2008 Gustave Lorentz Altenberg de Bergheim Riesling Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Alsace (Elsewhere $60)

SKU #1328183 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* This late release, aging for five years, has produced a majestic wine. Its breadth of flavor, with ripe fruits as well as intense structure, are gently transitioning from the first flush of youth to a more mature character. Intensely textured, tight, ready to spring, it shows the beauty of maturing Riesling. Drink now, although it will age many more years.  (12/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Lorentz's white-golden 2008 Riesling Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim Vieilles Vignes offers an aromatic bouquet of herbal flavors yet is svelt, discreet and elegant in its fruit aromas which I find absolutely delicious and inviting. Very delicate and highly elegant on the palate which is almost Mosel-like in its floral and finesse-full expression and buoyant finish. The acidity is so lively and piquant here and so perfectly interwoven with fruity, herbal and mineral flavors that this is one of the finest and most refined Rieslings I have tasted from this excellent vintage this year. Ready to drink and to enjoy over the next 5-6 years.  (9/2015)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The grapes come from the classified Grand Cru site of Altenberg of Bergheim vineyards owned by Gustave Lorentz. The dominant soil of this area is clay and limestone and the grapes for this wine come from vines between 30 and 50 years old. The pride of Bergheim winegrowers, the Altenberg has been renowned for is fine wines since the end of the 13th Century. They are marked by the perfect balance between the subtle, distinguished aroma and powerful, virile body and are extremely "food-friendly."

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Price: $39.99
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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Pr├Ądikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Sp├Ątlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- A region and appellation in France that has been a part of both France and Germany throughout history. Geologically isolated from both countries, Alsace has also maintained much of its own culture and wine tradition, while also being influenced by the traditions of both countries. Alsatian wine is easily recognized by it traditional tall bottles. Alsatian wine makers produce a unique style of varietal wine, 90 percent of which is white.