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Best White Wines Under $20: Alsace Hugel Riesling

alsace hugel reisling wine bottles 300x225 Best White Wines Under $20: Alsace Hugel RieslingA French Riesling at a Great Price

By Matt Goldstein

My father Howard has a wine importer that orders him cases of wine in all kinds of varieties and most of the wines are an excellent bargain.  Hand selected by a veteran of the wine industry, the Alsace Hugel Reisling from France is a subtle and balanced white wine, refreshing and complex.  For under $20 the Hugel Resiling is one of the best wines in its class.  For the $10 we paid, it was an absolute steal.  According to Hugel Vineyards, maturity reached record levels, the highest for 50 years and the Alsace Hugel Riesling is their most demanding variety.  It is this maturity and maturation that makes this Riesling such an excellent wine.  “Totally dry with high natural acids. This famous grape celebrated in all the Rhine valley combines great elegance, finesse and minerality.”  White wines are best with seafood and this wine went very well with our sushi platters.  Light, refreshing and complex, we definitely recommend this wine for under $20.

 

From Alsace Hugel Vineyard

The vintage :
The winter of 2010 was particularly harsh, with more than 30 days below zero, and temperatures dropped as far as -17°C. Budburst on 8 April was early, but flowering which began on 10 June took almost 3 weeks to finish due to cool temperatures. July was exceptionally hot and sunny, before cold, damp and rainy weather set in throughout August and into September. Ideal weather conditions returned on 11 September, with not a drop of rain for 6 weeks. Our harvest began on 27 September and ended on 26 October. Maturity reached record levels, the highest for 50 years, with good acidity, similar to 1996. Crop size was 30% below average, and even lower for Gewurztraminer.
Superb wines with magnificent balance, purity and fruit. 2010 is a great classic vintage, with good ageing potential.

Quick View :
It is the Pinot Noir of white wines! Riesling is our most demanding variety as it is also the latest ripening. Dry and elegant, it expresses its best on our steepest slopes with a most complex minerality.

In the vineyard :
Harvested exclusively by hand from clay and limestone vineyards in a dozen of the most favoured localities in and around Riquewihr.

Winemaking :
The grapes are taken in small tubs to the presses, which are filled by gravity, without any pumping or other mechanical intervention.
After pressing, 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 during the course of the winter. The following spring, the wine is lightly filtered just before bottling, and the bottles are then aged in our cellars until released for sale.

Alcohol level : 12.85°

Residual Sugar (g/l) : 3.5

Acidity (g/l) : 7.67

pH : 3.29

Age of vines : 30

Yields : 55 hl/ha

Grapes :
Riesling : 100%

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