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Hugel Riesling 2014

Riesling from Alsace, France
  • JS91
  • WS90
  • WE90
12.5% ABV
  • RP90
  • JS93
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • W&S88
  • WS88
  • RP92
  • RP87
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4.0 12 Ratings
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4.0 12 Ratings
12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Young, pale green color, with dominant green nuances, slightly yellow like lime tree leaves in the spring, with a few silvery hints, nicely bright and lively, with delicate tears that run finely down theglass. The bouquet is fresh and lively, crisp and clean, pleasantly aromatic and fruity, green apple, lemongrass, ginger, white peach, fresh moss and blackcurrant, with an agreeable touch ofmuscatel. This is an authentic, expressive young Riesling.The wine is dry and fresh on the palate, vivacious, nicely taut and elegantly structured, giving depth and persistence and a finish that positively encourages another sip. Despite its youth, this wine's principal merit is its sincerity. It is clearly defined and ready to enjoy. Yet 2 or 3 more years in bottle would allow its elegant character and minerality to express itself, as only a Riesling can.Enjoy it now for its energy and typicity, or keep it for 3 to 5 years to discover its full bouquet and complexity.

Pair with: An excellent aperitif. Or drink it with turbot, sea perch, monkfish,lobster, crayfish, seafood, pike-perch, pike, salmon, shellfish, scollops, and carpaccio of raw or marinated fish.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 91
James Suckling
This is a real charmer in a way the basic Riesling from Hugel never was before. The fruit aromas practically leap out at you, ranging from pineapple to apple, citrus, peach and Mirabelle. Somehow this properly dry Riesling manages to taste full-bodied, fully ripe, yet also charming and refreshing. The acidity is lively, but the finish is silky in a way that’s not normal for wines of this category. Just over 50% estate fruit, just under 50% bought in (all from south of Colmar on limestone-clay or similar soils).
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A fresh, harmonious white, with a floral overtone and a crowd-pleasing mix of nectarine, chalky mineral, orange blossom and candied pink grapefruit zest. Drink now through 2020.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Some riper stone fruit has joined with bright aspects of green apples and ripe lemon zest in this aromatic and exquisitely light-footed Riesling. Balanced and totally refreshing, it has a gloriously lip-smacking finish.
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Hugel
Hugel, Alsace, France
Image of winery
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.

With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.

The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.

Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.

Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsatian wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes region of New York.

In the Glass

Riesling typically produces wine with relatively low alcohol, high acidity, steely minerality and stone fruit, spice, citrus and floral notes. At its ripest, it leans towards juicy peach, nectarine and pineapple, while cooler climes produce Rieslings more redolent of meyer lemon, lime and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of petrol.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is quite versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice) and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

WLD289646_2014 Item# 156129