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The 2001 vintage in Alsace will be an agreeable surprise for many people!
After a succession of very fine vintages, the general consensus of opinion was not to expect too much of 2001. Yet despite our fears in late September, in Alsace, more than in any other French wine region, a superb Indian Summer allowed us pick under optimum conditions. The 2001 vintage exceeded all our expectations, with comfortable quantity and satisfactory levels of maturity for all grape varieties.
To taste a late-harvest Riesling is always a moment of outstanding pleasure and a joy to all the senses.
Several years have been required for this wine to approach maturity, because such a rare, noble product calls for patience and respect in order to reveal its true class and personality.
It has a deep, bright and youthful color with strong green reflections.
Its forthright, characteristic bouquet assumes its own potential, bringing together lively citrus aromas of pink grapefruit, lime, lemon balm and citronella, backed by delicately aromatic floral fragrances and just a touch of the mineral character so typical of the proud Riesling grape.
The palate is a profusion of gustatory pleasures, flavourful, tender, velvety, soft and juicy, its gentle harmony prolonged by the framework of noble acidity that only the Riesling is capable of displaying. A unique moment of refinement and sensitivity.
A wine to drink just for itself, or with a fresh fruit tart, or chicken in lemon, or with meat or fish in sweet and sour or acidulous sauces. This wine has great ageing potential. Serve it at 8°C.
"The Hugels are conservative in their approach to vendange tardive, and after their 2001 Riesling Vendange Tardvie there will not be another such Riesling release until the 2005. With a beautifully bitter-sweet aroma of buddleia, quince, and chalk dust that would do a Loire Chenin proud, the 2001 comes onto the palate opulent and creamy yet delicately poised (reflecting its under-12% alcohol) and with flavors of quince and peach preserves, fresh lime, and orange marmalade, then lingers long on honeyed richness, subtle minerality, and mysterious hints of truffle and musk. This classic will also linger in your cellar without diminishing in quality for at least the next dozen years. (The equally opulent and rich 1998 is drinking beautifully today, but lacks the delicacy or depth of this 2001.)
The Wine Advocate
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...Read More About Hugel
Seventy miles long and two miles wide, Alsace is a beautiful, picturesque region situated along the border of 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...Read More About Alsace
The Riesling grape is happiest in a cooler climate, one that fosters its slow
and steady ripening. Often assumed to be the producer of only sweet wines, Riesling
is a fascinating grape of many faces. From bone dry to lusciously sweet, this
variety is delicious at any sugar level with its intense aromas and steely acidity.
Most popular in...Read More About Riesling
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