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March 31, 2008

Hugel Gentil 2006

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VARIETAL: Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat & Sylvaner
REGION: Alsace, France
PRICE: $14

Aside from being an interesting blend, I did have another reason for selecting this wine. I am currently completely engrossed in Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure, a fascinating historical account of how the French protected their wine during the Nazi occupation. And the Hugel family is just one of the many French wine families whose cellars were pillaged by the Germans. What makes their story even more interesting, like all Alsatians they were forced to change their citizenship to German, as Alsace was annexed to Germany during World War I and then relinquished back to France when the Germans lost that war. Of course as soon as the Germans invaded France in WWII, they reclaimed the territory and the Alsatians were forced to become German again.

So needless to say, when I saw the Hugel label I just had to give it a shot. I love Alsatian wine and this particular one follows the tradition that wines blended from "noble" grape varietals (Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Reisling, and Muscat) are called Gentil. And it is as delicate and enchanting as its name implies. The bouquet is lovely and just that--quite floral with notes of honeysuckle, jasmine, orange blossom and lime blossom. On the palate the floral undertones are punctuated by the nectar of juicy apricot, nectarine and apple flavors. But don't worry, this does not mean it is sweet. In fact, it is quite crisp and dry with lilting acidity. I enjoyed it with sushi, but I think it would pair perfectly with sauteed scallops or seared halibut.

I found mine at a local wine shop, but you can also find the 2005 online, Hugel Gentil 2005
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Photo from www.hugel.com

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Posted by Noël Wallace at March 31, 2008 9:57 PM
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