Minerals are prevalent on the nose, along with tones of lilac, springtime blossoms, roses and jasmine, under flavors of summer fruit, lychees and hints of pineapple. All combine to make this a seriously delicious Gewurztraminer. Made from 100% Gewurztraminer in the Alsace region of France.
Hugel owns a 65-acre estate planted largely to Riesling and Gewürztraminer, with small plots of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. These vines are placed on the grand cru slopes of Sporen and Schoenenbourg.
The golden rule at Hugel is "The wine is already in the grape". As soon as they arrive at the Hugel premises in the heart of Riquewihr, the grapes are classified according to precise and strict criteria of quality. The presses are filled by gravity, not by pumping. After slow crushing, only the first part of the juice is conserved to merit the famous yellow label. The individuality of each grape variety and of each level of quality is respected.
The harvest began on Sept. 27 in bright sunshine, but after many climatic ups and downs. A heat wave in July was followed by an August that seemed like November, until excellent weather in early September saved the crop. Two days of warm rain just one week before the vintage put everyone in their starting blocks and so set the tone for the harvest. This was a true vintners’ vintage, where rigorous and skillful vinification has been rewarded with success. 2006 has produced some very fine Gewurztraminers.
Generic “Hugel” wines are made exclusively from grapes purchased from growers under long-term contract located in a dozen of the best vineyard sites around Riquewihr. The grapes are transported in small tubs to the presses, which are filled by gravity, without any pumping or other mechanical intervention. After crushing, the must is decanted for a few hours, then fermented in temperature-controlled barrels or vats at 18 to 24°C. The wine is racked just once, before natural clarification that occurs slowly over the winter. The following spring, the wine is lightly filtered before bottling, whereupon the wines are aged in Hugel’s cellars until release.