his family’s finest in the last 20 years and notes the domaine has not seen the same confluence of ripeness and acidity since 2010. The complete story of the year is long and complex and one we won’t dwell on today. Suffice it to say, that following a harrowing spring of unprecedented rainfall and sub-average temperatures, summer came to the rescue. Cool but sunny conditions in August and September allowed the domaine’s fruit time to build ripeness and complexity, while the thrilling acidities remained virtually static. Come the very last days of September, at their leisure, the domaine could choose what and when to harvest.

While you will hear of some producers in France struggling to find balance in 2021, quite the opposite was the case at Domaine Weinbach. Indeed, on paper, many of the wines have a similar or higher alcohol than the sumptuous 2020s. What makes this vintage so unique is the thrilling acidity that cuts through each wine’s flesh like a hot knife through butter, bringing box-spring tension to the wines’ powerful textures. It’s a match made in heaven—or Kayserberg, in this instance. On the downside, we are beginning to understand the extent of the year’s calamitous weather events on the annihilated yields across France, and this domaine was not exempt. At Weinbach, the average yields came in at 24 hl/ha—ranging from 8 hl/ha on the limestone soils of Altenbourg and Furstentum, to up to 30 hl/ha on the granite slopes of the epic Schlossberg hill. And yet, it could have been much worse: some Alsace domaines lost as much as 90% of their harvest.

“We kicked off on Wednesday September 29th with our Pinot Gris form the Clos des Capucins, with a quality of fruit that set the tone of the vintage: alcohol potential of 14% with a total acidity over 10g/L, a perfect match of ripeness and freshness, thanks to the long, cool maturing period and cold nights throughout the summer. Followed our Pinot Gris from Grand Cru Marckrain and our Pinots from Grand Cru Furstentum, also showing acidities above 10g/L. On October 1st we moved to our Pinot Noirs (well, the very few ones that were still out there) with alcohol potential around 13.5% and also there very interesting acidity levels (>8g/L). The very few baskets that were collected from our 10 ares of Grand Cru Furstentum Pinot Noir plot were just enough to fill our integral vinification barrel, a technique were the skin contact ferment occurs inside a small barrel, allowing stand alone vinification of this plot that in previous vintage we had mixed with our Altenbourg Pinots.

Then came the Pinots from our Vignes du Prêcheur plots, on October 2nd, and after that our Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois from the Clos des Capucins. We started the Gewurz on October 8th with our Treilles du Loup plots, followed on Saturday 9th by our Vogelgarten fruits for our now classic orange/natty MVØ. We kicked off the Riesling in the sequence, with our Clos des Capucins plots (Cuvée Théo) showing 13% alcohol potential and great acids also around 10g/L. The Schlossberg plots were first entered on October 14th with alcohol potential of 13.5% and same great acidities, following on October 15th with some exceptional fruits on our Sainte Catherine plots, and finishing off on the 18th with our young vines (5-20 years), which for once had not suffered from hydric stress and that we might bottle separately for once instead of declassifying them into our entry level Riesling.

Last but not least, we shifted to our few limestone Riesling plots on October 19th with some great fruits on the Altenbourg, 13.5% potential, close to 11g/L acidity, only about a thousand liters produced but the juice is promising! Wrapping up those relatively late harvests, we brought in the fruits from our Altenbourg and Grand Cru Furstentum Gewurztraminer plots on Wednesday October 20th, both showing lush aromatic profile and remarkable freshness. Our overall yields came in at 24 hl/ha, but this covers very heterogeneous situations, ranging from 8 hl/ha yields on our limestone Pinot Noir plots of Altenbourg and Furstentum to over 30 hl/ha on the granite grounds of the Bonnes Terres (Cuvée Colette). Maturity was perfect thanks to the sun finally showing up in August and September, so the little juice produced is showing great structure, together with acidities we hadn’t seen in quite some time (malo-lactic will be welcome to tame some of those). Ripe fruits, ridiculously low yields and bright acids, this vintage saved from the water has all the prerequisites for a great ageing potential. For now, most juices are still fermenting or ageing on lees, but the juices we’re tasting every day already show impressive depth and balance.”

Eddy Leiber-Faller, Weinbach, Mai 2022

Where in the World is Domaine Weinbach?

Domaine Weinbach is located at the foot of the Schlossberg vineyard in the village of Kientzheim. They hold vineyards in the Grand Crus Schlossberg, Mambourg, the Lieu di Altenberg de Bergheim, Furstentum, Markrain and the Clos des Capucins.

Click to enlarge🔎

Alsace is a relatively thin strip of vineyards in the northeast of France that over the years has swapped from French to German rule and back again many times. Vins Alsace has an excellent fully interactive map with several 360° views and breakdowns by vineyard, soil type and more.

Click to enlarge🔎
95 Points

“Such an exciting and radical gewurz with intense pink grapefruit character, but after a little aeration the rosewater and exotic fruit character of the grape comes through delicately on the nose. Powerful, yet so cool, dry and restrained. Then comes the extraordinary finish that has a freshness which almost knocks you off your chair. The final impression is of wet stone and very dry.”

Stuart Pigott, Jamessuckling.com

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Domaine Weinbach, Route du Vin, Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France

Alsace
France