Klevener de Heiligenstein
Believe it or not, this is the first time I have ever come across this rare wine from Alsace. Thanks to my friend, Michel Bernard, a keen student of wine curiosities, at whose dinner party I had the fortune to drink this wine to accompany a magnificent parcel of salmon baked in filo pastry. Rich and mellow, it had enough body to embrace the chunky texture of the salmon and enough persistence on the palate to fulfill one’s vinous umani.
Not to be confused with the Klevner grape, Klevener de Heiligenstein is a designated type of Alsace wine made from the Savagnin Rose grape. It is a cousin of the Traminer and the Gewürztraminer but less spicy. The wine is made from grapes grown in five Alsace villages, Bourgheim, Gertwiller, Goxwiller, Heiligenstein and Obernai, and represents a designated area within the general Alsace AOC appellation. The grapes look very similar to Gewürztraminer grapes. Whilst most Alsace wines are designated by grape variety, this is actually a geographical indication just to confuse!
The producer of this wine is Zeyssolff, a small family estate in the centre of Gertwiller, so you may have to go locally to find it, which perhaps is not a bad idea since Alsace is such a great place to visit. (Just click on the village links above to get an idea as to how beautiful the area is – and there are great wines to find also). I don’t think they export but you could find out by contacting
156 route de Strasbourg F-67140 Gertwiller Tél : 03.88.08.90.08 Fax : 03.88.08.91.60
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Incidentally, Michel Bernard runs a wine tasting club at UCL London, where participants bring along an interesting or unusual bottle for all to taste and discuss. If you are interested in joining, you can contact Michel at email@example.com for more information.