HISTORY OF DOMAINE: The first vineyards to form the Schleret domaine were acquired around the turn of the 20th century by the grandfather of Charles Schleret. The domaine was developed more intensely upon the ascension of Charles Schleret as "patron" in 1950. Ultimately, Monsieur Schleret accumulated 7 hectares of vineyards, all located exclusively within the confines of the town of Turckheim. Most of these holdings are more specifically situated in the highly regarded "Herrenweg" vineyard and the Grand Cru designated "Brand" vineyard. Unfortunately for us, Monsieur Schleret retired as “vigneron” after the 2007 harvest, despite being hale and hearty. We will continue to represent and import his wines as he has stocks of certain wines from recent and past vintages.
COMPOSITION OF DOMAINE: All classic varietals of Alsace are found in the Schleret vineyards: Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. The Herrenweg vineyard, south of Turckheim, is characterized by well-drained alluvial, silt and granite soil that lies on relatively level land where it benefits from exceptionally long hours of sunshine. The soil warms very quickly which leads to precocious growth and homogenous ripening.
Approximately 30% of the total production is composed of Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Average annual production was approximately 50,000 bottles. However, in a year like 1995 marked by low yields and late harvest wines, production dropped to as little as 25,000 bottles. Average harvest levels range from 40 to 60 hectoliters per hectare depending on varietal and vintage conditions. The plantings of Muscat are exclusively in old vines with an average age of 45 years. As we enter the final stages of our commercial relationship with Charles Schleret, we will be featuring the Riesling “Herrenweg” and the Gewurztraminer “Herrenweg”, the two most important cuvées of this stalwart, but soon-to-disappear, domaine.
METHOD OF VINIFICATION: The process of making great wine at Domaine Charles Schleret starts with a rigorous selection of planting sites to properly match cepage with terroir. At the time of harvest, grapes are destemmed, then crushed in the most delicate manner possible to achieve ultimate finesse. Fermentation is thermo-regulated and occurs in stainless steel tanks at low temperature to preserve maximum bouquet and varietal character. All wines are filtered gently and then bottled, normally in June and July of the year following harvest. In vintages where climatic conditions are favorable, Charles Schleret conducts late harvests of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris and, on rare occasion, Riesling. Schleret effects exquisitely precise renditions of each varietal that provide textbook insight into the classic character of each wine.