Domaine Geschickt is an exciting producer from Ammerschwihr in Alsace just north of Colmar who have been farming biodynamically since 1998. The small village of Ammerschwihr lies in a beautiful valley and the town is surrounded by grape vines.
They produce some classic wines including some incredible Grand Cru wines (from Kaefferkopf and Wineck-Schlossberg) as well as more modern styles of wine including a mind-blowing pet nat and some skin contact wines.
The photo above was taken in one of their vineyards. Notice the rolled grass which is allowed to grow then is rolled with a special machine so that it provides nutrients back into the soil.
The wines that we have are listed below.
Geschickt Vin d’Alsace Obi Wine Pet Nat 2019
This wine has everything! It is not sweet, the bead is fine, the acidity adds to the taste sensation without dominating and it lingers for a long time. It is made from Pinot Auxerrois, Riesling and Muscat d’Alsace. There are no added sulphites in this wine and the alcohol level is an appealing 12.5%.
And, of course, the best thing is that it is a pet nat. We have been importing pet nats for a long time and they have become incredibly popular in Australia. This one will not disappoint. It is fresh, it is vibrant, it is dry, it has lots of energy, it has fine bubbles and it is very, very tasty.
Geschickt Cremant d’Alsace Double Zero 2016
A cremant sparkling wine which is called double zero because, as Aurelie Fayolle explained to us it has zero sulphites and zero added sugar (dosage). It is an “assemblage” of four grape varieties, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois and Riesling. The grapes were picked by hand then pressed slowly in a pneumatic press.
The first fermentation was entirely with natural yeasts. The wine was then bottled for the second fermentation (where some juice from 2017 was added to kick off the fermentation in the bottle) and the wine was matured “sur latte” to gain extra complexity. No sulphites or sugar have been added to this wine at any time.
Geschickt Vin de France W.S. Riesling Pet-Nat 2017
This is an amazing pet’nat but we only bought a small quantity. It is made from grapes that grow on a south-facing granitic slope in the famous Wineck-Schlossberg Grand Cru vineyard. The wine was fermented naturally and was bottled before the fermentation finished to ensure that the bubbles would be created. It was also not disgorged so some of the dead yeasts remain in the bottle to add texture to the wine. The bubbles are incredibly fine and not at all aggressive.
This is a fine example of an elegant pet’nat that can be enjoyed for a few years, we suspect.
RRP: $66 (SOLD OUT)
Geschickt Vin d’Alsace ‘Phenix’ Pinot Gris 2019
This is a skin contact (orange) wine made from Pinot Gris and a small amount of Gewurztraminer from the Kaefferkopf Grand Cru vineyard.
Like the maceration Pinot Gris we import from Jean Ginglinger this one is a deep pinky orange colour. The maceration continued for one month which has nicely developed the colour and the tannin structure in this wine. It was matured in steel tanks.
One extra bonus of maceration white wines (which are also called skin contact wines or orange wines) is that they match beautifully with a wide range of foods. In fact, you can drink them right through a meal.
It will improve and soften over two or three days after opening making it a great wine for restaurants to pour by the glass. An additional feature of this bottle is that it has a glass stopper therefore not corked bottles!
Geschickt Vin d’Alsace Riesling 2017
This is a stunning Riesling of wonderful length and minerality made from grapes picked from various parcels near the villages of Birgele, Holderbaum and Prediger.
The vines have been managed biodynamically since 1998 and hence have become stronger and more resilient as a result.
The wine has gained complexity from fourteen months in foudre and old barriques. It has also developed a beautiful texture in the mouth.
It was bottled without filtration, fining or the addition of sulphites.
One thing we like about this delicious wine is that it is quite dry. In Alsace there is a general preference for wines with some (or a lot) of residual sugar, however Geschickt prefer their wines on the drier side and so do we.
Geschickt Vin d’Alsace Pino 2017
This is a blend of two Pinot grape varieties, namely Pinot Gris and Pinot Auxerrois with some of the Pinot Gris coming from the amazing Grand Cru Kaefferkopf vineyard for added complexity.
The vines are planted in complex terroir in several plots around Ammerschwihr which sees soils made from alluvial clay, marl, granite and limestone. This is fortunate because Pinot Auxerrois has a particular affinity for limestone and when grown in limestone also adds weight to a blend. Pinot Auxerrois is also known simply as Auxerrois and is a child of the grapes varieties Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc and is native to the Alsace and nearby Lorraine and Mosel.
The wine is blended and put in old wooden foudres to mature for 18 months. The wine is not fined or filtered and one gram of sulphites was added.
