2017 Julien Schaal Kastelberg Grand Cru Riesling Alsace

SKU #1384720 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 The faintest hint of elderflower touches upon the subtle lemon-peel notes on the nose before riper hints of orange appear. The palate comes with real impact but on a very filigree-fine structure that uses lemon zest both as a structural base for freshness and as a swirling aromatic highlight. This is lovely, sinuous, long and concentrated, slender but impactful and rather elegant. Lovely. (AK)  (11/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From 50-year-old vines in Alsace's one and only (very small but steep) schist terroir in Andlau (Bas-Rhin), Julien Schaal's 2017 Alsace Grand Cru Kastelberg Riesling "Schiste" is super pure, fresh and flinty on the deep and stony/lemony nose. It's like perfume distributed onto stones! Full-bodied, lush and very elegant on the palate, this is a powerful, tight, straight, bone-dry, austerely mineral, piquant and tensioned yet fine Kastelberg based on ripe and perfectly healthy grapes. Great concentration and length here! The finish is enormously pure, salty and highly stimulating. Dry Riesling at its best! This is still a baby but with great aging potential. And have a look at the price! (SR)  (10/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator

 An intense, finely knit white, this exudes mineral and spice notes that underscore the creamy palate of quince, star anise and blood orange sorbet flavors. Long and racy on the finish as this echoes the petrol-accented minerality. (AN)  (12/2018)

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Price: $19.99
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By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2018 | Send Email
If you are looking for a stunning bone dry Riesling, you just found it. This offering from Julien Schaal defines the meaning of being bone dry. Coming from one of the oldest vineyard in Alsace this Riesling is all searing minerality from blue schist soil and high tone citrus on the palate with slight floral hint in the aroma. Intense yet charming thanks to its bright energy and vivid freshness.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/20/2018 | Send Email
For fans of nervy, tense, mineral laden white wines, have we got a Grand Cru for you! I'll be the first to admit that it's easy to take the Grand Cru copy to the people and say you're offering something special, when in fact it's just kind of meh. Not so here. Julien Schaal is an up-and-coming producer working in Alsace, a region that has largely steered clear of the market influence of collectors and still presents some of the best value in top quality, cellar worthy whites. His Kastelberg opens with a blast of citrus and fresh ginger on the nose, leading to a crisp, explosively energetic, slightly spicy palate that should slowly blossom and begin to strut its stuff within the next couple of years and continue to do so for some time. I cannot think of a better deal in classic and classy French white wine right now.

By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/20/2018 | Send Email
A wonderful juxtaposition to the "Sommerberg" the Kastelberg is driven more to the minerality side of the Riesling scale with orchard fruits and petrol notes. More powerful and rich than the Sommerberg this is a stunning Riesling that deftly packages its power with a wonderful gracefulness.
Top Value! Drink from 2018 to 2025

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 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.