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Luxembourg wines assessed

by Tom Stevenson

Luxembourg's wine villages
The wine villages encompass all of Luxembourg's vineyards, and where appropriate one or more of the 50 officially recognised lieux-dits. Due to the varying usage of all three languages (Luxemburgish, German and French), spellings of some villages and lieux-dits can vary on the label and in literature. It is obvious that Luxembourg must clean up its labelling act, obliging everyone to use the same nomenclature.

Other lieux-dits are also used by many producers, which is another area to be tackled. There are only three possible solutions: increase the list of officially recognised lieux-dits; use some form of designation to discriminate between officially recognised lieux-dits and others; or restrict usage to the officially recognised lieux-dits. Whatever the choice, this should be closely integrated with the overhaul of Luxembourg's Marque National scheme (see above), as well as the current classification of the lieux-dits. The latter refers to a joint-project with the German Weather Institute that is identifying the best areas in each lieu-dit according to meteorological data such as rain, sunshine, heat etc. This is an infinitely better way of discerning which vineyards should be classified than the French system of trying to isolate individual terroir by geological homogeneity compared to the surrounding area within an historically established named site.

As the relatively recent classification of Alsace's grands crus illustrates, not only does the geological homogeneity fall by the wayside in the process, but so does the extent of the historically established named site, as neighbouring growers say "If his plot is going to be classified grand cru, why not mine?". And, of course, once they allow in any immediately abutting plot, its neighbours - previously separated by unclassified land - want in. Thus Grand Cru Brand in Turckheim became 57 hectares, whereas the original Brand was barely more than three! This would not happen in Luxembourg because meteorological data cannot be argued with. It should be possible to classify, for example, Grieveldange Fels Grieveldange Fels lieu dit, Grieveldange Fels grand cru and Grieveldange Fels premier grand cru. One thing is for sure: the lieux-dits are Luxembourg's best-kept secret, since they represent the richest source of the country's finest, most expressive wines.

Wine ratings
The wines below are listed alphabetically under their star groupings, the definition for each being. In most cases, the wines are best enjoyed as young, fresh and vital as possible. Riesling is the only general exception, as they will normally repay an additional one to three year's bottle development. I have included very few Vendange Tardive, Vin de Glace or Vin de Paille because I tasted just half-a-dozen, and it would be unrealistic to single out any wines from such a small and thus unrepresentative sampling, but it's safe to assume that more than a few would have achieved 4-star ratings.

Sometimes I use a notebook computer, but these tasting notes were written on the hoof, into my tasting book, and I do not have the time type all of them up. Sorry. I have written up the top five 4-star rated wines, but the notes for many of the others, particularly the 1-star and 2-star wines, would be very similar: with just two soil types, relatively low levels of ripeness, and competent winemaking in general, what else could you expect?

wine-searcher lists no UK stockist of Luxembourg wines at present, but click here to see a list of all Luxembourg stockists who will deliver world-wide.



World class wine. Stands up to fine wines produced in classic areas

Charles Decker Pinot Gris Vin de Glace 2001 Remerschen Rodenberg
O, there's only one Vin de Glace that I really had to mention! This deliciously rich wine stands out from the other vin de glace, vin de paille and vendange tardive due to its beautiful balance, and succulent sweetness. Too many others are either spoilt by noticeably high VA, have a bitter finish, or simply lack the balance required for a long, focused finish. (€32)

Domaine Alice Hartmann Riesling *** 2002 Wormeldange Koeppchen
Hartmann usually has richer, riper fruit than other Luxembourg Rieslings, and this was the most intense of Alice Hartmann's 2002s, with petrolly notes already developing. (€12)

Domaine Alice Hartmann Riesling 1999 Wormeldange Koeppchen
Beautifully developed Riesling fruit, with classy petrol aromas, and graceful length. The best bargain on Alice Hartmann's price list. (€7.84)

Domaine Alice Hartmann Brut NV Crémant de Luxembourg
I could criticise this for being too big and too oaky, but it gets my begrudging respect for being the most individual Crémant de Luxembourg I've ever come across. Chock-a-block full of flavour and character, perhaps at the expense of finesse, I'm glad that someone is going out on a limb, but would not like to see too many others follow such an idiosyncratic route. It's a pity that none of the Gales crémant did not make four stars, as that is the style to emulate, and two-star is not only a realistic maximum level in general for Crémant de Luxembourg, it is also the equivalent average quality of Crémant d'Alsace, and a darn sight superior to most other French crémant appellations. Hartmann Brut is a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, and 15% Riesling. (€13.80)

R. Kohll-Leuck Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Kelterberg
Very rich without being sweet or - despite its 13.5%ABV - too alcoholic. Exceptionally elegant. (€10)



