Julien Schaal Riesling Grand Cru ‘Les Roches Calcaires’ Rosacker 2018. In short a total banger of a wine. Rosacker, meaning field of roses pays homage to the wild roses that grew in abundance around the vineyards. Alsace, France is an interesting region steeped in history. Located near the Hunawihr village Rosacker is a Grand Cru vineyard around 26 hectares in size.
Julien Schaal also makes wine in South Africa. He focuses on Syrah and Chardonnay only from South Africa and Riesling. This focus allows for some real fine-tuning of processes to ensure the wines are as near perfect as possible.
The vineyard is 40 years old and situated to the north of the village with altitudes between 200m to 400m. The soil is dominated by limestone, rich in nutrients with a heavy clay texture and a spattering of pebbles. The Alsace can get hot providing a lot of ripeness and slightly higher ABVs than other parts of France. For the Rieslings from Alsace, that means a lot of fragrance and texture.
The grapes are hand-picked at optimal ripeness then transferred and pressed softly over 12 hours to only extract the best juice. The juice is fermented slowly over 4 months with wild yeast and low temperature. This long process allows the wine to develop a lot of texture over the fermentation process while retaining aromas. Sulfur is added before bottling only.
Julien Schaal Riesling Grand Cru ‘Les Roches Calcaires’ Rosacker 2018 nose is super aromatic with ripe lemon, honey and some white tropical tones. The palate is rich, textured and perfectly balanced with apricots, honey and warm spice. Very long and scented in length with a lot of concentration and layers throughout. Lots of ageing potential too, so get a 6 pack and drink them over the next 5 years for max enjoyment.