Domaine Marcel Deiss Gruenspiel Cru d’Alsace

Domaine Marcel Deiss Gruenspiel Cru d’Alsace

Wine Information
Varieties: Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir
Vine Age: Planted from 1987 to 2002
Vine Density: 8,000 per ha
Terroir: Natural amphitheater open to the south and over-looking Ribeauvillé, heterogeneous soil of sandstone deposits, granite, gneiss soils on lake-bed Keuper marl bedrock
Viticulture: Certified organic (Ecocert) and biodynamic
Vinification: Very slow whole-cluster pressing, up to 12-hours, natural yeast fermentations. Aged for 12 months in large, ancient foudres. 
Sweetness level: Dry/ fruity

This Bergheim terroir overlooks the Grands Crus of Ribeauvillé, and is one of the most reputed in the area. Its poetic name translates to "green game" referencing a checkerboard. 

The palate of Gruenspiel will catch you off-guard: it is a muscular Rhenish wine on the front, an orange wine in the mid, with underlying Amaro throughout. This surprising combination comes from the terroir’s deep, cold marl which produces a tannic structure unexpected in a white wine, as if it were macerated even though it is not. (Well, not until the 2017 vintage.) The marl also reinforces the noble bitters that are already present by design in Deiss’ wines, hence the Amaro. And the vineyard faces south, giving you the rich, solar feel of the front palate. Gruenspiel is fascinating, big, in your face, masculine. It expects food and can easily tackle protein. It is a tasting menu wine of the first order.

Cellaring is very transformative. The structure resolves, apparently by melting into the texture, filling it out, and making it irresistibly plush. If some tannin and bitters remain noticeable, they become a supporting cubist touch in the background — a welcome touch, since it is energetic and keeps things food-friendly.

The spectacular 2002 was the vintage that first called our attention to the terroir and left us no choice but to take it seriously. The dozen or so bottles we have shared so far have blown everybody away.

  • Product Name: Gruenspiel Cru d’Alsace
  • Producer: Domaine Marcel Deiss
  • Importer: Becky Wasserman Selections
  • Country Region Appellation:
    • Alsace
    • Alsace
    • Alsace Grand Cru
  • Varietal: Riesling/Pinot Noir/Gewurztraminer
  • Agricultural Standards: Biodynamic , Organic
  • ALC %: 13