Richer still, and more expressive

Charles Decker Gewürztraminer 2002 Remerschen Kreitzberg

Charles Decker Muscat Ottonel 1997 Remerschen Kreitzberg

Domaine Alice Hartmann Riesling 2001 Les Terrasses de la Koeppchen

Domaine et Tradition 2002 Pinot Blanc Domaine Gales

Domaine et Tradition 2002 Pinot Gris Vin de Glace Domaine Gales

Domaine et Tradition 2002 Riesling Vin de Glace Domaine Gales

Gales Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Bech-Macher Rëtschelt

Laurent & Benoît Kox Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Schwebsange Kolteschberg

Laurent & Benoît Kox Riesling 2002 Stadtbredimus Dieffert

Pundel-Hoffeld Riesling Cuvée Spéciale Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Elterberg

Schmit-Fohl Gewürztraminer 2002 Ahn Goellebour

Schmit-Fohl Pinot Gris 2002 Ahn Hohfels

Schmit-Fohl Pinot Gris 2002 Ahn Goellebour

Schumacher-Lethal Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Heiligenhäuschen

Steinmetz-Jungers Riesling 2002 Grevenmacher Fels

Vinsmoselle Série Limitée Art 2002 Riesling Grand Premier Cru Stadtbredimus Fels

Vinsmoselle Caves de Grevenmacher 2002 Riesling Grand Premier Cru Mertert Herrenberg



Noticeably richer, without detracting from freshness and crispness

A. Gloden & Fils Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Foulschette

Beck-Frank Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Fels fût 47

Cep d'Or Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Stadtbredimus Goldberg

Cep d'Or Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Stadtbredimus Primerberg

Cep d'Or Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Stadtbredimus Primerberg Signature Terroir et Cépage

Cep d'Or Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2001 Stadtbredimus Fels Signature Terroir et Cépage

Domaine Alice Hartmann Riesling 2002 Wormeldange Koeppchen

Domaine Alice Hartmann Riesling 2001 Wormeldange Koeppchen

Domaine et Tradition 2002 Auxerrois Koeppchen Aly Duhr

Domaine et Tradition 2002 Riesling Aly Duhr

Domaine et Tradition Gewurztraminer 2002 Domaine Mathis Bastian

Gales Heritage NV Crémant de Luxembourg

Gales Jubilée NV Crémant de Luxembourg

Gales Cuvée Premier Rosé NV Crémant de Luxembourg

Gales Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wellenstein Kurschells

Häremillen Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Weinbour

Häremillen Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Mertert Herrenberg

Häremillen Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Nussbaum

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Pinot Gris "Arômes et Couleurs" Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Ongkâf

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Hohfels

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Pinot Gris Cuvée Personnelle Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Heiligenhäuschen

Jean Leuck-Thull Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Ehnerberg

Krier Frères Riesling Supreme Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remerschen-Jongeberg

Krier Frères Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remich-Primerberg Domaine Privé de la Maison

Krier Welbes Pinot Gris 2002 Bech-Kleinmacher Naumberg

Krier-Bisenius Grand Premier Cru 2002 Goldberg

Mathes Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Mohrberg

Mathes Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Woûsselt

Mathis Bastian Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Coteau de Remich

Mathis Bastian Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remich Primerberg

Max-Lahr et Fils Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Göllebour

Max-Lahr et Fils Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Heiligenh.

Pundel-Hoffeld Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Alwengert

Pundel-Hoffeld Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Gëllebour

Pundel-Hoffeld Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2001 Machtum Widdem

R. Kohll-Leuck Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Ehnerberg

R. Kohll-Leuck Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Rousemen

R. Kohll-Leuck Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wousselt

Schmit-Fohl Pinot Gris 2002 Wormeldange Wäibour

Schram & Fils Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Kurschels A.C.

Schram & Fils Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Falkenberg A.C.

Schumacher-Lethal Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Koeppchen

St. Remy Desom Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remicher Primerberg

St. Remy Desom Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Wousselt

Steinmetz-Jungers Pinot Noir 2002 Ahner Vogelsang blanc de noirs

Vinsmoselle Série Limitée Art 2002 Riesling Grand Premier Cru Wellenstein Kurschels

Vinsmoselle Caves de Wormeldange 2002 Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru Wormeldange Mohrberg

Vinsmoselle Caves de Wormeldange 2002 Riesling Grand Premier Cru Wormeldange Wousselt

Vinsmoselle Caves de Stadtbredimus Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Stadtbredimus Primerberg

Vinsmoselle Caves de Stadtbredimus Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Stadtbredimus Dieffert

Vinsmoselle Caves de Greiveldange Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Greiveldange Dieffert

Vinsmoselle Caves de Remerschen Riesling 2002 Grand Premier Cru Wintrange Felsberg

Vinsmoselle Caves de Remerschen Pinot Gris 2002 Schengen Markusberg



Stands out from the crowd for extra freshness and sharper focus

A. Gloden & Fils Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Schengen Fels

A. Gloden & Fils Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Markusberg

Aly Duhr Rivaner Sélection 2002 Hohfels

Beck-Frank Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Primerberg fût 29

Beck-Frank Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Primerberg

Cep d'Or Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Stadtbredimus Primerberg

