Hugel Vendage Tardive Riesling 2009 375ml
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Wine AdvocateRepresenting the first of its genre since 2001, the Hugel 2009 Riesling Vendange Tardive smells effusively of pink grapefruit and blood orange, quince and Bosc pear. Polished and subtly creamy yet vivacious and buoyant, it represents a case of subtle desiccation and only a modest blush of botrytis ennobling yet also energizing the resultant wine. There was no botrytis whatsoever in the dry Schoenenbourg, says Marc Hugel, and this vintage-transcendent success was possible only in a little-known, granite-based site called Engelsreben that trapped enough moisture to engender some noble rot. I can only confirm Marc Hugel's impression that we have a vendange tardive that behaves in many respects more like the concentration and elevation of a Jubilee Riesling rather than being conspicuously botrytized. You hardly notice its high residual sugar, either, while being captivated by a long, luscious finish, in which emerge mineral nuances that contribute a dynamic, interactive counterpoint with the wine's intense fruit. I suspect that this will be worth following for a good quarter century.