The wine is bottled with a DIAM closure.
Geschickt Grand Cru Kaefferkopf Riesling 2016
A Riesling hand-harvested from the complex terroir of the Grand Cru Kaefferkopf vineyard where the vines are old and the yield is very low. It was aged for 14 months in foudre and old barriques.
This eastern-facing vineyard which sits at about 300 metres above sea level is very famous and thoroughly deserves the Grand Cru status. The soils are derived from both granite and limestone which are responsible for the complex minerality found in wines made from these vines.
Geschickt has two Grand Cru parcels in Kaefferkopf. The first is le Purberg where the soil is limestone and clay and the second is le Pfulben which sees granite rocks protruding from fairly fine siltstone.
The Riesling is complex, generous and quite intense. The alcohol is fairly high at 15% but it is wonderfully balanced because it has wonderful acidity which gives the wine a freshness which is very appealing. This is a very serious yet approachable wine which you will be able to enjoy for many years.
Geschickt AOC Alsace Grand Cru Kaefferkopf Maceration Gewürztraminer
Gewürztraminer is an interesting grape that has become even more interesting with the advent of macerated (skin contact) wines. In the case of this grape variety we avoid the use of the term ‘orange’ as the macerated juice actually turns a bright pink!
The grape is related to Savagnin but not directly even though it is roughly translated as ‘spicy traminer) and the Traminer grape variety is the same as Savagnin. Savagnin has a mutated form called Savagnin Rose (many other white grapes have a Rose mutation) and Gewürztraminer is a variant of Savagnin Rose.
This an absolutely delicious wine which derives power and elegance from the complex limestone and granite soils in this magnificent Grand Cru vineyard.
It is highly unusual to see a Grand Cru wine that has undergone skin maceration in Alsace, but this one definitely shows the potential for such wines. It will last for a long time and will pair with a wide range of foods.
RRP: $69 for 2017, $72 for 2018
Geschickt Vin d’Alsace Pinot Noir
This beautiful Pinot Noir was made from grapes picked from their vineyards Soot and Hochstaden where the yields are very low. However, low yields often produce much better wines as fewer grapes are competing for the goodness being fed into the vines from the soil.
After a careful selection of grapes for ripeness the juice is macerated on skins for two weeks before pressing and then transfer to old wooden foudre where it matured for 14 months.
The wine is not fined or filtered and no sulphites are added at any stage. The bottle is closed with a DIAM closure and the alcohol level is a very balanced 13%
RRP: $50 for 2016, $49 for 2018
Geschickt Vin d’Alsace Grand Cru Kaefferkopf 2016
This beautiful wine combines three different grape varieties all of which were sourced from the Grand Cru Kaefferkopf vineyard. The grapes are Gewurztraminer (60%), Riesling (30%) and Pinot Gris (10%) all of which thrive on this highly regarded site.
This is an absolutely stunning wine which has gained complexity and tone from the five years it has been maturing. It is interesting to note that this wine actually clocks in at a high 15% alcohol, however when drinking it there is not a hint of this level. It is just SO balanced.
At a recent tasting we were delighted to see that some very savvy wine drinkers thought exactly the same as us about this very special Grand cru wine.
Geschickt Vin d’Alsace Cadavre Exquis
Cadavre Exquis, of which we have a tiny quantity, is a solera which began in 2015 and has been added to each year since.
It is in an old 26 hectolitre foudre from which a proportion is taken off each year and replaced with a new vintage.
This first draw, bottled at the end of 2019 contains the vintages 2015 through to 2018.
The grapes are all the pinots (basically the same wine as Le Pino – Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Auxerrois – which grow in limestone and granite soils. Only 1300 bottles were made in this first tirage.
And what about the “exquisite corpse”? This derives from a game that was played by the French Surrealist artists of the late 1920s and early 1930s. One person would write down one word on a piece of paper, fold it over to hide the word then pass it to the next person to add another word.
The first sentence they formed was “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau” which in English reads as “The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine”.
When the Geschickt family described how the wine was made to their artist friend STom500 (who also did the labels for Phenix, Le Pino their pet-nat) he immediately thought of the story of the surrealist game and said “Ah yes! like a cadavre exquis” (each vintage is a part of the work, without knowing what the next will make). And so the wine was named. In keeping with its inspiration STom500 asked three of his Alsace artist friends to each draw part without consulting with each other and then joined them together to form the beautiful label.
At a recent tasting everyone was blown away by the complexity of the wine. It opened up slowly but soon revealed gorgeous oxidative notes, complex, lifted fruit and incredible length. This is an amazing wine, but we only have a tiny amount available!