Did an amazing french white wines seminar last week at Century. Our presenter was the youngest of the Hugel family, a 21 year old named Jean Frederick. He was funny, well-dressed, short and extremely knowledgeable. I had more fun at this seminar than I ever have in the past.
2007 Hugel "Cuvee les Amours" Pinot Blanc $14.99
With 12% alcohol, this wine has something missing other than a ticket to being buzzed: taste. It's so light, has absolutely no bite. I like my white wine to have a smooth feel, a strong smell, a cyclon of flavor that ends dry. This wine has none of that. * 1/2
2006 Hugel "Classic" Pinot Gris $17.99
This is a unique wine. They haven't been able to reproduce its exact conditions, so it's a steal if you can find this year. It has a golden color to it, ages well, has a funny looking label and is very drinkable. It will go well with chicken. It has that sage/ferns/moss aroma to it. ** 1/2
2009 Hugel "Gentil" $11.99
This wine is a blend of 5 grapes. With 12.5% alcohol, it's bone dry and extremely pale. It's well balanced and would go well with sushi & seafood. I could not see drinking this wine without food, as it has that companion sense to it. ***
2008 Hugel Riesling $17.99
This wine rolls down the tongue! It goes extremely well with a soft cheese. It's bone dry, with high acidity and stung my lips when I sipped it. It would work well with shellfish and sushi. I could taste it best on the middle of my tongue. I loved the sensation. It has a vague nose, light, no sharpness. ****
2008 Hugel Gewürztraminer $19.99
I've started to really fall in love with the gewürztraminer grape. This wine has a lot of fruit and low acidity. It tastes sweet, but has literally no residual sugar. It has a strong honey nose but is very dry. It would go excellent with Chinese Food. It has hints of mango and rose pedals. The wine swirled down the center of my tongue, like a funnel circling a drain. **** 1/2
2001 Hugel "Vendange Tardive" Gewurztraminer $69.99
This wine, served very chilled, can age 50+ years. It has a pale gold color, is a late-harvest wine, smells sweet and displays beautiful tears down the side of the glass when you've swirled it. This wine is very young, and it'd not recommended you drink this anytime soon. You could compare this to an ice wine in NYS. It's like sweet nectar, but with oriental spices. Each grape only produces a drop of juice. Very expensive, but all in all, not astounding. **
I enjoyed the banter from Jean. He explained that when a winemaker says a vintage was "difficult" they actually mean it's rubbish. He also explained that sweet wines go well with blue cheeses, a cool climate means a high acidity in the grape, and that white wines can age much longer than red wines. This winery does not oak their wines, and France requires 5 controls on their bottles of wine to ensure that no winemaker adds RS or acid to their wine before delivery. Amazing.