Category Archives: Alsace

2010 Hugel Gentil

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Our friend from California was in town for the Holidays and we invited him over for dinner and some wine pre-holiday ski trip. Our meal started off with shrimp cocktail, goat cheese, and crackers along with the 2010 Hugel Gentil.

Gentil is a blend of “Noble Grapes” from Alsace. The blend contains the following grapes: Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, and Muscat. The idea is to showcase certain strengths of each grape in an all around wine that has been made in Alsace for centuries. This is a much older blend and isn’t really regulated like other French wines, it’s just been reintroduced to the market relatively recently. Therefore while it should contain at least 50% of the grapes mentioned it may actually contain other grape varietals as well.

Now that we are thoroughly confused….here’s what we thought:

colonelgrape: 70. Meh. I was expecting something more exciting from this blend but all I tasted was a slightly dressed up Pinot Gris. I couldn’t taste any Gewurztraminer spice, Riesling sweetness, or Muscat grapiness. Maybe it was heavy on the Pinot Gris this vintage? Regardless it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t as advertised. I’m not a fan but for $10 it’s hard to be upset…it did it’s job with the appetizers just not that well.

MobyGrape: 74. The bottle looked pretty cool, but it looked better than it tasted.  When I heard the blend of grapes I was ready to drink something sweeter (it’s highly probable that I tuned out after hearing riesling though).  Turns out that was not the case, and this wasn’t sweet at all.  I thought all these were supposed to be sweeter wines?  Why did you lie to me riesling?  Fine to pair with the night’s appetizers but I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to have it again.  Better than chardonnay, but that’s not saying much coming from me.

Dinner Grape Style

When we get together with AuntGrape and UncleGrape we tend to have a fantastic feast and this weekend was no different. We spent the majority of Saturday preparing the food and visiting the Wine Library. CousinGrapette and BoyfriendGrape made guest appearances as well. Here was our menu:

Appetizers: Goat and blue cheese with crackers, Gougere

Main Course: 14 rib pork crown roast with bread and pear stuffing

Sides: Twice baked potato casserole, broccoli with garlic and cheese, fresh gravy

Desert: Individual baked apple pastry

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If you’ve never had gougere you are simply missing out. A light, fluffy pastry made with gruyere cheese, they are heaven right out of the oven. I got the chance to make it myself and it’s not that complicated, Moby and I are most certainly going to be making it again when we host our next dinner.

UncleGrape was generous enough to share some of his wine with us and we were delighted to drink whites, reds, and port throughout the meal. Let’s talk wine!

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To start the evening we opened a delicious picpoul with the cheese and crackers and in my excitement I forgot to take a picture of the bottle. It was light, delicious, and inexpensive. Picpoul is a white grape grown in the Chateauneuf du Pape region of Rhone. When the gougere arrived we opened a 2006 Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Laurence from Alsace. This wine stole the show for Moby and myself. It was sweet, spicy, and coated the glass with it’s deliciousness. We wrapped up appetizers with a 2010 Dauvissat Chablis which is a chardonnay from Burgundy. It was light and fruity and a nice way to transition to the main course.

White wine rankings:

1: 2006 Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Laurence. This wine was so delicious that I’ve ordered more to have in the house. 2006 was no longer available but I was able to find 2009 and 2010. Stay tuned for a full review in the future.

2: Picpoul: I wish I had more info on this bottle but we’ll be trying another soon.

3: 2010 Dauvissat Chablis.

Onto the the reds. UncleGrape approached me and said “How about Chateauneuf’s tonight?” I smiled and nodded my head excitedly. Here’s what we had with dinner:

1998 and 2000 CdPs from Paul 1998 Font de Michelle CdP

UncleGrape didn’t let us down and served us 4 excellent CdP’s. We agreed on the first two rankings but we flip flopped on the last two…here’s how I ranked them:

1. 2000 Domaine Charvin

2. 1998 Domaine Font de Michelle Cuvee Etienne Gonnet

3. 1998 Vieux Telegraph

4. 2000 Domaine de la Janasse

All 4 wines were delicious but the Charvin was head and shoulders above the other three wines. A perfect balance of fruit, spice, and body it was the best CdP I’ve had to date…ahead of the 2007 Bosquet des Pape we rated earlier this year. I’m looking forward to trying more CdP from Domaine Charvin in the future.

While I was hard at work on the gougere Moby was slaving over the baked apples we had for desert. Each serving is half an apple stuffed with a mixture of butter, sugar, and spices and wrapped in a pastry crust. We used golden delicious apples and will 100% be making these again. They look like little bowling balls but were one of the lightest deserts I’ve ever had. They melted in your mouth and left you wanting more…serving them with vanilla ice cream made it even better.

With the apples we had a fantastic 1977 Taylors Vintage Port:

1977 Taylor's Vintage Port

UncleGrape started this decanting about 7 hours before we drank it and there was probably a solid 1-2 cups of sediment in the sink after pouring it into the decanter. However, it opened up beautifully…we were all shocked at how much life it still had left. It was ready to drink now but it could easily age longer. It had the delicious raisin taste I associate with port and was even better than the 1994 Graham’s we had earlier this year. Moby and I kept the bottle to add to our collection…maybe we’ll use it as a vase or a decoration in the future.

What a night. Family, friends, and 8 bottles of fantastic wine. We’re looking forward to our next trip already!