Visiting France's Alsace wine region, part 3

Domaines Schlumberger
100, rue Théodore Deck
68501 Guebwiller Cedex France
Tel: +33 3 89 74 27 00 

Looking over the Guebwiller cemetery to the Grand Cru vineyards

Schlumberger, pronounced (slum-burr-jay), is an important domaine in Alsace, with sizeable vineyard holdings around the town of Guebwiller, in the south of the region. Indeed, this is the largest privately owned estate, with 140 hectares of vines. This includes four Grand Cru sites in the village: Saering, Kitterlé, Kessler and Speigel.

I met with Séverine Schlumberger, who works alongside her uncle Alain (who is the chairman) and brother Thomas in running the domaine. 

Séverine Schlumberger

‘The style we are looking for is to make gastronomic wines,’ says Séverine. ‘We are not going in the direction of opulent, big-scoring wines.’ Fermentation is carried out in large oak casks. For Riesling, 99% of the time there is less than 5 g/l residual sugar, she says. ‘The wine we have been working with most is Pinot Gris,’ says Séverine. ‘It is a real challenge. It likes what Riesling doesn’t, and when one of them is happy, the other isn’t.’

Schlumberger are running 30 ha of their vines in biodynamics, but can’t do organic viticulture on the slopes because of the difficulty of managing the under vine weeds here. And they have a lot of vineyards on the slopes (one-half of their 140 hectares are Grand Crus).

‘We are in the luxurious position of being family owned and an estate,’ says Séverine. ‘This means that the regular wines have a minimum of 40% Grand Cru grapes in them in each vintage.’ 21 wines are made here each year, and around 70% of production is exported. ‘We’re an estate with the volume of a negociant.’


Schlumberger Pinot Blanc Prince Abbés 2010 Alsace, France
Tight, crisp and nicely mineral with pithy citrus fruit. Nicely poised with good acidity. Pretty. 89/100

Schlumberger Pinot Gris Grand Cru Kitterlé 2007 Alsace, France
Very rich and sweet. Texture  spicy and lively with pear, apple and peach notes. A rich, powerful wine that’s intense and well balanced. 92/100

Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Saering 2008 Alsace, France
Limestone/sand soils. Tight, mineral and lemony with good acidity. Really mineral and fresh with a pithy, taut character. Bone dry. 91/100

Schlumberger Pinot Noir Prince Abbés 2010 Alsace, France
Sappy, green, bright cherry and plum fruit. Fresh and lively with good acidity. 86/100

Schlumberger Gewürztraminer Vendange Tardive Cuvée Christine 2007 Alsace, France
Rich, bold and thick-textured with grapes, lychees and peaches. Rich, ripe, sweet and dense with lovely mineral freshness. A lovely wine. 93/100

Part 1, Paul Blanck
Part 2, Clement Klur
Part 3, Schlumberger
Part 4, Zind Humbrecht
Part 5, Albert Boxler
Part 6, Dirler-Cadé
Part 7, Josmeyer

Part 8, Weinbach
Part 9, Hugel
Part 10, Léon Beyer

See also: pictures from the vineyards of Alsace, part 1, Paul Blanck

Wines tasted 06/12  
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