Riesling VENDANGE TARDIVE 2012

Great specialty for several generations of the Hugel family, who drafted the law on late harvest.
Wine with great power and longevity to taste religiously by itself during a special occasion.

Presentation

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These wines made from overripe grapes are picked well after the classic vintage and in the greatest years only. The action of noble rot (botrytis cinerea) gives them an almost unlimited ability to age. They are part of the elite of the greatest wines in France.
The vintage
12 days of bitter cold in February (-18°C), budburst early April, flowering spread over 3 weeks.
Damp early summer but superb August. Harvest began on 24 September. Superb grapes.
Patchy weather during part of the harvest then fine sunny intervals. Fine well-balanced classic wines, similar to 2011 but richer and with more depth, yet already accessible.
Hugel did not make any SGN in 2012.
In the vineyard
Produced from over-ripened grapes in a selection of the oldest plots of the Hugel estate in the heart of the grand cru Schoenenbourg. This fantastic historical terroir has been almost exclusively devoted to Riesling for centuries.
Keuper, marl, dolomite and gypsum, rich in fertilising agents, overlaid with fine layers of quaternary siliceous gravel, Vosges sandstone and Muschelkalk, with at its eastern extremity outcrops of Lias marl limestones.
Harvest date : 12 Oct. 2010 Potential alcohol : 15.0°
Winemaking
The grapes are taken in small tubs to the presses, which are filled by gravity, without any pumping or other mechanical intervention.
After pressing, the must is decanted for a few hours, then fermented in temperature-controlled barrels or vats (at 18 to 24°C). The wine is racked just once, before natural clarification during the course of the winter. The following spring, the wine is lightly filtered just before bottling, and the bottles are then aged extensively in our cellars until released for sale.
The whole production of this wine is closed with DIAM the cork without the risk of cork taint.
Varietals
Riesling : 100%
Technical specifications
Residual Sugar (g/l): 48 g/l
Acidity (g/l): 6.51 g/l
pH: 3.33
Age of vines: 40 ans
Yields : 35 hl/ha hL/ha
Alcohol level (% vol.): 12.32° % vol.

Tasting advices

Video
Tasting notes by Serge Dubs, World's Best Sommelier 1989
A sparkling which builds up a fine tension between the yellow, pale pistachio green, fresh pastel straw yellow, with a wonderful the depth and density of its soft and smooth legs.
The aroma is complex, concentrated, direct and well-stated with the wonderful expressiveness of its Riesling grape variety, there is a perfect hint of over-ripeness which hints at its fine complex and distinguished character. Fruity and floral, well-stated and pure.
Smooth and harmonious with a pleasant hint of refined freshness.
Grapefruit, citron, cardamom, white peach, lemon balm, bergamot, hawthorn, gooseberry, Szechuan pepper.
The palate is overwhelmed by its clear, transparent, alert and joyful long-lasting flavour, sophisticated and concentrated without overdoing it, very pleasantly harmonious, soft and tender with a full-flavoured, scented and aromatic after-taste.
Lightly over-ripe grapes picked at the perfect moment to maintain their Riesling character.
This is a great generous and full-bodied wine which will give its best even in its youth but would indeed merit being laid down for 8 to 70 years.
Best served in 1 to 15 years at 8°.
Enjoy it as an aperitif just for what it is, for the pleasure of the moment in its youth, or with a fruit based dessert: rhubarb, lemon pie, grapefruit; or a lemon-balm or lemongrass dessert.
After 4 to 5 years it will have gained in complexity and absorbed the sugar, and could be served with foie gras, freshwater fish in cream sauce, pike, sander or sea-fish such as turbot, red snapper, cheese: Stilton, Auvergne blue, Gorgonzola.
White meat, poultry, veal. Partridge, pheasant, pan-fried goose liver, pan-fried king prawns with citrus fruit.