The Kientzler family has been growing vines for more than 5 generations in Ribeauvillé and the surrounding area. As early as 1866, Dominique Alphonse Kientzler had inherited vines from his father and grandfather and in 1895 was involved in the creation of France’s first winemaking cooperative in Ribeauvillé, in addition to running the local grocery shop. His son Alphonse carried on the grocery business while also tending to the vines; he eventually became the Mayor of Ribeauvillé either side of World War II.
It was Alphonse’s son François though, who was the first to fully concentrate on wine production, taking himself off to Switzerland to study viticulture. By the 1970s, he was joined by his son André in the wine business and the pair undertook a massive replanting program to replace much of the old Chasselas with the noble Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer varieties.
Today, the Kientzlers farm almost 14ha of vines in Ribeauvillé, Bergheim, Hunawihr and Riquewihr, including significant parcels in the Grand Crus of Geisberg, Osterberg and Kirchberg. And in turn André handed over the reins to his sons in 2009; Thierry looks after the winemaking and Eric the commercial side of the business.
Top 10 Greatest Wine Producers in Alsace Wine Report 2009, Tom Stevenson
'One of the most talented Winemakers in Alsace…..he has Riesling and Gewürztraminer growing in prime sites and it is what he manages to do with these that ranks his wines among the very best in Alsace. Although his generic Riesling has great class and finesse, his Grand Cru Geisberg and Grand Cru Osterberg are very much finer. The Geisberg is the riper and more opulent, with a wisp of smokiness to the fruit, the Osterberg is more classic and flinty, requiring longer in bottle.'The Wines of Alsace, Tom Stevenson.
'The Geisberg is immense and rivals with the greatest wines of the world.'Les Meilleurs Vins de France 2011.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS
2013 Pinot Blanc (Stelvin) From 100% Auxerrois. Shows the fine floral perfume and fresh acidity so typical of this variety and village. Finishing dry with length and persistence. 13.7% Alc/Vol; 1.5 g/l RS; 7.2 g/l TA.
2013 Riesling (Stelvin)Classic lime and citrus zest aromas backed by discrete minerality. Wonderfully pure and intense for this level. Fine, precise and beautifully balanced. 12.5% Alc/Vol; 0.6 g/l RS; 8.9 g/l TA.
2013 Pinot Gris (Stelvin) Ripe and exotic with a hint of honeyed sweetness with restraint and finesse. Fine citric and stone fruit flavours with hints of smoke and ample acidity. Richly textured, yet fresh and vibrant. 13.8% Alc/Vol; 2.2 g/l RS; 7.3 g/l TA.
2012 Gewurztraminer (Stelvin) A fine and fresh and delicately perfumed Gewurztraminer with restraint and lovely fine acidity buffering its richness. Fine, elegant and restrained.
2016 Kientzler Riesling Ribeauvillé‘Sourced from a selection massale on shell limestone, the 2016 Muehlforst Riesling opens very pure and highly aromatic on the nose, but also precise and mineral, with chalky flavors. This is a very tight and salty Riesling that is dry, but intense, with a certain creaminess in the finish. The tannins are fine and the wine develops good length and grip. Drink 2019-2025.’ 90+ points, Ian D’Agata, Vinous, April 2018.
