Quick View :
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 wine :
Photos of bottles and labels, 3 definitions, max 300dpi
The vintage :
2003 was the earliest vintage in Alsace since 1893 !
It was a very unusual year that will long remain in our memory. Budburst was early, flowering begain at the end of May, summer was scorchingly hot and dry, and picking for the still wines began on 8 September. For young vines and for vines planted on lighter soils the crop was particularly small. Results vary widely from vineyard to vineyard, but in general it was a better year for clay-limestone soils.
Overall volume was 25% below average. The wines are rich and full, with low acidity levels, much like in 1947. A small quantity of late-harvest Vendange Tardive wines was produced, but no Sélection de Grains Nobles due to the absence of botrytis (noble rot). The wines should be quick to develop and ready to drink quite soon.
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
Harvest date: 9, 14 & 15 Oct. 2003 Potential alcohol: 17°4
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.
Alcohol level (% vol.) : 11.95°
Gewurztraminer : 100%