In a nutshell: A half bottle of a generously flavoured, yet delicate Alastian dessert wine.
The lowdown: The grapes for this wine were left to hang until 1st December to achieve the concentration required for a dessert wine, hence the label being marked 'Vendanges Tardives', or 'Late Harvest'. After picking the grapes are handled with extreme care and very gently pressed to ensure they're at their best. The aromas have the classic Gewurztraminer florality with additional rich tropical fruit notes. This carries through to the palate which has a well judged crispness which retains a lightness in the mouth. The finish is long, perfumed and complex.
When to drink: Fruit based desserts, or crepes Suzettes make a good match. Serve chilled, but not excessively so.
In 1810, the founder, Nicolas Schlumberger, after establishing a textile machinery factory in the Alsatian town of Guebwiller in Eastern France also bought about 20 hectares of vines in the surrounding area. In doing so, he laid the foundations of Domaines Schlumberger.
Three generations later, Ernest Schlumberger assumed control of the estate which, by then, was deeply affected by the phylloxera louse that struck widely early twentieth century. Most Guebwiller vineyards, as a result had been abandoned by their owners. Shrewdly, Ernest Schumberger spotted an opportunity and bought as many plots of land as he could and replanted vines. He then arranged the whole vineyard in terraces and introduced horizontal vine planting. It was during this period that they grew to be one of Alsace's largest domaines.
Since the arrival of Eric Beydon-Schlumberger in 1971 who fully involved himself in the company and replanted many of the ageing vineyards and brought modern practices to the domain it has gained the international reputation it now enjoys. The current owners are brother and sister, Thomas and Séverine Schlumberger.