Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Domaine Weinbach : Praises sung on

Posted by Julian Campbell, Buyer
Following a recent visit to Domaine Weinbach, Richard Hemming, regular contributor to Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages (, found much to praise about the wines of Domaine Weinbach. In fact, having visited the 10 most prestigious wineries in Alsace, he appears to have come back enamoured with Weinbach more than any other Domaine. Herewith his comments in full:


100% Biodynamic since 2005. This tasting was by far the best overall performance, judged on score alone - hit after hit, and no misses at all. The sweet wines are especially excellent, but I left convinced that this is one of those producers whom you can trust unreservedly. There is a sort of anarchic brilliance to their wines: bewildering labels, confusing cuvées, fluctuating sweetness - but joy unconfined to drink.
Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Réserve Sylvaner 2010 Alsace 16.5 Drink 2011-2014
Appley, dry, smooth, rather spicy and interesting. Lovely metal and mineral character to the texture and finish. More complexity than meets the nose. (RH) 13%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Réserve Pinot Blanc 2010 Alsace 16.5 Drink 2011-2013
70% Auxerrois, 30% Pinot Blanc. Lovely mineral nerve to this, quite austere, but the fruit gives the necessary flesh to fill out the palate. ‘Juicy’ as Madame Faller puts it. (RH) 13.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Cuvée Théo Riesling 2009 Alsace 16.5 Drink 2011-2016
Very sherbety, peachy, fragrant and with an almost Gewürz-y perfume. Very opulent, but finishing savoury with a mineral streak. (RH) 13.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Schlossberg Riesling 2009 Alsace Grand Cru 17 Drink 2011-2021
Fragrant, lively nose with a wonderful ripeness of fruit on the palate. Baked green apples, very approachable – no austerity at all, and great capacity for age, it seems. Fantastic length. (RH) 14%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Cuvée Ste Catherine Riesling 2008 Alsace 17 Drink 2011-2021
Mineral and limey, really layered and rich, but dry to finish. Super intense and with a lovely oily length. Wonderful hint of oxidative character – or is it phenolic? – adding some edge without spoiling. (RH) 13.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Schlossberg Cuvée Ste Catherine Riesling 2009 Alsace Grand Cru 17 Drink 2011-2018
Some oyster-shell character, lime juice, loads of concentration, dry yet rich with the alcohol. Not hot, not too weighty, but bold and with definite elegance. (RH) 14%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Schlossberg Cuvée Ste Catherine L'Inédit Riesling 2009 Alsace Grand Cru 16.5 Drink 2011-2018
Not quite late harvest – but has some botrytis. First produced in 1998. Picked at PA 15%. RS 18 g/l RS. Tropical, apricot and a honeyed finish. Doesn’t quite have the finesse of the regular Ste Catherine. (RH) 14%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Schlossberg Riesling Sélection de Grains Nobles 2007 Alsace 19 Drink 2011-2021
Nose doesn't seem up to much, but then the palate delivers sudden, outstanding range of flavour. This is brilliant – so sweet, yet with such savoury richness. Great Riesling definition too, seething acidity, fine balance, multiplex flavour. Needs time for the nose to develop. (RH) 10.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Schlossberg Cuvée Ste Catherine L'Inédit Riesling 2001 Alsace Grand Cru 17.5 Drink 2005-2012
RS 25 g/l. Proper gold colour, amazing buttery, creamy consistency. Mature dried fruits with a host of spices and a long, honey glazed finish. Rather brilliant, splendid maturity, although I wouldn’t keep it much longer. (RH)

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Cuvée Ste Catherine Pinot Gris 2009 Alsace 17.5+ Drink 2011-2018
I like this a lot – great roasted peanut character. Loads of body, loads of flavour, long finish and enough structure to last. I can’t think of a better Pinot Gris that I know. (RH) 14.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Altenbourg Pinot Gris 2008 Alsace 17 Drink 2011-2016
RS 25 g/l. NB Altenbourg is a lieu-dit, not to be confused with the Grand Cru Altenberg. Honeyed, rich, dried oranges, sweet spice, a bit of mushroom. Marmalade, apricot, warm and expressive. (RH) 14.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Trie Spéciale Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive 2008 Alsace 18 Drink 2011-2016
TA 9.9 g/l. Wonderful, so mouthfilling and complex. Amazing tarte tatin, honey, herbs, long, long finish. Such profundity! (RH) 10.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Altenbourg Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive 2008 Alsace 17 Drink 2011-2015
RS 90 g/l. Very good, but not as soaring as the Trie Spécial. Layers of sweet, tropical fruit, orange peel, cinnamon and a touch of earthy funk on the finish. (RH) 12%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Cuvée Théo Gewurztraminer 2009 Alsace 16.5 Drink 2011-2015
RS 25 g/l. Roses, apricots, not at all overdone, great restraint. Long finish, slightly grippy but that balances nicely with the sweetness and freshness. (RH) 13.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Cuvée Laurence Gewurztraminer 2008 Alsace 17 Drink 2011-2015
RS 36 g/l. Honey-covered fruits, floral bouquet in full effect, slightly bitter on the finish. Good restraint again, lovely control: all length no flab. (RH) 13.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Altenbourg Gewurztraminer 2008 Alsace 17+ Drink 2011-2014
RS 40 g/l. Tremendous vibrancy and life in this, fine honey and honeysuckle character with a long floral finish. (RH) 13.5%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Furstentum Gewurztraminer 2008 Alsace Grand Cru 17.5 Drink 2011-2016
Spices up front, lots of floral character. Wonderful freshness and viscosity with a tempting, drinkable balance. Great restraint – especially for grand cru level. (RH) 13%

Weinbach, Faller & Filles, Altenbourg Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles 2008 Alsace 20 Drink 2011-2018
RS 160 g/l. Again, quite stunning aroma. Great body, outstanding clarity of fruit and a sudden late acidity to prevent it losing shape. Lengthy, round, exciting, too many fruits to mention and a wonderful botrytis nutty character to finish.
(RH) 10.5%