There is a lot of really nice Gewürztraminer and Riesling being produced in Alsace; as a result not nearly as much attention is usually paid to Pinot Blanc. In my opinion that’s a shame. There are examples of this wine out there that are lovely, well priced and most importantly quite delicious. Today I’m going to look at a widely available offering from Hugel. Their yellow label wines are on the shelf of most wine shops that have an Alsace representation. The 2006 Hugel et Fils Pinot Blanc “Cuvée Les Amours” was produced using fruit sourced from local growers under long standing contracts. This selection is 100% Pinot Blanc. Fruit is hand harvested and the presses are filled by gravity. The juice in the first part of the pressing is the only one used in the yellow label “Hugel” wines. Bottling occurs the spring after harvest. The wine is then bottle aged until ready for release. The suggested retail price for this offering is $16.99.
A potpourri of fresh flower aromas is joined by lychee fruit and vanilla in the nose of this 2006 Pinot Blanc. The lychee theme continues in the palate where its joined by apricot and hazelnut flavors. A terrific spice component emerges at mid-palate and continues forward from there through the finish. This wine is crisp and refreshing with solid acidity.
You could pair this Pinot Blanc with light appetizers or drink it on its own. In either case it’s a very solid white entry that I've found you can depend on from one vintage to the next.