YOUNG WINE CLASSES
These are young wines, generally coming from the previous year’s harvest, produced in a way which accentuates the character of their particular grape variety and flavor. They are brought to market after ageing for at least 6 months. These wines are fruity and high-spirited, and while ready to drink immediately they also can be stored for 2 to 5 years.
For these wines, we use labels with a yellow color that suggest the fruity character.
Young wines made with grapes under organic specification and ECOCERT certified. If they are in line with the wines of the previous range, we notice that these wines have usually more freshness and length as the wines coming from conventional grapes. We call them “Nature’S” to suggest the organic matter and to remind the customers the origin; ‘S like ‘SIPP!
MATURE WINES FROM THE “RESERVE PERSONNELLE” RANGE
The mature wines represent selections from our best vintages, brought out after resting in our cellars for between 4 and 6 years. They are wines which have blossomed; the character of the grape variety has receded, leaving in the foreground the secondary aromas which only develop with ageing. They have reached a perfect stage of maturity, and are ready for enjoying immediately.
THE SINGLE VINEYARDS WINES
In Ribeauvillé, we have a much diversified geology which gives different single vineyard wines that have each their own character. We try to express the diversity of our soils in making separate cuvee on those we consider the most interesting. With the experience, we have identified 5 “terroirs” which give each year wines with their own personality.
The Hagel, the only granite soil we have in Ribeauvillé, which is situated under the castles, gives Riesling that are perfectly dry and structured, with a crystalline purity.
The Steinacker, on gravelly soils, is dedicated to more fruity, full-bodied and charming Riesling.
The Rotenberg, on red and ferruginous calcareous, allow us to harvest Gewurztraminer that often have a part of noble rot and that give opulent, deep and rich wines with a nice length.
The Trottacker, on deep clayey marls, is the field of rich, complex and well
structured Pinot Gris.
The Grossberg, a soil with calcareous and sandstone, oriented in the south, south-west, is very adapted to the Pinot Noir. Managed on low yields, it allows us to produce cuvees that are matured in oak barrels.
This range of wines is characterized by ochre labels that suggest the expression of the “terroirs”. On those labels one may read the name of the vineyard, the type of soil and the type of grape.
With their structure and their complexity, these wines could be stored between 5 and 10 years.
THE GRANDS CRUS – THE NOBILITY OF ORIGIN
These are wines originating the Kirchberg and Osterberg hillsides, whose superior quality is officially recognized as « Grands Crus ». The method of nurturing the vines there, the type of making process used and the long fermentation period allowed, are all deigned to strengthen the wines ‘expression of the excellence of the soil. They can be enjoyed while still quite young, but the lover of complex wines will be able to bring them to full maturity when they will be fully expressive of the soil and the micro-climate which created them. They may be stored for at least 15 to 20 years.
From the vintage 2004, we have tried to suggest on our labels the characteristics of these two Grands Crus. The slope and the exposition are suggested by beige frames whereas the nature of the soils is represented on small rectangles on the top and on the bottom of the label.
When considering these labels, one can see that Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé is defined by a steep slope, a sout- south-west exposition and soils with marls, calcareous and sandstone that are poor and very stony. On the other side, Osterberg is characterized by softer slopes, and eastern exposition and heavier and deeper soils.
LATE HARVEST WINES AND « NOBLE » GRAPE SELECTIONS
The late harvest wines.(« Vendanges Tardives ») and « noble” grape wines (“Sélections de Grains Nobles”) are wines made from grapes from the finest hillside vineyards of Ribeauvillé, harvested at a point of over-ripeness. These plots of vineyard are managed so as to produce the low yields which favor ripening, concentration of minerals in the fruits, and the process of over-maturing on the vine which is known as “noble rot”. The pressing, wine processing and fermenting are all calculated to ensure that these wines conserve well.
The lover of mellow wines will enjoy these quite early, while the gourmet who wants exceptional wine will do best to wait a few years to enjoy them at full complexity. They may be kept for 20 years or more.
For these wines, we chose a golden label that reminds the liquorous character and the honey aromas. One can also find some graphic elements that suggest sun, wind and mist, three very important natural conditions for the development of a nice and pure botrytis, on which these wines are constructed.