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Dopff & Irion Grand Cru Riesling 'Vendages Tardives'

Country / Region: France
Vineyard: Dopff & Irion
Varietal: Riesling
Vintage: 2007

Late Harvest Riesling from Schoenenbourg Grand Cru in Alsace

Grape harvest in the French region of Alsace starts in early September, or as early as the end of August for the sparkling wines.  "Vendage Tardive" is a term for French wine that translates to 'Late Harvest' - where the fruit is left on the vines for weeks after normal harvest, the last fruit picked as late as mid-November in exceptional circumstances.  The fruit gets a high level of natural sweetness, and the acid levels drop.  

Late harvest is a risky business though, with the chance of adverse weather spoiling the crop, rain at the wrong time can cause rot, thin watery wines, or upset the acid balance... and there are always those pesky wild boars that would love nothing better than a mouthful of over-ripe Riesling grapes.  

The Schoenenbourg Grand Cru sits on the steep Northern slopes above the postcard-perfect town of Riquewihr, a slightly warmer area than surrounding area meaning more reliable conditions to produce late harvest fruit.   

"Vendages Tardives" (note the plural) denotes that multiple picking sessions selecting only the fruit at peak ripeness.  Quality and ripeness of 'VT' fruit in Alsace is higher than that of Spatlese wines in Germany, closer in classification to the sought-after Auslese though the higher sweetness doesn't always mean an ultra-sweet wine, sometimes producing exceptional dry wines.  

Green-gold in colour, intense nose of honeydew melon, lemon curd, lychee and mango.  Mouthwateringly lucious and rich palate weight with tangy guava, grapefruit drizzled with honey, finishing surprisingly dry with a long lingering mineral tanginess.  Delicious!!

Note- full size 750ml bottle.

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