Cep d'Or Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Ongkâf

Charles Decker Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remerschen Kreitzberg

Charles Decker Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2001 Remerschen Kreitzberg

Charles Decker Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remerschen Kreitzberg

Charles Decker Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remerschen Rodenberg

Charles Decker Muscat Ottonel 2001 Remerschen Kreitzberg

Domaine et Tradition 2001 Riesling Domaine Gales

Domaine et Tradition 2002 Auxerrois Domaine Gales

Domaine et Tradition Riesling 2002 Domaine Mathis Bastian

Domaine et Tradition Pinot Blanc 2002 Domaine Gales

Domaine Clos des Rochers Pinot Gris 2002 Ahn Palmberg

Fédération Viticole Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Grevenmacher Pietert

Fédération Viticole Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Péiteschwéngert

Fédération Viticole Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2001 Wormeldange Péiteschwéngert

Gales Chardonnay Grand Premier Cru 2002 Coteaux de Stadtbredimus

Gales Pinot Gris 2002 Remich Primerberg

Gales Pinot Gris 2002 Wellenstein Foulschette

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Hohfels

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Elterberg

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Ongkâf

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Riesling "Arômes et Couleurs" Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Ongkâf

Jean Schlink-Hoffeld Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Köppchen

Jean Linden-Heinisch Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Ehnerberg

Jean Linden-Heinisch Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Ehnen Mesteschberg

Jean Leuck-Thull Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Konvelt

Krier Frères Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remich-Hôpertsbour

Krier Welbes Auxerrois 2001 Wellenstein Kurschels

Krier Welbes Riesling 2002 Wellenstein Kurschels

Krier-Bisenius Riesling 2001 Kourschels

Krier-Bisenius Gewurztraminer 2002 Prestige du Domaine

Ley-Schartz Auxerrois 2002 fût 2 Ahner Gëllebuer

M. Kohll-Reuland Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Ehnen Kelterberg

M. Kohll-Reuland Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Heiligenhäuschen

Mathes Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Mohrberg

Mathes Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Heiligenhäuschen

Mathis Bastian Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wellenstein Foulschette

Max-Lahr et Fils Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Vogelsang

Max-Lahr et Fils Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Göllebour

Max-Lahr et Fils Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Palmberg

Nic Duhr Riesling Premier Cru 2002

Pundel-Hoffeld Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Grevenmacher Leitschberg

Pundel-Hoffeld Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Gëllebour

Pundel-Hoffeld Gewürztraminer Premier Cru 2002 Machtum Gëllebour

Pundel-Sibenaler Fernand Riesling Elterberg 2002

Schmit-Fohl Riesling 2002 Ahn Vogelsang

Schram & Fils Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Foulschette A.C.

Schram & Fils Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2001 Naumberg A.C.

Schumacher-Knepper Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2000 *** Prowein

Schumacher-Knepper Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2001 ** Prowein

Schumacher-Lethal Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Coteau de Wormeldange

St. Remy Desom Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Remicher Primerberg

St. Remy Desom Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru 2002 Wormeldange Mohrberg

Steinmetz-Jungers Pinot Gris 2002 Ahner Goellebour

Steinmetz-Jungers Riesling 2002 Wormeldange Koeppchen les terrasses de la Koeppchen

Stronck-Pinnel Riesling 2002 Hëtt

Stronck-Pinnel Riesling 2002 Sélection du Domaine

Vinsmoselle Série Limitée Art 2002 Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru Remich Hôpertsbour

Vinsmoselle Série Limitée Art 2002 Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru Schengen Markusberg

Vinsmoselle Série Limitée Art 2002 Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru Wellenstein Foulschette

Vinsmoselle Caves de Grevenmacher 2002 Pinot Gris Grand Premier Cru Machtum Goellebour

Vinsmoselle Poll-Fabaire NV Crémants de Luxembourg Cuvée Art Collection

Vinsmoselle Caves de Stadtbredimus Riesling Grand Premier Cru 2002 Stadtbredimus Dieffert

Vinsmoselle Caves de Greiveldange Auxerrois Grand Premier Cru 2002 Greiveldange Herrenberg

Vinsmoselle Caves de Greiveldange Pinot Blanc Grand Premier Cru 2002 Greiveldange Primerberg

Vinsmoselle Caves de Wellenstein Riesling 2002 Grand Premier Cru Schwebsange Kolteschberg

Vinsmoselle Caves de Wellenstein Pinot Gris 2002 Grand Premier Cru Bech-Kleinmacher Naumberg

Vinsmoselle Caves de Remerschen Pinot Blanc 2002 Grand Premier Cru Coteaux de Schengen

wine-searcher lists no UK stockist of Luxembourg wines at present, but click here to see a list of all Luxembourg stockists who will deliver world-wide.

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