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Famille Hugel in Malta 19/01/2017

Famille Hugel in Malta

For over 370 years and with 13-family generations the Hugel family has unrivalled experience and knowledge of Alsace vineyards and winemaking. Marc André Hugel, representing the 13th generation recently conducted a masterclass session at Farsonsdirect and hosted a superb dinner at The Blue Elephant. 

Known today for their passion and modern outlook, the dynamic Hugel family, located in the picture-postcard fortified village of Riquewihr, has earned a worldwide reputation for their Alsace wines. Exported in over 100 countries worldwide, most of the time ‘Alsace’ is synonymous with ‘Hugel’. Emblematic of the Hugel’s abilities to combine tradition and innovation, the family has recently introduced new wines and bold, more inclusive labeling.

Both events in Malta kicked off with Hugel Gentil, a great wine with a kaleidoscope of grapiness, merging the suave, spicy flavour of Gewurztraminer, the body of Pinot Gris, the finesse of Riesling, the grapiness of Muscat and the refreshing character of both Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner. 

Marc André highlighted the ageing potential of his family’s wines through a series of older vintages. During the masterclass, he explained that the Riesling Jubilee 2008 is their own interpretation of the expected quality of a great Schoenenbourg, a vineyard famous since the XVIIth century for the quality of its Riesling. This Riesling was then perfectly paired at dinner with The Blue Elephant’s sweet & sour prawns with Thai stir fried vegetables. This was followed by a Muscat Tradition 2006 that lived up to expectations with its joyful aromatic expression and a nice Muscat perfume. Blue Elephant’s spicy duck salad and a crispy fish and prawn salad made an interesting pairing.

While presenting his family’s Grossi Laüe Pinot Noir 2010, Marc André explained that more than half of Hugel’s 61 acres are in what the Hugel family now calls Grossi Laüe vineyards, the equivalent of “Grand Cru” in Burgundy or “Grosses Gewächs” in Germany. This nomenclature change underscores the Hugel family’s proud ownership of these finest estate vineyards. In particular the Schoenenbourg Grossi Laüe and Sporen Grossi Laüe vineyards are a special source of pride.

Famille Hugel’s specialties include late harvest Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles wines, made with selected botrytis-affected grapes. Vendange Tardive or late harvest wines are the sweet jewels of the Alsace region and in particular, the Hugel family. It was Jean “Johnny” Hugel who first used the term following the 1976 vintage and who personally drafted the guidelines to producing Vendange Tardive that would become law in 1984. A Tokay-Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive 1996 was selected to cap off the masterclass session at Farsonsdirect while an impressive Gewurztraminer Selections de Grains Nobles 1989, imported specifically from Famille Hugel’s cellars for the dinner, rounded off the exceptional dinner.

Famille Hugel wines are imported, marketed and distributed by Farsons Beverage Imports Company (FBIC) Limited, a member of the Farsons Group. They are available in selected restaurants, wine boutiques and Farsonsdirect in Mriehel (www.farsonsdirect.com).