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Excellent scores in Tanzer's IWC


For the first time Ian D'Agata reviewed the wines of Alsace for Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.

See our full reviews here. Excellent scores for our wines in the upper 90's

2009 Riesling Selection De Grains Nobles(9.6% alcohol, 8.6 g/l total acidity, 220 g/l residual sugar):  Bright straw-gold.  A botrytis bomb on the nose, which is atypical for 2009, but I'm not going to quibble:  sexy marmaladey, smoky botrytis notes magically enhance the peach, apricot and floral aromas.  Then compellingly sweet and magically mouthcoating, with very pure, harmonious acidity lifting the crystallized ginger and tropical yellow fruit flavors.  I tasted this again just as I was getting up from the table to leave, and the rich finish lasted until my next appointment (in another town!).  This bottle sports a neck label in honor of Jean Hugel, who did so much for Alsace wines, and who passed away in 2009. 97
2010 Riesling Selection De Grains Nobles(10.6% alcohol:, 12.6 g/l total acidity, 120 g/l residual sugar):  Pale, bright yellow.  Very pure, high-pitched aromas of lemon tart, ginger, mango juice and marzipan, with a suggestion of candied violet.  Moderately glyceral but not at all heavy, this SGN stands out for its mindblowing balance of sugars and acids, its firm structure, and the vivacity and exceptional purity of its ripe pineapple, lemon, white peach and minerals flavors.  The extremely long, palate-staining finish shows an utterly pristine, crystalline, almost steely quality that reminded me of the the Scharzhofberg in the Saar and the Abtsberg in the Ruwer.  As riesling SGNs are among my favorite wines in the world, I have had every one made by Hugel since the 1976 vintage numerous times, and this is without question one of the best I have ever tasted.  Made from grapes grown between the Schoenenbourg and the Sporen on a site called Engelsreben (which translates to "vineyard of the angel"), this is completely different in style from the 2009 but just as memorable.  98(+?)
but also for our more entry level wines:
2011 Gewurztraminer($24) Bright straw.  Soft citrus scents along with mirabelle and cinnamon honey on the nose.  Then compellingly sappy in the mouth, with off-dry flavors of crystallized citrus, ginger and mango.  Turns very floral on the high-acid finish.  A very stylish gewurz in the typical refined Hugel mode.  From 80% purchased grapes. 90
2010 Riesling($24) Pale straw-green.  Precise, perfumed aromas of white flowers, lime, chamomile, crystallized ginger and tequila.  Then pure, refined and balanced, with sneaky concentration and lovely purity to the white stone, lemon and ginger flavors.  Ripe mineral-driven acidity really extends the finish.  This clocks in at 7.5 g/l total acidity (vs. 7.2 g/l in the 2011), but the must had 11 g/l and so the Hugels chose to do a partial malolactic fermentation.  Offhand, I can't remember a better base riesling from Hugel, ever.  Very well done! 89
See the full reviews here

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