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Thwines of Domaines Schlumberger

Domaines Schlumberger
100 Rue Théodore Deck, 58501 Guebwillewer, France
Tel: +33 (0)3 89 74 27 00 Fax: +33 (0)3 89 74 85 75
E-mail: duschlum@aol.com
UK agent: Maisons Marques et Domaines Ltd (020 8332 2223)

In wine, smaller is usually better, but every now and then big can be good. Based in the south of the region, Schlumberger are the largest vineyard holders in Alsace, with 145 ha. But despite their size, they are also among the best: remarkably, 70 ha of these holdings are in Grand Cru vineyards. The basic range, Les Princes Abbés, are impressive wines, representing the very best Alsace can do at this price point (c. £8 per bottle). The Grand Cru wines are brilliant. The house style is crisp, full flavoured wines with great definition and balance.

Pinot Blanc Les Princes Abbés 2000
Attractive, fresh crisp nose with a touch of minerality. Rich, full flavoured palate is quite pure, rounded and finishes dry. Attractive stuff. Very good

Riesling Les Princes Abbés 1998
There’s a subtle limey lift to the nose, which has a lovely minerality. Attractive, full flavoured mineralic palate: lots of flavour here. Finishes dry; just a touch of residual sugar contributes roundness. Very good+

Pinot Gris Les Princes Abbés 1999
Slightly muted nose is quite fresh with some varietal character (rounded, smoky bacon). Nice, rich fat-textured palate is quite pure with some minerality. The richness is nicely balanced by the acidity. Very good+

Gewürztraminer Les Princes Abbés 2000
Very pretty, floral, perfumed nose with a slightly lemony, confectionary edge. Quite a rich, full flavoured palate but still with great balance. Good acidity. Impressive. Finishes dry but with some residual sugar. Very good+

Riesling Grand Cru Saering 1998
Gorgeous nose: fresh, crisp and expressive with floral and lime notes. A pure wine. Rich, concentrated mineralic and limey palate. Savoury, bone dry finish. Lots of character here. Very good/excellent

Pinot Gris Grand Cru Kitterlé 1998
Quite a full yellow colour. Sweet grapey and bacon fat nose. Powerful, thick, rich sweet palate with some slightly musky notes. A bold, thick wine. Sweet finish. Very good+

Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Kessler 1997
An interesting wine made in a full-on style. Quite a deep yellow/gold colour. Intense, sweet, grapey nose with a floral edge. Rich, full, fat palate showing some savoury richness with quite a bit of residual sugar. Almost meaty character, but finishing sweet. Very good/excellent

Gewürztraminer Vendanges Tardives Cuvée Christine 1998
Complex sweet nose with good acidity. Rich and spicy, with floral marmalade notes. The palate is rich and full with a thick texture and lots of sweetness. This big fat wine is still just in balance despite all the sweetness. Very good/excellent

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Tasted February 2002