Archive for the ‘Alsace’ category

Hugel Gentil 2005

October 5, 2007

img_3691.jpgMulti-varietal blends are not uncommon in Alsace where under the wine law the traditions of complantation and blending of different varieties are officially allowed, even up to Grand Cru level. Hugel’s Gentil is a wine that is made in line with this tradition blending Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat and Gewürztraminer with Sylvaner, the main component of this pale straw wine. The latter is the weakest link, giving the wine a fairly neutral expression on the nose although the Muscat and Gewürz offer just enough floral and spicy aromas to keep it interesting. The Pinot Gris and Riesling component is mainly noticable on the palate where it gives the wine a chewy, textural and refreshingly mouthfeel with a rather phenolic finish. Although the overall blend works well the wine just lacks the intensity to make it really exciting with the relatively high proportion of Sylvaner being the main culprit again. To get a better value introduction to the region’s wines I recommend to spend a few dollars more and try some of Hugel’s single varietals. 84 points.

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $22  Drink: Now



Jean-Luc Mader Gewürztraminer 2004

September 29, 2007

img_3687.jpgAt present it seems that Alsace wines are inextricably bound up with the issue of sweetness. There is no doubt that global warming has led to a series of vintages producing physiological ripe grapes with high sugar levels. After fermentation a lot of wines will keep some residual sugar although the total amount will depend on the potential alcohol level and not to forget the intended style of the winemaker. Much heard criticism is that quite some producers in Alsace deliberately chase sweeter styles of wines that would suit the Goûte américaine. True or not, in my opinion it’s more important that sweetness is countered by fresh acidity. Whether you then still perceive a wine as sweet or not is a subjective matter of personal taste and preference. This Gewürztraminer from Jean-Luc Mader shows an exuberant nose of rose petal, musk, pear and exotic fruit. Although there is no doubt that the wine contains residual sugar, the sweetness is never out of balance with the crisp acid on the palate that runs through tropical fruit, honeysuckle and asian spices. Open-hearted varietal, vinous and succulent, this wine is a perfect example of good and over-delivering entry-level Alsatian Gewürztraminer. 90 points.

Source: Vintage & Vine/Liquid Library  Price: $29  Drink: Now-2009


Hugel Riesling 2001

March 7, 2007

As I already mentioned in the post about the Hugel Gewürtztraminer the ‘generic’ Hugel wines are clear expressions of varietal character. The Hugel Riesling 2001 is another testimony to this. The wine has classic Riesling aromas of flowers, lime and grapefruit and shows some maturity with its slightly honeyed nose. The fruit characters unfold nicely on the palate, enlivened by fresh acidity and mineral notes. The moderate finish is clean, fresh and dry. At this price I expected a bit more complexity and power though. 86 points.

Source:Negociants Australia Price: $38 Drink: Now


Hugel Gewürztraminer 2004

February 22, 2007

img_2344.JPGHugel & Fils, a family run négociant-producer from the Alsace, owns more than 25 hectares of vineyards in the village of Riquewihr. In search of excellence no fertilizers are used, yields are kept low and grapes are picked by hand. The wines under the most prestigious labels ‘Jubilee’ and ‘Tradition’ are all made from grapes form these family vineyards. As a négociant for the basic range, Hugel sources grapes from another 100 hectares, only purchased from reliable and skillfull growers. This Gewürztraminer clearly shows the aimed style of this range: true varietal character and a reflection of the vintage.

Regarding the latter, 2004 was pretty good in the Alsace. After a relatively cool and damp summer, a sunny September saved the day and allowed the growers to make very good wines from healthy and ripe grapes. The cooler conditions are seen in the wine by a good acidity, something this variety often lacks. With a typical nose of perfumed, floral and fragrant characters and a refreshinly dry and spicy palate, it’s a very good entry-level varietal wine. 88 points.

Source: Negociants Australia Price: $ 40 Drink: Now