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It is the most approachable wine of Alsace and also the most consistent year in year out. Not far in style from an unoaked Chardonnay such as a Macon or Chablis.
In the vineyard : Harvested in the first days of harvest, exclusively by hand, from clay and limestone vineyards in a dozen of the most favoured localities in and around Riquewihr.
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 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.
Alcohol level (% vol.) : 13.2
Age of vines : 25 years
Yields : 60 hl/ha
Residual Sugar (g/l) : 3.5
pH : 3.19
Acidity (g/l) : 5.8
The vintage :
2015 will go down as an exceptional vintage year for the whole of France. After one of the hottest and driest summers since 2003 and a harvest quality to rivals those of the great "solar" vintages of 1945, 1976, 1989 and 2009, the Alsace region will be no exception.
The year started with quite normal weather conditions, a total of 6 days below freezing (up to -6°C) during the winter. The spring was, however, pleasant and sunny. The vines budded slightly later than usual, around the 13 April, and blossomed during the first weeks of June, indicating an early vintage. This was normal considering the low rain fall, a record of only 30mm between 4 May and 24 July! These dry conditions were compounded by a heatwave that lasted for almost the whole of July.
By the time the grapes started to ripen, the vines were suffering, especially in the more well-drained soils with limited reserves of water. Riquewihr and its loamy soil seemed to have escaped the worst of this and the heavy rain that came in mid-August saved the harvest just in time.
We started grape-picking on the 10 September, three days later than the rest of the Alsace, and the first grapes to arrive in the winery gave every indication of an exceptional vintage year. The grapes were perfectly healthy and ripe; their supple acidity was a taste of great wine to come. The Pinots, especially the magnificent Pinot Noir, of this great "solar" year were highly appreciated.
Only one day of rain disrupted the harvest, which was already well underway at the time.
The rapid acceleration of the ripening during the third week and a nice outbreak of botrytis meant the most part of our Riesling de Schoenenbourg were harvested late, and once again the Engelkritt (Angels' Vine) won us not one but two of the "Sélection de Grains Nobles" awards for this grape variety, the most concentrated being at a potential of 23°!