Riesling Sélection de Grains Nobles Schoenenbourg Marcel Deiss Information
About the domain
Jean-Michel Deiss, (the son of Marcel Deiss, who established the property in 1949) currently manages the 27 hectares of vines, which are planted on some of Alsace's finest terroirs, including the grand cru Altenburg de Bergheim. Jean-Michel Deiss grows his vines according to biodynamic principles, a philosophy that prohibits any form of chemical treatment and combines an understanding of cosmic rhythms with work on the soil and the vines. The objective? To encourage the vines to develop as deep a root system as possible in the subsoil, thereby giving full expression to the terroir. Despite being an acknowledged master of the art of making single varietal wines such as Pinot Gris and Riesling, this exceptional winegrower has waged a veritable campaign against the traditional Alsace approach of regarding the grape variety as the essence of the wine, and granting negligible importance to the terroir. Thus he has reintroduced ancestral practices such as mixed planting of all of the traditional varieties (Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris) on the same plot, with no sorting at the harvest. The terroir then comes to the forefront, free to fully express itself without the omnipresent constraint of a single variety. After years of campaigning, Jean-Michel Deiss finally succeeded in obtaining authorisation for the application of the terms "Grand Cru" and "Premier Cru" (previously reserved for traditional cuvées) to these "vins de terroir". The names of the grape varieties have not appeared on the labels since 2005.
About the cuvée
The standard bearer of the the Riquewihr vineyards in the heart of Alsace, Schœnenbourg has been lauded since the Middle Ages for the exceptional quality wines it produces. Winemaking here is pure alchemy, requiring meticulous work: fruit which present the famous noble rot are harvested one by one. This cuvée has a richness, concentration and stark acidity which make it ideally suited to a long cellaring (even up to 40 years). A few years after bottling it reveals a full-body with pepper and smoky notes on the nose and an expressive minerality. It pairs magnificently with fish and seafood.
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General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.