2005 Domaine Hugel et Fils, Riesling “Jubilee Hugel” Vin d’Alsace, France.
The beautiful aromatic, ripe and golden hued 2005 vintage Hugel Jubilee Riesling is richly dense on the palate and shows off its fully mature range of flavors, including a lush core of apricot, baked apple, lemon preserves, candied orange and golden fig fruits, accented by clove spice, wet rock, rosewater, verbena, dried pineapple, earthy truffle, waxy honeycomb notes and leesy nuttiness. This Alsace Jubilee Riesling cuvée is a selection of what the winery says are the finest plots of the Hugel Grand Cru Schoenenbourg vineyard and crafted in small lots with handmade care. It saw small crates of grapes gently pressed, everything done with gravity flow, no pumps and the wine must settles to let green phenolics to drop out before the juice goes into a combination of wood and stainless tanks to ferment, with this Riesling is fermented in temperature-controlled barrels or vats to preserve aromatics. The wine then rests for 8 to 9 months before bottling, it doesn’t get filtered, only a natural clarification through a single racking, and then it was aged in bottle in the cellar until Hugel believes it is ready for release. This fantastic historical terroir, at their Schoenenbourg Grand Cru vineyard, has been almost exclusively devoted to Riesling for centuries, and has complex soils with elements of keuper, marl, dolomite and gypsum, and is rich in fertilising agents, overlaid with fine layers of quaternary siliceous gravel, Vosges sandstone, clay and Muschelkalk, as well as the classic limestones.

First created in 1989 to celebrate the Hugel family’s 350th anniversary, these special Jubilee wines are made only in, what the winery thinks are, the finest vintages and are the ultimate expression in dry, gastronomic terroir wines that Hugel makes and are cherished by Alsace fans world wide. The Hugel Jubilee bottlings are sourced, exclusively and solely from the family’s oldest and best estate sites in Riquewihr, where Hugel is based, with the Riesling coming from the heart of the Grand Cru Schoenenbourg vineyard, that is set on classic marl and clay soils. This prestigious and historic Grand Cru Schoenenbourg with its mature vines and perfect exposures allows for depth, fruit density and mineral intensity, making for powerful, complex and age worthy wines, as this nicely aged 2005 shows, it definitely is within a fabulous drinking window, delivering on the promise of the ripe vintage. This wine, which was tasted in a blind Riesling tasting, was part of a celebration of Rieslings 589th birthday last month and was one of the wines of the night, it shined with its secondary flavors and luxurious textural quality, it was exactly what you’d expect from a top notch aged Alsace wine. Interestingly, this dry 2005 Hugel Jubilee Riesling joined Weingut Von Hovel’s 2005 Auslese as the stars in the mature set of wines, highlighting the year’s potential at this point. This wine also has the stuffing to go another 5 to 10 years, but I personally love where it is at now and would certainly recommend enjoying this Jubilee in the near term and be sure to pair it with a meal that compliments its stage of life and character, maybe a baked ham and or roast poultry dishes.
($49 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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