This light-bodied wine is very dry and tart - there are flavors of sour apple, spices like ginger, and just a bit of citrus. Overall the flavor character of the Hugel et Fils Alsace 2005 Riesling is very complex, but also very temperature sensitive. It takes very little warming for this wine to become too warm, so you need to pay attention to this when serving.
Color & Clarity
The Hugel et Fils Alsace 2005 Riesling is a pale, golden-yellow around the edges with a touch of green and a very clear, watery center.
This dry Riesling has moderate aromas that are mostly floral and perhaps a bit mineraly. It's not the least bit sweet like even some other dry Rieslings can be in the nose.
This light-bodied wine is very dry and tart — there are flavors of sour apple, spices like ginger, and just a bit of citrus. Overall the flavor character of the Hugel et Fils Alsace 2005 Riesling is very complex, but also very temperature sensitive. It takes very little warming for this wine to become too warm, so you need to pay attention to this when serving.
The 2005 vintage is generally considered a very good year for the Hugel et Fils Alsace Riesling, but frankly I found that I preferred the 2007 Helfrich Vin d'Alsace Riesling by quite a lot. I'll buy the Helfirch again and will recommend it to others, but I doubt I'll go out of my way to get the Hugel again.
The Hugel et Fils Alsace 2005 Riesling is probably best with fish dishes, but the temperature sensitivity will cause it to stop pairing well even with them if you don't watch it carefully.
Pairing Hugel et Fils Alsace Riesling with Cheeses
- Cheddar Cheese: Don't even think about this pairing — it creates a nasty petroleum/alcohol burn.
- Swiss Cheese: This pairing also creates a bit of a petroleum burn, bit it's not as strong as with cheddar cheese and there is also an increased sweetness. It's still not recommended, though.
- Aged Gouda: The Hugel et fils Riesling become more complex and interesting when paired with aged gouda.
- Aged Parmesan: This is a fairly neutral pairing.
- Chevre: This Riesling becomes more fruity and more acidic when paired with chevre; the same would probably happen with other goat cheeses.
Pairing Hugel et Fils Alsace Riesling with Main Dishes
- Barbecued Pork: This is a neutral pairing, though the mineral taste is increased to a point that might bother some.
- General Tso's Chicken: This was an unpleasant combination; the flavors of the Riesling and the sauce really clashed.
- Pasta with Four Cheese Cream Sauce: The Hugel et Fils Alsace Riesling works reasonably well with a creamy cheese sauce, with the flavors of the wine mellowing out nicely.
- Sushi: The Hugel et Fils Alsace 2005 Riesling pairs best of all with sushi, and especially with salmon sushi. The fatty, flavorful fish mellows the wine while the wine heightens the flavors of the fish.
I wouldn't add the Hugel et Fils Alsace Riesling to any dish when cooking; the flavors are too dependent on the wine being just the right temperature and being served with just the right food.
Hugel et Fils
The Hugel winery was founded in 1639 by Hans Ulrich Hugelin and ever since the family has been an important part of the wine-making industry of Alsace. The Hugel family has also been heavily involved with establishing strict regulations for the production of aged, late-harvest wines.
Alsace is the only region in France where wines are labeled according to the varietal — the standard in other countries — as opposed to the region and producer. Riesling accounts for nearly a quarter of all grapes grown in Alsace and 99% of those are dry Rieslings, unlike the Rieslings of Germany which are sweet.