All tasting notes are mine, except for a few observations and facts from Roger Bohmrich, which are attributed within the descriptions. The seminar which accompanied the tasting gave some details about the vineyards and winemaking. The wines are listed in the order tasted.
Hugel Pinot Blanc Alsace
'97--Pale yellow color, with a nose of
stones, peach and some floral notes. A slight spritz livens up the
palate, while more mineral and peach flavors show themselves. Seems a
bit flabby, with a touch of volatile acidity and alcohol evident on
the short finish.
Hugel Riesling Alsace '96--This bottle appears to have been slightly corked. A
definitely musty nose, but the worst of it blew off with some
swirling, leaving some zippy, tart apple aromas. Seemed tightly
wound. High acidity, with a razor-sharp palate of stones and citrus,
but still with some of the mustiness. A bit lean and slightly hollow
on the midpalate. Long grapefruit and apple finish, but a slight hint
of maderization at the end. This must have been a bad bottle.
No Rating (probably flawed bottle)
Hugel Riesling Jubilee '97--According to Roger Bohmrich, this wine comes from the
Grand Cru Schoenenbourg vineyard. Yellow-gold color, with an intense
nose of honeysuckle, spice and minerals. There is a slightly prickly
feel on the tongue. Flavors of grapefruit, peaches and flowers lead
to a long floral/citrus finish which turns steely, with a good
backbone of acid underneath all that fruit. Could use some age.
Hugel Tokay Pinot Gris Jubilee
'96--According to Roger Bohmrich, this
wine comes from the Grand Cru Sporen vineyard. Gold-yellow, slightly
darker than the Riesling Jubilee. The nose had significant vegetal
notes, with some green pepper and asparagus. Sulfur was also evident,
but it blew off, and there were some fruit flavors, mostly peach.
Roger Bohmrich somehow found banana in the nose, but it definitely
eluded me. Peach and wet stone flavors dominated the dry palate,
alongwith a slight spritz. A soft wine with a viscous mouthfeel. The
finish shows the breeding of the wine--long, mouth-coating, but not
cloying, with more peach and mineral flavors. Once you get past the
nose, a very nice wine.
Hugel Gewurztraminer Alsace
'96--Golden yellow color. Intense nose
which seems sweet, with intense rose, peach, spice (cinnamon?), black
pepper, orange blossom and orange-peel notes. In the mouth, this wine
shows peach and grapefruit, along with a bit of stony mineral flavor;
seems much lighter than the nose would suggest. The floral notes come
roaring back on the finish, along with good acidity to keep the
tastes fresh; the rose-petal notes gradually fade to leave a spicy
Hugel Gewurztraminer Jubilee
'96--Darker gold-yellow color than the
regular bottle. Subdued nose which fills out a bit with swirling.
Steely at first, but spices can be coaxed out, and then some peach
and rose; not showy, but complex and classy. Very slightly prickly on
the tongue, with ample peach flavors at first, giving way to flavors
of orange blossoms, grapefruit and stones. Elegant, not overbearing
as many wines from this variety can be, with good acidity. A long
spicy peach finish completes a very nice wine. Seems much more
polished and classy than the more showy (but still good) regular
Hugel Riesling Vendange Tardive
'89--According to Roger Bohmrich, the
grapes were harvested at 25.5 Brix, and this wine was bottled in
1990. A few minutes before trying this wine, Mr. Bohmrich stated that
he didn't think any of the wines in the tasting would have developed
any of the classic Riesling "petrol" character. So what was the most
obvious first impression on the nose of this one? Petrol, of course.
Even the experts can be wrong... A gold colored wine, with obvious
petrol on the nose, slight aromas of botrytis were evident, as well
as slightly honeyed peach. The aroma improved greatly with swirling,
and was more intense than any of the previous wines, with the
possible exception of the 97 Riesling Jubilee. On the palate, tasted
of not unpleasant burnt rubber (I know, how can that not be
unpleasant?) which is basically what others usually categorize as
"petrol", peaches, stones and ripe golden apples. Deep and
concentrated, and made in an off-dry style. The finish was long, with
more peaches and apples.
Hugel Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains
Nobles '88--I noticed a white sediment
in the first bottle poured; not exactly like tartrates, though. The
first bottle was rejected (after pouring) by Roger Bohmrich, who
claimed that it was corked; I could detect no mustiness/TCA. However,
I'll have to agree that it was off in some way, because the second
bottle showed a much more intense nose, and cleaner, clearer flavors, as
well as being apparently sweeter--the second bottle did not have any
sediment. According to Mr. Bohmrich, the grapes were picked on
November 9, at 34.5 Brix. The finished wine had 14.5% alcohol, and
8.9% residual sugar. The following notes refer to the good (2nd)
bottle. Deep gold color. Huge, clean, clear, honeyed peach nose.
Complex palate of sweet peach, rose and lychee along with honey and
spices. Long sweet honeyed peach, lychee and spice finish. Still
seems young, with plenty of vibrant acidity.
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Copyright 1999 Marcel Lachenmann. All rights reserved.