The 2017 Alsace Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain Riesling fermented very quickly and offers a pure and flinty note on the intense but (certainly) still reductive nose. Lush and juicy on the palate, this is a finely bitter Rangen with concentrated fruit, fine tannins and salty/mineral acidity. Very long and fresh, with rich and concentrated fruit but never without the purity of the Clos. A great wine that will need plenty of time. Olivier Humbrecht has released another great series of wines from a vintage that was "extremely contrasted" and "strangely combines the characteristics of an early and late ripening vintage." The dramatically wet spring caused serious disease problems, while the arid and warm summer caused drought problems and hydric stress in lighter soils with no water storage capacities. The sugar blockage during this four-month period (with just 100 millimeters of rain) that started toward the end of June was "particularly impressive in Riesling, which took a long time to build up sugar ripeness," writes Olivier. "What took two weeks in 2015 took four to six weeks in 2016," he added when we met in June this year. Gewürztraminer was even more slow to ripen its skins properly, which took "more than 120 days after flowering." The vineyards on lighter soils were picked roughly a month before the vineyards on heavier soils. "Within the same vineyard, Pinot Gris was picked a month before Riesling," Olivier remembers.(SR)
A very spice and sappy white with pine-nut and dried-apricot character to it all. Full body. Dry and spicy. Big and lively with loads of flavor in this style. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
Notes of flinty reduction combine with fresh green apple and lemon, giving an impression of smokiness. The palate is stony but offers depth and ripeness, with smooth fruit suggesting Amalfi lemon, Mandarin and grapefruit. Here and there a glimpse of Mirabelle plum appears, while the finish speaks of zestiness and barely unleashed power. Let this sleep for a while in the bottle. It will wake up and dazzle you. Drink 2025–2045. (AK)
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