Tasting notes by Serge Dubs, World's Best Sommelier 1989 :
This wine has a youthful colour; lively and energetic, revealing an intense crystalline sparkle tinged with clear tones of green lime leaves and straw-yellow, with a light slivery shimmer and smooth, supple legs.
The wine has a wonderfully open and spontaneous bouquet, with an intensely complex and yet incredibly harmonious aroma. There are fruity notes of grapeseed from grapes that are perfectly ripe, as well as crisp apples, pink grapefruit, spring flowers, almond and cherry blossoms, wild moss, violets, cardamom, and lemongrass, finishing with a vibrant minerality reminiscent of limestone rocks and white truffles, evoking the unmistakeable presence of a unique and fertile landscape whose properties allow the Riesling grape to fully express its luxuriant character.
On the palate, this wine delivers a long, lingering passage of indulgent flavours.
This fine Riesling issues from Schoenenbourg's prized Grand Cru estate, and the SCHOELHAMMER embodies all the classic virtues that one expects from vineyards of this unparalleled character:
A true dry Riesling; distinguished, lavish, ample, full-bodied, juicy, remarkably well-balanced, of the finest quality and flavour with a dense, aromatic and complex finish. The bold and tenacious Riesling qualities, so characteristic of the soil?s unique minerality, linger on the palate delivering finesse and sophistication.
A grand vin worthy of the most elegant dining experience; perfect for drinking immediately or for cellar storage (15 - 20 years).
Serve chilled to 10°C; use fine, wide-mouthed glasses in order to fully appreciate the wine?s nuance and aromatic complexity.
Pairs perfectly with turbot, John Dory, sole, zander, pike, lobster, crayfish, crab, white meats, poultry, veal and partridge, as well asrilled and roasted meats.
A worthy compliment to the finest of culinary sauces, whether cream-based or à la nage.
Riesling SCHOELHAMMER 2008
As far back as family memories go, the Schoelhammer, at the heart of the historic Schoenenbourg vineyard which overlooks Riquewihr, has always been amongst our most favoured single vineyards. From 2007 we decided that the Riesling from this exceptional site, traditionally vinified apart, also merited to be bottled separately. Schoelhammer seeks to reveal the unique character of a dry, mineral Riesling from a marl-rich terroir, deep and suave in style, and which takes time to express itself fully.
Quick View : This dry Riesling was grown in the Famille Hugel's famous Schoelhammer plot. With great ageing potential, it comes from the finest vineyard slope of Riquewihr, historically known as Schoenenberg.
Its triassic clay-marl terroir is farmed organically so as to best reveal the complexity of its rich sub-soil.
After extended bottle ageing in the family's historic cellars in Riquewihr, today this fine dry Riesling has achieved its first stage of development.
Only 2534 bottles 750ml were produced, no half-bottles
The vintage : Climatic conditions were a carbon-copy of the excellent 2007 vintage. Budburst at the end of April was quite late, but May was warm and sunny so flowering began on 15th June and took more than a fortnight to complete.
July and August were particularly cool with hardly any rise in temperature, but in mid-September the Indian Summer arrived without a drop of rain. The sky stayed bright but temperatures were relatively cool.
As a result, the grapes ripened slowly but fully, perfectly healthy and with excellent acidity.
The 2008 Alsace vintage was already born great but may prove to be exceptional.
In the vineyard : Produced in the finest plot of the Hugel estate in the heart of the grand cru Schoenenbourg. Schoelhammer covers a mere 6 300 square metres (67 800 square feet), 30 rows of vines dedicated to Riesling and organically farmed. Schoelhammer's specific vines grow on Triassic Keuper marl soil from the secondary era (marine sediments, c.200 million years) with a 45% clay content, planted at an altitude of 300 metres, facing due south, on a slope that averages 25 degrees.
Harvest date : 28 October 2008 Potential alcohol : 12.5°
Winemaking : The grapes are taken in small tubs to the presse, which is 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 vats (at 18°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 wine : Download here the brochure about Schoelhammer
Pronounced "shell hammer" : the coat of arms combines the fossils found in the Schoelhammer soil together with the hammer, a tool used every day by Emile Hugel (1869-1950), master-cooper and winegrower like his father.
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