(2017) Very nice spices and cool apple and pear fruit at first, then a little more peachiness comes through. Lovely mouth-filling and sweet fruit, but dry and quite steely on the finish. Lovely dry extract grip.
(2017) A typically steely rendition of Riesling from Hugel, and a fabulously accurate one. There is some spice, some beeswax lift, but the thrust is resolutely of precise apple fruit. It's an effortlessly concentrated wine, the dry extract is there to give it some gravitas, but it's all about those apple and tangy sherbet lemon flavours and streaking lemon and grapefruit acidity to make the mouth water. This has the concentration and balance to cellar rather well.
(2017) From a vineyard within the city of Colmar, a fine, salt and lemon-scented wine, a tiny suggestion - but no more than that - of waxiness, but pretty and pristine stuff. In the mouth it is dry and taut, an unflashy style, all cool apple cores and lemon, with a refined, quite long finish.
(2016) A glorious Riesling this from Trimbach, with a delightful waxy, mineral complexity on the nose, hints of paraffin wax and flowers, ripe orchard fruit beneath. On the palate it is sharp as tack but has its own sense of fat concentration and juiciness, as well as pin-sharp citrus and dry apple acidity. A beautiful example of an Alsace Riesling in a style that's bone-dry, but never austere.
(2015) A delightful if understated Riesling, this has stone-fruit aromas, lemon and gentle wax, peach down and stony minerals. On the palate it has a hint of being off-dry, with a clean, fruity palate, though whilst balanced, it perhaps lacks the last ounce of precision and pinging acidity of the very best examples.
(2014) Bottled with a DIAM technical cork (processed to minimise the risk of taint), this from 25-year-old vines has a lovely aromatic quality, delicately exotic with mango and lychee, and a touch of mineral smokiness, there's a bright orange fruit character and a hint of flowers too. On the palate it strikes with a delicious of just - just - off-dry fruitiness, more of that exotic character, but a suggestion of honeyed richness too. There is no thickness of viscosity really, the 13% alcohol adding just enough texture into a long, nicely balanced finish.
(2014) This blends 25% Muscat d'Alsace with 75% Muscat Ottonel, and is instantly perfumed and racy, combining the lifted, almost geranium-like bouquet of this variety with a very fresh, zesty lemon appeal. On the palate it is bone dry, the pithy lemon and apple core acidity driving across the mid-palate with a mountain-stream clarity, good levels of crisp and refined fruit beneath. Long and distinctive, this might partner Chinese or Thai food well, but really the palate and finish makes this a fish and seafood (ceviche? sushi?) option too.
(2014) >From 30-year-old vines grown in chalky soils, the grapes are pressed whole and the wine matures on the lees for several months. It has a delightfully aromatic nose, very youthful and apple-fruited, but with gentle notes of herbs and of smoky minerals, a suggestion of exotic lychee in the background. In the mouth there is a razor-sharp lemon and lime cut to this, but it is neither thin nor tart, just beautifully light and delicate with only 12.5% alcohol, and a dry too in the lightly mineral finish.
(2014) Assembled from the best parcels of several plots with an average vine age of 25 years, the winemaking is very similar to the classic Riesling above. Slightly more depth to the colour perhaps, and a pronounced minerality on the nose, just little hints of beeswax and parrafin over cool apple fruit and delicate floral notes. There is a lovely lime intensity of fruit on the palate, very pure, with that touch of waxiness or smokiness, even a hint of spice, but still with only 12.5% alcohol so light and refreshing in style. Undeniably more complex than the 2012 Riesling cuvée, but both have their charms for sure.
(2012) Hugel's 'Gentil' is an easyish-drinking blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvaner that is ultra-reliable. The nose of the 2009 has a touch of baked apple and spice, and clean, crunchy fruit aromas of apple and citrus. On the palate it is pretty dry, with lot of crisp white fruit minerality and just a little sense of citrus peel juiciness. Long and mouth-watering stuff, it is not packed with personality but has a lovely precision and a bit of authority too.