ice wines vs late harvest - Printable Version

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- Guest - 10-26-2006 11:20 AM

Can anyone describe the difference between these two wines - ice and late harvest? Thanks.

- Bucko - 10-26-2006 11:39 AM

Frozen, not frozen.

- Guest - 10-26-2006 11:47 AM

thanks..didn't know it was that simple!

- wondersofwine - 10-31-2006 12:34 PM

The ice wine will present a different character. Because the grapes were frozen at picking and pressing/crushing (I'm a little vague on the differences there) there will be only a drop or two of liquid amid the ice crystals. The flavor of the grape is highly concentrated in those precious drops. The ice wines I've experienced from Germany and Canada have plenty of acid structure to balance the sweetness of the ripe grapes. Late harvest grapes are also ripened by a long hang time on the vine but may or may not be as acidic. They can come across as very sweet or cloying. I've had some late harvest Riesling or Scheurebe that I love and others that were not up to standard. Arrowood in California sometimes makes a delicious late harvest Riesling. Alsace and Germany are also known for their late harvest Rieslings.