"Tasted as a sample (before the official approval of the AVA), the 2015 Riesling Schlossberg Vendange Tardives displays a very clear and elegant bouquet of super ripe, but healthy raisin flavors intermixed with flinty aromas. This VT is so clear and stimulating on the palate and reveals a great, great finesse and delicacy with finest minerals, grip and tension. The tension and grip in the finish is really remarkable and the length outstanding. This is one of the finest VT I can remember and it comes from one of the best grand crus of Alsace. The sweetness of 71 grams per liter is perfectly integrated, thanks to the prominent mineral flavors.
Catherine Faller proudly presented me the 2015s of Domaine Weinbach in the middle of December 2016, introducing the vintage as "outstanding for all our varieties." The yields, 35 hectoliters per hectare, were slightly lower than normal, but according to Catherine, the wines are "concentrated and harmonious, with pure fruit aromas, a beautiful freshness and a very persistent finish." After a pretty normal winter, bud burst was around April 15. A relatively warm spring with some heavy rainfalls in May lead to an early flowering in the first week of June.
At the beginning of July, a heatwave set in that lasted 40 days and didn't see any drops of rain. Temperatures climbed above 40 degrees Celsius, but the vines were obviously well adapted to the drought, at least they were able to ripen without interruption. Rain returned only in the end of August, but there wasn't much of it. The warm daily temperatures were followed by cool night temperatures, so that the grapes ripened fully and with very good acidity levels.
On September 8, the harvest started pretty early at Weinbach, with Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir ("color, concentration, tannins and flavors were unbelievable") picked at perfect weather conditions. A few millimeters of rain in the middle of September didn't have any consequences on the sanitary state of the grapes. The Rieslings of the Schlossberg were picked between September 22 and 28 with potential alcohol levels up to 14.8%, but with "mouthwatering acidity." The voluptuous Gewurztraminers, of which a Vendange Tardive was picked in the Furstentum on November 5, are remarkable in their elegance."