2016 Julien Schaal Kastleberg Grand Cru Riesling Alsace

SKU #1332592 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Chamomile and ripe, red-apple notes make for an appetizing nose. The palate adds lovely vivid notes of zesty tangerine to this. Aromas of hay flowers also appear on this shimmering, aromatic, tight, taut and linear Riesling. Concentration fills the mouth with wonderfully light but sure-footed brightness and flavor. The dry long finish has a grounding earthy touch. Simply wonderful. Drink 2017 - 2035.

K&L Notes

Winery Notes: " The charm of our Riesling Alsace Grand Cru Kastelberg lies in its elegance its virility, and its delicate, discreet bouquet. Tight, mineral and lemony with good acidity. Really mineral and fresh with a pithy, taut character. Bone dry...This wine exhibits a great length and potential. Kastelberg or "Castle Hill" - is an ancient Grand Cru vineyard, first planted in Roman times (noted in writing in 1064), boasts an especially complex Blue Schist soil unique in Alsace and which is perfect for the production of great Riesling. From 50+ year old vines growing on terraces in the very heart of the Grand Cru this wine is bone dry and utterly classic Riesling that will age for 10 years, longer even. Yields are extremely low here, the resultant concentration and clarity are dazzling."

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/17/2018 | Send Email
This Riesling from Kastelberg vineyard has distinctive red apple aromas and flavors similar to McIntosh apples, citrus pith, white grapefruit and pomelo with heavier mineral content that comes from schist soil. It's dry, bold and muscular style of Riesling.

Staff Image By: Morgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/16/2018 | Send Email
This is delicious, dry, Grand Cru Riesling for $20. Notes of crisp Fuji apple, chamomile and wet stone with a slightly rounder mouthfeel and toned down acidity make this accessible and easy drinking. This wine has great length and a ton of elegance. A definite must for lovers of Riesling.

Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/15/2018 | Send Email
This wine has a lot to offer for lovers of dry Riesling. There is a beautiful subtle nose. In the mouth are bright and juicy light fruit flavors with a layer of mineral notes. A nice dry finish helps wrap up this package.

Staff Image By: Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2018 | Send Email
Any French House dedicating themselves solely to Grand Cru wines must have extraordinarily high standards in the vineyards and the cellar while maintaining a clear understanding of their stylistic goals in the bottle. Julien Schaal indeed does work with the whos-who of vineyard sights, has built a state of the art new cellar in 2011, and proudly proclaims their signature style of terroir driven, Grand Cru expressions in full bodied tones. If I were to taste the Kastelberg Riesling blind (I did not) I would have guesses Pinot Blanc with the first sniff; deep round tones of yellow plumb, brine and lemon peel come rolling out of the glass in a wave. The floral tones that build are also bolder and richer than the typical white flowers you see in the familiar, sharp, tense Rieslings of Germany (or Alsace). This wine belongs with the main course at dinner not just the seafood appetizer! On the palate I am of course re-convinced that yes this is indeed Riesling, but a more muscular, palate filling, unconscious version. This is the essence of why Grand Cru’s are isolated and exalted; they are uniquely expressive in their own poetic way! White flowers, defined precision, ripe apple and white pepper all come out of hiding to greet you on the first sip in a gentle, lower acid environment that has a very strong mid-palate and a long mineral finish.

Staff Image By: Jordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2018 | Send Email
The Kastleberg Grand Cru Riesling is bone dry. A perfect bottle to try if you are interested in expanding your knowledge of Riesling. This wine I would pair with food. A bucket of mussels , Dungeness Crab or White sauce pasta with clams. Nice Bright acidity . Some green apple flavors. Great minerality .

Staff Image By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2018 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
Wowza! The Kastelberg from Julien Schaal is an absolutely wonderful expression of dry Alsace Riesling from one of the best vineyards at a price so low that is hard to understand. The wine shows a lovely rich, slightly oily texture. Great exotic notes and loads of power show up mid palate, but with a strong line of racy acidity to hold it all together. This is what Riesling from Alsace is all about!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/3/2018 | Send Email
Between this wine and the other Schaal Riesling we have in stock right now, life is pretty good for us white wine aficionados. While I know most folks are going to get swept up in the St. Hune vineyard origin of the Rosacker (and rightly so), the Kastleberg was my favorite of the two when tasted blindly. It's so mineral and vibrant in its profile, electrifying my palate with racy acidity and leaving me salivating for more. I was utterly stupefied by this wine. It's SOOOOOOOOOO good and it comes from one of Alsace's grand cru vineyards loaded with blue schist, the rocky soil known for its ability to translate laser-like acidity into the wine itself. The proof is in the pudding here. You buy a bottle first, then you come back for the case.

Additional Information:



- 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 Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, 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.