2016 Kientzler Riesling Muhlforst‘Sourced from a selection massale on shell limestone, the 2016 Muehlforst Riesling opens very pure and highly aromatic on the nose, but also precise and mineral, with chalky flavors. This is a very tight and salty Riesling that is dry, but intense, with a certain creaminess in the finish. The tannins are fine and the wine develops good length and grip. Drink 2020-2030.’90 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2016 Kientzler Gewürztraminer Haguenau‘From deep clay soils, the 2016 Gewurztraminer Haguenau offers an intense and aromatic bouquet of tropical fruits along with earthy/stony and even smoky aromas. Full-bodied, intense and rich, with a tight structure, fine tannins and well-integrated sweetness, this is a clear, enormously salty and tension-filled Gewurz with grip, elegance and power. It should age very well over a decade, or maybe two, but it should be cellared for another three to five years first. Drink 2021-2032.’91 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2016 Kientzler Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg‘The 2016 Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg opens with a beautiful nose that combines precise, bright Riesling flavors with the cool flavors of the marly, east-facing Osterberg terroir. The acidity is fresh and piquant, really prominent but well integrated into the mineral texture of this pure and classic Riesling. There is great grip and precision here. The finish is pure and salty, but it also shows firm white stone fruit aromas and a stimulating phenolic grip. This is a cool-climate classic from a classic Alsatian terroir defined as a mixture of marl, limestone and sandstone. Highly recommended. Tasted at the domaine in April, just one week after the bottling. Drink 2018-2035.’93 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2016 Kientzler Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé‘The 2016 Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé is still pretty reductive and shows a prominent sulphur note on the nose at this early stage. Full-bodied, fresh and mineral, with ripe fruit and good balance, this is a firmly structured wine with grip, tension and great aging potential. Like always at Kientzler, the wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation. The addition of sulfur is around 90 milligrams, so readers have to be patient with this Kirchberg. Tasted at the domaine in April, just one week after the bottling. Drink 2025-2040.’92+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2016 Kientzler Riesling Grand Cru Schoenenbourg‘The 2016 Riesling Grand Cru Schoenenbourg is the sixth vintage Kientzler produced here. The wine opens discreet but fine and with some smoky, flinty aromas. Very pure and mineral on the palate, this is a very aromatic but clear, intense, very fine and densely textured Riesling from a south-facing but cool terroir that produces fascinating Rieslings with some exotic flavors. Drink 2018-2040.’92+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2016 Kientzler Pinot Gris Grand Cru Geisberg‘The 2016 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Geisberg is the first vintage produced in this Riesling-dominated cru since 2012. Coming from a tiny plot of 0.6 acres (which gave just 400 bottles in 2016) the wine opens very clear, precise and fresh on the nose, with some ripe tropical fruit aromas and very nice concentration. Although made with 50% or more of "perfect botrytis grapes," this is a pale, round, piquant and lush wine with remarkable finesse, elegant texture and a stimulatingly salty finish. The wine finished fermentation in the medium-sweet corridor, but the mineral grip and salinity lift this full-bodied Geisberg Pinot into stunning heights. Excellent! Drink 2020-2035.’92 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2016 Kientzler Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Osterberg‘The 2016 Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Osterberg opens very clear, bright and elegant on the nose, with precise fruit and a lovely mineral freshness. On the palate this is a pretty finessed, linear and almost light Gewurz Osterberg with a highly delicate architecture. It finishes pure and mineral, with great definition and salinity that make this an outstanding aromatic wine of great elegance and subtle complexity. Medium-sweet in taste, but enormously piquant and mineral, this is a great and super elegant Gewurz with food. Highly recommended! Drink 2020-2030.’93 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2015 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg‘The 2015 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg opens with an aromatic and intense bouquet of ripe yellow apples and some smoky/dusty flavors. Fresh and piquant on the palate, this is a rich and elegant, seriously structured Riesling with a very long and complex, enormously salty finish. I'd keep the 2015 at least for six or seven years before I pull the cork. The finish is enormously complex and long. Pure and fresh, really stunning for 2015. To Eric Kientzler, this is the best of the warm vintage of the past 10 years. Drink 2021-2040’93+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2015 Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg From an east facing vineyard located just above the great Geisberg site. '..the Osterberg is more classic and flinty, requiring longer in bottle.' Tom Stevenson – The Wines of Alsace.
2015 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé‘The 2015 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauville has a clear, deep and slightly smoky nose of crushed stones intermixed with lemon flavors. Full-bodied, fresh and complex, this cru is not fully dry, but elegant, well structured and finessed with good balance. The finish is clear, fresh and pretty aromatic. I'd keep the wine in the cellar for two or three years to drink more Kirchberg and less Pinot. Drink 2020-2028.’91 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2015 Muscat Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé‘The 2015 Muscat Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé is based on 60-year-old Muscat Ottonel and opens deep, pure and spicy/mineral on the aromatic nose. Mouth-filling, piquant and fresh, this is a full-bodied, gorgeously aromatic and precise Muscat with salt, grip and tension. The acidity is really remarkable and the finish stimulatingly salty. Drink 2018-2030.’92 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2012 Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg(Stelvin)
2011 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg magnum - very limited
2010 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg magnum - very limited
2008 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg - very limited From a steep rocky vineyard behind the village of Ribeauville comes this stunning wine, one of the most classic and long-lived dry Rieslings in Alsace.
2007 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg - very limited
2004 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg Cuvee Exceptionelle - very limited This remarkable wine sports residual sugar of about 20 gms/ltr to balance its superb acidity and fruit intensity. This will cellar magnificently.