Daniel and Anita Wiederhirn are model family farmers. A couple that loves the soil and what nature brings, obviously pleased to see the results of the efforts on bottle.
Wiederhirn has first class terroirs and old vines. They own a typical and portfolio of vineyards, including the three Grands Crus Schoenenbourg and Sporen in Riquewihr and on Grands Crus Mandelberg in Mittlewihr. The vines on Schoenenbourg were planted in the 1920s!
The wines are consistent and of a very high standard. The style is full, sometimes with some residual sugar, but never flabby. No malo-lactic fermentation is permitted.
Wiederhirn avoids addition of sorbate, a common additive, since Daniel Wiederhirn himself gets a stomach pain from the preservative. Instead, Wiederhirn advocates slow and very careful filtering prior to bottling. The wines of Wiederhirn stay youthfully green, apparently forever, why is yet a mystery.
In 2005, I had the privilege to taste old and rare Pinot Gris wines in the historic 17th century cellars in Riquewihr. The 1989 Résérve Personelle was still very vital, as was the 1981. Both were gorgeous, the bouquet was smoky and complex, the taste full and fresh and some 30 g/liter of sugar was perfectly integrated in the long taste. Remarquable!
As the daughter is on an academic track, after a one-year stay at my own department at Lund University, the succession is uncertain.
Latest visit: 2005
Daniel and Anita Wiederhirn.
7, rue du Cheval close to the church in southern Riquewihr.
+33 (0)389 47 92 10
+33 (0)389 49 06 45 (fax)
Price range (2005)
Riesling Génerique €5.50
Riesling Schoenenbourg €9
Riesling Schoenenbourg VV €13
Fruit wines made for cellaring.
Warm, friendly and enthusiastic. No English.
Grands Crus: Mandelberg, Schoenenbourg, Sporen
Selected representative wines 2005
2002 Pinot Gris Réserve Personelle
Very typical aroma of smoke and Champignons de Paris, dried fruits and honey. Full, juicy, smoky taste with vibrant acidity.
Coming from an alluvial soil just above Kientzheim, this wine is quite "nervous". The aroma is straight forward, offering green apples and citrus, The taste is very pure, a bit one-dimensional but not the least heavy.
Top Range Riesling
2002 Riesling Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Vielle vignes
Huge, fruity aroma with loads of citrus and emerging minerality. The taste has typical grapefruit notes and the coarse structure that is a hallmark of young Schoenenbourg. The low yields of the 80 year old vines gives some sweetness that will be integrated after 7 years.
Most Exciting Wine
2002 Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Sporen
Complex, exotic, smoky and spicy aroma with great depth. Focused litchee taste, some sugar, but with a good backbone and without a sign of stickiness.