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Hugel Riesling 2015

Riesling from Alsace, France
  • RP90
12.7% ABV
  • WE92
  • JS91
  • JS91
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • JS93
  • WS90
  • W&S88
  • WS88
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  • RP92
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12.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2015 Hugel Riesling has a youthful robe with an intense pale green color, dominated with the green and pale yellow highlights of springtime lime tree foliage, all completed with a silvery sheen. Brilliant aspect with narrow but quite rounded legs.

The bouquet is still a bit discreet and fresh, not too arrogant, it is harmonious, clear and well-stated yet quite dense and fruity with hints of lime, fresh kiwi, lemon-grass, 'Mirabelle', greengage and a slightly mineral edge.

This is a dry wine that is also fresh and lovingly thirst-quenching on the palate, it is well-balanced with a generous and well-formed structure underlined by the wonderful freshness and vigour which is so typical to this grape variety's elegant temperament. The grapes are perfectly ripe.

This is a wine which can be consumed immediately but would benefit from being laid down for up to 5 years which would intensify the density and minerality of its aroma.

Would make an excellent aperitif. Best served with turbot, sea bass, monk-fish, lobster, king prawns, seafood, sander, pike, salmon, scallops, marinated or raw fish carpaccio, goat's cheese.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sold as Riesling Tradition until vintage 2012, the 2015 Riesling Classic shows a perfectly ripe, elegant and intense nose. Full-bodied, round and creamy on the palate, due to 20+ percent of botrytis, this is an intense, complex and salty Riesling with good grip, tension and freshness. A really gorgeous entry into the family that was sourced 60% in the Schoenenbourg.
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Hugel
Hugel, Alsace, France
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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.

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.

SWS475978_2015 Item# 341315