Christmas time is here again, and I needed a decent bottle of wine for Christmas dinner as a companion to sauerkraut and fish. I do like Alsace, so this time I pulled out a Grand Cru Riesling from Praelatenberg. Praelatenberg is one of 51 Alsatian Grand Crus, that got this status in the big expansion of 17 December 1992. It is located between Kintzheim and Orschwiller, and is the most southerly of the Grand Cru sites of the Bas-Rhin.
Above Praeatenberg towers the Koenigsbourg castle, built in the 12th century. The altitude of Praelatenberg slopes ranges from 250 to 350 metres and has an east-south-east orientation with a size of 18.7 Ha. The granite bedrock that underlies all Alsace vineyards is very close to the surface. The soil is heavy, covered with loose schist, and is rich with silicium. Dotted with stones rich with iron, quartz and other minerals. This helps the warming of the ground and lets water through easily.
Heim is now owned by Bestheim, a cooperation that was founded in 2000 by the merger of two smaller cooperations from the villages of Bennwihr & Westhalten, together with the house of Heim.
Color: Straw Yellow.
Nose: Very clean and citrussy. Lemon. Through the freshness and the acidity there is another layer, that at first seems sweet, but also has a creamy peachy element to it. A sort of light non-fat whipped cream of lemon and peach. Very nice. Sweet as in coffee-caramel sweets we know over here as Haagsche Hopjes. Also a slightly meaty sensation.
Taste: It starts with a nice fresh and not overly acidic lemon and chalk. Do you know those little vitamin C pills by Roter? Well, that too. Again a tiny hint of peach. Really subdued and elegant. The finish comes quick and is soon gone, what really is a shame. Always there, is that little bit of acidity that makes your mouth water, and lest not forget that added creaminess. Not very complex.
The taste maybe a bit too simple, in the nose maybe a little bit too. Still it’s a nice wine. It does have a nice balance, but overall it could have done with some added depth and complexity. Easy to drink, and should hold well when aged. ABV is 12%.
Picture is for the Riesling Reserve. Our Grand Cru looks similar (brown glass).