Text Size:-+

Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss, Alsace: Current Releases

kreydenweiss.gifThe wines of Alsace are some of the most unique and distinctive in the world. They are also some of my favorites, not only because they are delicious, but also because they are made by some of France's most individualistic and headstrong vintners.

Alsace has long been a place apart, both from France and Germany, each of which have laid claim over the valleys and hills that lie west of the Rhine river which currently demarcates the border between the two nations. It's easy to characterize the region as a smooth and quirky blend between the two countries, but such a simple description belies the unique nature of the region, especially when it comes to its cuisine and its wine.

Alsace is the only region of France whose wines have historically been labeled with varietal names (though since 2001 they can now bear the names of their Grand Cru vineyards). Alsace was also the first wine region to adopt Biodynamic viticulture, the holistic growing and winemaking regimen based on the teachings of Rudolph Steiner. Since it's first Biodynamic vineyard in 1960, Alsace has been at the forefront of the movement. The region can now claim to be the most Biodynamic winegrowing region in France, with more than 37,000 acres of vineyards and more than 57 producers adhering to the strict and often bizarre methods of cultivation and winemaking.

Though I count myself as a skeptic of many of the processes and beliefs associated with Biodynamics, I must also admit that some of the greatest wines in the world (not to mention the greatest winemakers of the world) are Biodynamic. So there's clearly something to it.

Which is why when Alsatian vintner Marc Kreydenweiss talks about selecting vineyard sites based on their exceptional vibrations and constructing his wine cellars using the golden ratio and an "accumulator to charge the telluric and cosmic forces" I have to roll my eyes a bit, but then enthusiastically explore his range of distinctive wines that are made in small quantities and with the extreme care that characterizes Biodynamic methods.

Kreydenweiss took over the farming and winemaking of his family's domaine in 1970 at the tender age of 23. At the time, the 12 or so acres that his family owned were producing grapes for sale to neighbors, despite a history of winegrowing in the very same vineyards that stretched back nearly three centuries and included periods of great renown for the little hillsides of schist and sandstone. Kreydenweiss set out to recapture some of the glory of this history, and spent the next two decades acquiring additional neighboring vineyard plots and overhauling the domaine's winegrowing practices to focus on low yields and strictly organic farming. In 1991 Kreydenweiss converted the first of his vineyards to Biodynamic techniques, and the rest of the vineyards soon followed.

Today Kreydenweiss farms a little less than 30 acres of vineyards in Alsace, which include portions of three Grand Cru vineyards: Kastelberg, Moenchberg, and Weibelsberg. The domaine produces a number of small production wines from the typical grapes of the region.

Like most of the long time winemakers of Alsace, Kreydenweiss is fervently dedicated to his terroir. But unlike many of his colleagues, he harbors a desire that is hard to quench with the soils and the wines of his home: deep red wine.

Alsace grows a bit of Pinot Noir, of course, but it is almost exclusively a white wine region. So when Kreydenweiss wanted to make himself a red wine, he needed to look elsewhere. His quest for distinctive terroir eventually led him to the far south end of the Rhone valley, in an appellation called Costieres de Nimes. Here he found rich soils supporting old-vine Carignane, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Grenache, and a place to make red wines with the same passion as his whites. This review does not include these wines, but they are quite good, and are excellent values, to boot.

Only about 20% of the estate's small production levels reach the United States. I have tasted the domaine's wines each year for the past three years and found them quite consistently good. I often have a small complaint -- that they tend to lack enough acidity for my palate -- but the most recent vintages seem to have improved in this department. The wines below are some of the best I have ever had from the domaine.

Full disclosure: I received these wines as press samples.


2005 Marc Kreydenweiss "Wiebelsberg" Riesling Grand Cru, Alsace
Pale green gold in the glass, this wine has an amazing nose of star fruit, herbs, floral notes and unknown, exotic scents. In the mouth it is bright and beautiful, with nice acidity wrapped around flavors of apples and exotic fruits. Like some of the best Rieslings, it manages to be sweet without any trace of sugar, but also savory in some obscure respect. A forever finish makes this a wine to savor, quietly, alone or with friends that require little conversation. Score: around 9.5. Cost: $35. Where to buy?

2006 Marc Kreydenweiss "Kritt" Pinot Blanc, Alsace
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of honey and old parchment. In the mouth it offers a light sweetness (it is slightly off-dry) flavored like delicate honey, and aromas of white flowers that soar into a long finish. The wine has a soft character (just a hair light on acidity), but this cannot mar what is otherwise a lovely concoction. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $30. Where to buy?

2005 Marc Kreydenweiss Andlau Riesling, Alsace
A pale green gold color, this wine smells of honey poached pears. In the mouth it is gorgeous chalky and dry, with beautifully balanced flavors of honey, white flowers, and citrus zest. The long finish is mostly citrus dominated, and lovely to behold. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $22.Where to buy?

2005 Marc Kreydenweiss "Kritt" Pinot Blanc, Alsace
Pale green gold in color, this wine has a stony nose of apple and pear aromas. On the palate it is a little waxy in flavor, with a nice texture and a smoky quality that wraps around core flavors of unripe apples, and spiced pears. Like its brethren, the wine possesses a lovely finish, though perhaps less complexity. Score: around 9. Cost: $24. Where to buy?

