Hugel Pinot Blanc Cuvee Les Amours 2007
Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France
Delicate, subtle and well built, it makes an excellent apéritif because, although nicely rounded, it is also refreshing. The perfect all-purpose dry white wine.
Wine Spectator - "This is almost fleshy, which is unusual for a Pinot Blanc, with anise and smoke notes and hints of orange peel and lemon sorbet, all held in check by firm acidity. Drink now. 4,000 cases imported."
The Wine Advocate - "The Hugel 2007 Pinot Blanc Les Amours is scented by apple and orange blossoms, with their fruits following on a subtly creamy yet bright palate, cyanic and chalky inflections adding some counterpoint in the finish. This will be delicious at least through 2011.
Jean “Johnny” Hugel – a man without whom the reputation and evolution of Alsace wine since the end of the Second World War is unimaginable – died last summer. His wit will be irreplaceable, but his spirit and insights will continue to guide and inspire not only his family’s 371 year old firm, but – with luck, at least – the future development of Alsace wine as a whole. Not surprisingly, the Hugels were thrilled with their results in 2007, but as Marc Hugel points out “twenty years or more ago, a rot- and mildew-prone summer like 2007’s would have spelled disaster.” As for what would have become of 2006 “in the old days” even with the best will in the world, the Hugels preferred not to dwell on that. “I have to be honest,” relates Etienne Hugel, “in 2006, when I saw the grapes that came in toward the end from the estate – not to mention the purchased grapes – I said, ‘Mark, we aren’t going to be able to sell that!’. We scarified the fruit from less well-drained soils and picked those last. And we ended up selling off one third of our grapes.” That said, from a widely-distributed, combined estate-negociant like Hugel, a vintage such as 2006 with its extensive declassification offers a wide range of consumers the potential to drink wine from top estate sites at a lower price. And as it is, Hugel – like their best-known friendly competitor in the U.S. market, Trimbach – has hardly been resting on their laurels or neglecting the quality of their basic (or, as they prefer “classic”) bottlings: on the contrary, these are becoming steadily better and more consistent. "
International Wine Cellar - "Pure aromas of stone and citrus fruits and flowers. Then ripe and dense in the mouth, with very good lift to the apple and pear flavors. Strong, pure pinot blanc with a solid kernel of fruit nicely framed by lively acidity (half of the wine went through malolactic fermentation)."
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In the cellars, the oldest of which dates back to 1551, can be seen rows of oak wine casks, over one hundred years old, crafted by the forefathers of the present generation of Hugels now running the company. Near them is the oldest cask in the world still in use: the Sainte Caterine, which has a capacity of 8,800 litres. It was built in 1715, the year in which Louis XIV died.
The company has always maintained its family character and is determined to keep it that way. The vineyards are owned and farmed by individual members of the family whereas the company owns the buildings and machinery. View all Hugel Wines
About AlsaceView a map of Alsace wineries France and Germany, nestled between the Voges Mountains and the Rhine River. These landmarks give Alsace an ideal climate for the white grapes that have become the mainstays of the region. Pinot Noir is also grown, with plantings of the grape increasing with consumer demand for red wine.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Alsace underwent a territorial tug-of-war, bouncing from France to Germany and back to France again at the end of the first World War. While the French led the renaissance of fine wine production in the 20th century, Alsacians have integrated both French and German influences in their wine. Alsacian wines are mostly white, with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer leading the plantings. Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner are also popular varietals. The bottles are flute-shaped, like many German wines, and the type of grape is clearly placed on the wine's label – quite unlike the typical French practice of labeling wines by region.
Notable FactsAlsace wines have four noble varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. These are the only varietals allowed in the 50 Alsacian Grand Cru wines. Pinot Blanc, while not noble, is key in making many of the Cremant d'Alsace (sparkling wines) and is found in many Alsace AC blends. Most of the wines from the region are dry – with steely acidity and round fruit flavors, typically more full bodied (aka, more alcohol) than their German counterparts. There are also sweet wines and, of course, sparkling.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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