Hans Herzog Marlborough Botrytis Riesling

Botrytis Riesling 2017

Regular price $138.00 Sale

Indulge in the unmatched richness of our Botrytis Riesling, nurtured organically in our vineyard. Through three meticulously timed passages, we handpick grapes precisely at the peak of botrytis infection, transforming them from Noble Rot to Trockenbeerenauslese. This painstaking process, though labour-intensive and fraught with risk, results in a wine of unparalleled richness and luscious flavour that promises to enchant your palate.

Vintage 2017+

In 2017, a beautiful summer followed by a long and relatively dry autumn allowed us to pick our Riesling for a Dessert wine over three passes in late May. Beginning with the first affected grapes, we continued with two subsequent picks as noble rot developed, carefully avoiding grapes affected by grey rot. This selective approach in multiple passes is paramount to ensure that only grapes at the optimal point of botrytis infection are chosen. A portion of the grapes we picked naturally shrivelled on the vine (Trockenbeerenauslese - raisons), enhancing the complexity of the final blend. The tiny yield of 150g of grapes per vine, akin to liquid gold, and considerable labour involved, may not be economically viable. Nonetheless, it stands as a testament to the dedication and perseverance required to craft these extraordinary sweet wines.

Crafting sweet wines is an art that requires navigating the delicate balance between nature's unpredictability and the pursuit of perfection and is not without its challenges. Over the years, we've attempted to create these wines in various vintages, but only a select few, like the exceptional 2017 vintage, have surpassed expectations, yielding wines of unparalleled quality and complexity. While various methods exist for crafting sweet wines, the purest and most exceptional ones are created naturally in the vineyard - a process fraught with risk and intensive labour. It's a gamble, as we must leave perfectly ripe grapes exposed, hoping for the ideal conditions of a long, dry autumn, where grapes ripen to perfection under the warm sun, while gentle morning mist from the neighbouring Wairau River adds a touch of humidity without the threat of heavy rainfall that could spoil the fruit with grey rot. Yet, the late autumn brings increased rainfall, potentially transforming noble rot into the undesirable grey rot.

Hans' Winemaking Comments+

The whole bunches were gently pressed before being transferred directly into a single French Puncheon for fermentation. With abundant residual sugar, fermentation unfolds slowly over a leisurely three months. Afterward, I allowed the wine to mature gracefully in the puncheon for an additional six months, coaxing out its full beauty and essence.

Tasting Notes+

A sweet wine crafted for seduction, offering a rich and luscious experience. Immerse yourself in the intoxicating aromas of honey, nectarine, and peach, intertwined with uplifting orange peel notes that add a refreshing zest to the bouquet. This wine exudes power, yet with an effortless grace, showcasing a perfect balance between unctuous richness and vibrant acidity. It's a testament to elegance, with nothing brash or showy, just pure finesse in every sip. The finish is endlessly long, leaving a lasting impression of intensity and refinement. (March 2024).

Technical Data

Variety     100% Riesling
Rootstock 3309
Vine Planted 2004
Soil  Shallow (<45 cm) well drained alluvial deposits. Planted at the end of the row towards the river where the sandy gravelly soil is mixed with clay and able to retain more moisture.
Planting Density   6,000 vines/ha
Yield  150 g per vine
Alcohol approx. 11.5%
Residual Sugar  approx. 180g/L
Ageing Potential 20+ years
Bottles Produced 630, one French Puncheon


Food Matching Suggestions+

I cannot resist a slice of the classic lemon meringue pie, its tangy citrus aromas reminiscent of the delicate notes found in our dessert wine. Not one for sweets? Skip the dessert and treat yourself to this liquid sweet elixir, a delightful indulgence which will elevate your wine experience to new heights!