Rolly Gassmann Kappelweg de Rorschwihr Riesling 2014
A Riesling where rich stone fruit is offset by a racy acidity
|Producer||Domaine Rolly Gassmann|
|Wine Type||White Wine|
|Body / Style||Fruit Notes|
|Grape Blend||100% Riesing|
|Bottle Size (ml)||750|
|Special Features||Organic, Vegan|
|Extra Info||Rich stone fruit|
|Food Pairing Guide||Pair with Thai cuisine|
|Terroir||Calcareous marl soils|
Rolly Gassmann Kappelweg de Rorschwihr Riesling displays a powerful character with layers of ripe stone fruit and underlying citrus notes, balanced by a racy acidity culminating in a long finish. While the winemaking history of the Rolly and Gassmann families in Alsace can be traced back to the 17th century, the domaine was not established until 1967 when these two families were joined by marriage. Now run by second generation Pierre Gassmann, the domaine boasts 52 hectares in the Haut-Rhin region, 40 of which are in Rorschwihr and 10 in Bergheim. The family is known for their remarkable collection of vintages; they age and store up to five years’ worth of stock – around 1.5 million bottles – and only release wines that they feel are ready to drink. This particular vision led Pierre to create an impressive new winery, completed in 2019 and nicknamed ‘The Cathedral’ by the locals. This six-tier, state-of-the-art construction, built into the hillside, has brought their gravity-fed vinification facilities, cellar and panoramic tasting-room under one roof. Unusually, the village of Rorschwihr has no Grands Crus. It lies on a fault line, which created over 20 variations of limestone soil. The Alsatian authorities attempted to combine large areas of Rorschwihr to form several Grands Crus as part of the new system in the 1970s. This proposal was rejected by the villagers of Rorschwihr, who declared that there should be 12 Grands Crus or none at all. Today there are instead multiple lieux-dits to reflect the soil complexity. The Rolly-Gassmann vineyards are farmed using organic and biodynamic principles but are not certified. Pierre allows the grapes to ripen fully, encourages noble rot and harvests late to achieve high sugar levels and concentrated fruit expression in his wines. The resulting richness requires time to harmonise, which is why Pierre ages and releases his wines later than most. It is also the reason why he produces such long-lived wines.
Rolly-Gassmann have 5.67 hectares of the lieu-dit Kappelweg de Rorschwihr. Located at 220 to 235 metres above sea level, the vines sit on ancient blue-grey marl limestone soil which lends the wines vibrant acidity and intense concentration. The vineyards are managed following organic and biodynamic principles but are not certified. Pierre allows the grapes to ripen fully, encourages noble rot and harvests late to achieve high sugar levels and concentrated fruit expression in his wines. The grapes were harvested by hand on 9th October. The 2014 vintage experienced an unusually cool period in August. This meant that the acidity of the harvested grapes was higher than average and produced particularly long-lived wines. Traditional vinification, with 10 to 12 hours gentle pressing before fermentation using wild yeasts. For this wine, fermentation lasted for around five months before spending around two months on lees and ageing for a further eleven months. The wine was then aged in large, used oak barrels until bottling the following September.
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