Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Theo 2018
Located just outside of Kaysersberg, France, along the Alsatian Route des Vins, Domaine Weinbach occupies a special place in the wine world. In an area long known for high quality, Madame Colette Faller and her two famous daughters, Catherine and Laurence, collectively known in Alsatian wine circles as les Filles Faller (the Faller girls) produced elegant, structured world-class wines. The winery was established in 1612 by Capuchin monks and came into the family in 1898. Patriarch Théo Faller was an industry leader, dedicated to quality and improving his wines and those of his region. After his death, Colette Faller brought the winery to national and international attention and the reputation only increased when Catherine and Laurence joined her. Unfortunately, both Madame Colette and her star-winemaker daughter Laurence passed away in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Catherine and her two sons Théo and Eddy Lieber-Faller are carrying on the work for their family and their region. The winery farms organically and biodynamically with all the vineyards being certified in 2010. According to Laurence, these practices result in extremely healthy soil and vines and combine with drastically low yields to produce “high quality, terroir-driven, and aromatically complex grapes and wines.”
Alsace is the only region in France to produce almost all varietally labeled wines. The four Noble grape varieties are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Muscat. Other white grapes include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois (a relative of Pinot Blanc), Chasselas and Sylvaner. Pinot Noir produces delicate light red to rosé-colored wines. Wines can range from dry to off dry to extremely sweet late harvest wines. This 2018 Cuvee Theo is the king of Alsatian wine and the love of the Faller family. This dry (5.35 g/l r.s., 13.7% abv), intense wine from the estate Clos des Capucins vineyard is named after the family patriarch Théo. The soil for that vineyard is composed of sandy silt on granite pebbles. These grapes ripen much earlier than some of the family’s hillier sites. This produces wines with complex aromatics and powerful concentration. As with the Pinot Blanc, grapes are handpicked at optimum maturity levels for aromatics and body. Whole clusters are gently pressed in pneumatic presses and fermented with indigenous yeasts in old oak vats. It exhibits aromas of white blossoms and lime, and flavors of crisp Granny Smith apples and strong minerality. It has mouthwatering acidity and a long lingering finish. Serve with white fish, seafood salad or lemon roasted chicken.