2005 Marc Kreydenweiss "Clos Rebberg" Pinot Gris, Alsace
Light gold in color, this wine has a nose of chamomile, dried herbs, and yellow flowers. In the mouth it offers quite distinctive flavors of bee pollen, dandelions and honey. Well balanced with a lovely finish, the wine dances on the palate. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $32. Where to buy?

Comments (15)

James D. Graves wrote:
07.13.08 at 4:50 PM

Would you please define what exactly is "biodynamics" in relation to wine making, and grape growing? I have an idea what it is but I would really appreciate a professional definition...thanx....Jim

Alder wrote:
07.13.08 at 7:52 PM


The REAL answer to that question is a manual published by the Demeter Society which specifies all the actions, processes, and techniques that are required for a vineyard to be certified as Biodynamic (in the USA). If you have two hours take a read through them.

A shorter explanation might be as follows:

Biodynamics is an integrated, holistic approach to grape farming and winemaking that involves creating:

1. A self-maintaining ecosystem for the vineyard/farm, where all the products and elements required for farming are produced on site, and produced naturally.

2. A healthy, balanced soil base by virtue of the above, and through the elimination of all unnatural fertilizers, insecticides, etc.

3. The most "naturally made" wine possible through the use of natural yeasts, the lack of fining or filtration, and the elimination of nearly all chemical or mechanical interventions in the winemaking process, with the exception of added sulfur.

Unfortunately it also includes a whole lot of medieval pseudo-science mumbo jumbo about how all this stuff properly aligns and balances the energy of your vineyards in tune with the cosmos. The philosophy includes proscriptions about on which days certain activities can be undertaken due to the alignment of the planets and the moon, as well as various bizarre preparations that are supposed to help the vineyard -- a red deer bladder stuffed with yarrow, a cow horn stuffed with manure and quartz crystals, etc. etc.

Anyhow, that's an explanation from a non practitioner. I may have readers that actually practice biodynamic viticulture, and they can tell you what I've gotten wrong.


Cory wrote:
07.17.08 at 6:12 PM

Thanks for the excellent review. I had no idea Kreydenweiss even made white wine, but I will heartily agree that his reds are some of the best values going right now.

Meredith wrote:
10.18.14 at 12:02 AM

Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless
I'd figured I'd ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?

My site addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.

If you might be interested feel free to send me an email.
I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

10.18.14 at 12:07 AM

But when purchasing an remote control helicopter it can be
difficult to understand how it works and the difference between terminologies used to describe the machine.
Also, buying this product can make you learn how to assemble the helicopter model since it will be sent to the
customer on a kit form. Steven maintains the time management game review website at - a website devoted to strategy, simulation and time management games for the PC and Mac.

10.18.14 at 7:22 AM

I do not know if it's just me or if everybody
else encountering problems with your blog. It seems like some of the written text in your
content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback
and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my web browser because I've had this happen previously.
Appreciate it

10.18.14 at 9:48 AM

?he moving company ?s fo?nd t? offer storage services dealing
?ith household products andd commercial ?oods ?y way of t?eir all-embracing warehouse.
?n ? seriouys relationship, when ?ou have free time
you have to ?onsider spending time wit ?e? ?nd partaking in activities t??t she enjoys ass
well. ?hether ?o? are relocating to anothe? cointry ?f sikply
?ant to send ?ome items to another country, international movers ?re thdre t?

10.18.14 at 9:18 PM

"The Magic of Making Up" gives you a thorough step-by-step method to fix your broken relationship.
It does not just inform you what to accomplish; it holds
your hand and assists you get through it. That may
sound crazy simply because after all this really is just a book - but it is the truth.

There may be no other course on-line or maybe in bookstores that assist you to resolve your
romantic relationship with your ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend) which is remotely close to "The Magic of Making Up".

10.18.14 at 11:40 PM

Somebody essentially lend a hand to make severely posts I'd state.
This is the first time I frequented your website page and to
this point? I amazed with the research you made to make this particular publish
incredible. Great job!

10.19.14 at 12:28 AM

Get Cash for Surveys is actually a membership system that connects
you to a huge selection of corporations wanting to spend you for the viewpoint about their goods.
The program will direct you to signing as much as on the web businesses by way of emails and forms.
When you happen to be on their database the surveys start out coming for you by means of emails.

Tanja wrote:
10.19.14 at 8:24 AM

Hi to every body, it's my first go to see of this web site; this web site contains remarkable and actually fine stuff in favor of visitors.

m88bc wrote:
10.19.14 at 12:17 PM

Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quicxk
snout ouut and tell you I really emjoy reading your articles.
Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same
topics? Thanks!

10.19.14 at 1:11 PM

The Diabetes Protocol isn't a miracle strategy to diabetes.
It will call for total determination to achieve 100 % efficient end products.
Incredibly, the referrals of the procedure are really understandable and aren't by any kind of methods requiring.
You simply require complete inspiration, focus,
as well as willpower to anticipate ideal results.

Octavio wrote:
10.19.14 at 2:37 PM

I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really
nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site
to come back in the future. Many thanks

10.19.14 at 3:56 PM

I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can not
in finding your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.
Do you have any? Please permit mme recognise so that I could subscribe.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Big Shadow Come Explore The Essence of Wine with Me in Healdsburg: October 30th, 2014 Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014 Another Idiotic California Law Screws Wineries Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco Cool Beauty: Tasting the Wines of the Western Sonoma Coast Vinography Images: Shaggy Companions 2014 Pinot on the River Tasting: October 26, Healdsburg

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.