We’re on the Mosel, where the vineyards are steep, stony suntraps, the vines old, and the grape riesling. But this is not Germany, it’s Luxembourg. Here it’s not slate but shell limestone cliffs that are paramount. These fossilized marine-based soils are more like those of Chablis or Champagne, and translate into supremely elegant, classically styled rieslings: intensely mineral, with calibrated balance and stunning length. The 200-year-old Domaine Alice Hartmann is named for the valiant Mme. Hartmann, who single-handedly kept the estate alive through war and lean times in the last century. The domaine has holdings in some of Luxembourg’s most treasured vineyards, including the Wormeldange Koeppchen, the Palmberg in Ahn, and the Fels in Grevenmacher. The focus is on farming these parcels of old-vine riesling (the oldest planted around 1928) without herbicides or pesticides; low yields, hand harvests, spontaneous fermentations, lees aging, and very little added SO2.
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