Why is this Wine so Yummy?
From the Hugel Family
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.
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
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.
The 2009 Vintage
Not only a fabulous vintage in Alsace but, just like in 1990, also a great vintage all over Europe.
2009 was an emotional vintage for us too, without the benevolent presence of “Uncle Johnny”, but with a strong symbol as the two young cousins, Jean Frédéric and Marc André, both born in 1989, worked together at their first harvest.
This was a rich but harmonious vintage, with record levels of ripeness, enabling us to produce a full range of wines including, for the first time since 2001, both Riesling VT and SGN.
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°
To the north of Riquewihr, the vineyards run along the south and south-east side of Schoenenbourg, between 265 and 380m in altitude, on a rather steep slope.
The grapes are taken in small tubs to the press, 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.
Total Acidity 7.3g/L pH 3.19 Alcohol 13.6%