Alsace 101: Grand Cru Zotzenberg
August 28, 2018
Dating back to 1364 under the name, Zotzenberg, this grand cru vineyard is distinguished by wines of great finesse, exceptional structure and ageability.
Forming an amphitheater around the hill and village of Mittelbergheim, the Grand Cru cultivates Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris, but it is Sylvaner that shines here (about 43% of plantings). Zotzenberg is the only vineyard allowed to produce Grand Cru Sylvaner, after a successful campaign led by local growers. The appellation rule was amended in 2005 to allow the grape and upgraded status. Covering 90 acres along the southern edge of the Mittelbergheim hill, the soils are composed of marl and limestone from two geological ages: Jurassic and Oligocene. The vineyard enjoys a southwestern exposure, and wines produced from here are marked by a rich, ripe style. The Sylvaner vines average between 40-50 years old.
Expect the wines to express notes redolent of the terroir: nuts, floral, aromatic savory brush (laurel, verbena), pepper spice, and some salinity/minerality.