Sélection de Grains Nobles are produced from selecting the richer berries, or part of clusters which are affected by noble rot. In vintages like 2018 and because of the drier weather during the whole summer/harvest period, noble rot was rarer. It would also have damage the acidity balance to wait any later to pick the grapes. By the time botrytis would have developed, the acidity would have dropped to low. Luckily, thanks to the warm and sunny exposure of the Clos Jebsal, we had some passerillage (the grapes dry out from the sun and dry wind effect) and decided to go for a selection. Sadly, volumes are tiny in 2018, but we are extremely satisfied with the result. The harvest is done with two buckets, one will receive the richest selection (SGN) and the other one all the rest that usually becomes a Vendange Tardive (please see the Clos Jebsal VT 2018 description). Both wines achieve their best expression at a certain richness. We do not take out all the desiccated berries out of the vineyard, so the VT can reach the desired balance as well. Experience and vintage characteristic will tell us what proportion of each wine can be made. The 2018 fermented slowly but eventually the wild yeasts, more responding to their environment than cultured yeasts, died naturally when the wine just past the 10% alcohol mark, a few months after harvest. The balance of the 2018 is classic. It is interesting to note the increased acidity in this wine compared to the VT, a typical result due to the concentration effect of noble rot or passerillage. The acidity is also concentrated, not just the sugar.
4/2020: intense gold colour. The nose displays rich intense and concentrated ripe fruits aromas, bee was, honey, candied fruits, marmalade… The palate follows with obvious luscious richness. The wines lines the mouth with an unctuous liquor, until the acidity kicks in and bring a citrus like wake up. The finish is actually fresh and elegant. Of course, such wines require time, both in the bottle but also need to be enjoyed slowly. The 2018 vintage will go on forever….