Alsace Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé with the mention "Vendanges Tardives" (Late Harvest)
The Kirchberg hill at Ribeauvillé. Classified as Grand Cru by a ruling of 1975, the produce of this land has been recognised as exceptional for very many years. According to Médard Barth, the famous historian of the Alsace vineyards, the wine land was first mentioned in 1328.
Type of soil
This hill benefits from a South and South East facing positioning which, in conjunction with a very steep slope, confers it an excellent level of sunlight during the fruit's maturing period. The substratum at the foot of the hill is composed of dolomitic marl from the triassic period and dolomite from the lower Muschelkalk. Higher up it is composed of brightly coloured sandstone and gypsum marl from the middle Muschelkalk. At an altitude of 270 to 350 metres, the vineyard's soil is rich in clay and often very stony.
Our plots of Riesling are partly situated on the steep Southern slope, and partly in the central plateau. The stony core of the soil lies fifty centimetres below the surface. This forces the roots of the vines to penetrate deeply.
Gold yellow colour. The fine and elegant nose shows notes of Noble Rot combined with citrus and apricot flavours. Impressive substance, very rich but well balanced thanks to the delicate acidity which is always present in our Kirchberg wines.
Tips for consuming
This wine can be appreciated as it is, together with friends...
It is also a perfect friend for all the exotic food dishes which combine sweet and salty savors. Well done goat cheeses are also perfect with this Riesling.
As a nice finish to the meal, it is also possible to enjoy it with deserts (fruit salads combining citrus with exotic fruits).
May be drunk immediately, but will benefit from maturing in the bottle so as to develop its full bouquet and those hints of minerals which are typical of a great Riesling Kirchberg. The impression of sweetness will also progressively be melted into the wine with the years.
The 2005 vintage
This vintage started with a normal winter, dry with strong freezing days in December 2004 and January 2005. April was mild and rainy, which was favourable for the beginning of the vegetative cycle of the vines. The flowering period took place under high temperatures which lasted from mid of June to end of July and eased the growth of the vines. August was more contrasty, pleasant at the beginning and then cooler in the second half. With these low temperatures, the acidity of the grapes was maintained. The good weather of September allowed the grapes to mature perfectly with no development of diseases. The dry winter, the low precipitations in spring and summer, the very nice September month and our choices of vineyard management yielded to a very small harvest : 55 hl/ha for the Alsace appellation and a very low 30 hl/ha for the Grands Crus. On this point, this vintage can be compared with 2003. Three points can summarise this vintage: very low yields – perfectly sound grapes – nice and ripe acidities. The key factors for a great vintage!