Gewurztraminer VENDANGE TARDIVE 2007

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
In Alsace, the 2007 vintage was full of surprises, but pleasant surprises !
For those who love elegant, pure, well balanced wines, 2007 was a benchmark vintage. Having enjoyed the longest period of maturation for the past 25 years, the grapes were perfectly ripe and healthy.
On the Schoenenbourg, our best Riesling vineyards were harvested at an average ripeness of 13.8% potential, while on the Sporen, Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive easily reached 17.8%.
In Alsace, the amount of VT and SGN wines produced provides an excellent indication of the overall quality of any year, and so 2007 has all the makings of a great Alsace vintage.
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 Sporen made up of Lias clay-marl, decalcified on the surface, exceptionally rich in phosphoric acid
Date of harvest : 16 october 2007
Potential alcohol : 18°4
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.
Varietals
Gewurztraminer : 100%
Technical specifications
Residual Sugar (g/l): 96 g/l
Acidity (g/l): 5.06 g/l
pH: 3.95
Age of vines: 35 ans
Yields : 28 hl/ha hL/ha
Alcohol level (% vol.): 12.7° % vol.

Tasting advices

Video
Tasting notes by Serge Dubs, World's Best Sommelier 1989
It is well known that the Hugel family is the specialist for late-harvest Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles wines. The late Jean Hugel, their ardent defender, was at the origin of the regulations that protect their production so well. For more than a century, the family has acquired unique experience in wines obtained from over-ripe grapes, and I admire the regularity and the skill they display in the production of sweet and liqueur-like wines.

This Vendange Tardive 2007 is absolutely captivating, with fruit, perfume and aromas of lychee, mango, passion fruit, of flowers like rose, jasmine, peony, and some oriental spices, all soberly gathered together with great refinement. Sweet yet not cloying, irresistible, luscious and juicy yet not heavy, it tends to overpower your senses with delicacy and charm.

A wine to enjoy on its own, or with foie gras, blue cheeses and fruit tarts. It could be kept for 20 years, but it enchants me already.

16 June 2010

Reviews and Awards

98/100
"Hugel is the giant among producers of Vendange Tardive (literally, late harvest) wine. The best ones, such as this 2007 (sold in a 375 ml bottle), impress with their concentration, elegance and acidity rather than their sweetness. The sweetness is apparent, but is never the focus because of the brilliant balance of, in this case, a perfect storm of acidity, bitterness and sweetness. Those sensations come together and wine explodes on the palate. Yet it never overwhelms. It bombards you with waves of dried fruit flavors, spice, and a ying and yang of sweetness and bitterness that seems never ending. Try it with cheese, especially strong ones, or as dessert." [+]  , -
92/100
"Slightly viscous, yet still as light in texture as cotton candy thanks to the subtly woven, fresh acidity. Shows lovely flavors of blood orange and fresh nectarine, with a hint of sea salt and smoke underneath, followed by a lingering floral finish." [+]  , -

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