2017 Pierre Sparr "Schoenenbourg" Grand Cru Riesling, Alsace
The Sparr winery was founded in 1680 by Jean Sparr. Over the next 300 years, nine successive generations of the Sparr family worked the land, maintaining and expanding their estate. When Pierre Sparr took over the winery in the early 1900s at the age of 20, his innate business sense made him one of the pioneers in estate bottling in Alsace. His motto was “invest, progress and maintain” — a motto that continues to describe the domaine that is named in his honor, “Maison Pierre Sparr Successeurs.”
The winemaker today is Alexandra Boudrot. She was born into a winegrowing family in Nuits-St-Georges, Burgundy, and so was exposed to vineyard work at a young age. She focused on science and viticulture before she studied winemaking at the University of Dijon. After she earned her degree in oenology, she moved to Alsace. She started at the Oenological and Winemaking Council, and then transitioned in 2003 to a position at Cave de Beblenheim. There, Boudrot helped growers develop environmentally sustainable growing methods. Boudrot started with Pierre Sparr in 2015 and has been crafting exception wines of fruity precision ever since.
The 2017 Schoenenbourg Grand Cru is exceptional and shows what dry Alsace Riesling is really about. Fruity aromas of lemon peel, a touch of pear, lime blossom and flint. The full minerality appears in the palate, framed by a fresh lemony acid and a racy body with a long mineral/floral finish that ably demonstrates the intensity that only comes from old vines.