December 25, 2008

Hugel & Fils Pinot Gris

Bill Dowd photo

Several years ago on a tour of eastern France, I was delighted by the range of quality boutique wineries that dotted the landscape of the Alsace region. However, their output is so limited you'll rarely see them available here. Thus, some of the iconic major wineries of Alsace supply the best we can find on the import shelves in the U.S. This is one such.

Hugel & Fils Alsace Pinot Gris 2005

The Hugel family has been producing wines since the 15th Century, so they obviously have gotten it right. This particular product is among their most versatile whites, at home with anything that should be paired with a velvety wine.

The golden color and bouquet of preserved fruits give promise of a lush wine, and the Pinot Gris is certainly that, without being overwhelming on the palate. It is structured but light, full-bodied but complementing rather than overpowering to poultry, seafood and summer salads.

The Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio in Italy) wines of the Alsace are bolder than those from other growing regions such as Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. West Coast, spicier and with more floral notes.

Pouring note: Pour this wine gently. Some bottles have a slight crystalline sediment. They don't affect the taste or quality of the wine.

Suggested retail price: $11.

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