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by Fred McMillin
"Scarce in the U.S.A."
James A. Beard, June 1958: "The gently rolling slopes of lovely Alsace produce delicate and fragrant wines...One is "Gentil," a blend of several grape varieties, that is pleasant but [alas] scarce in the U.S.A."
The House of Hugel is the most widely known and one of the oldest of Alsatian negociant firms, being established in 1639.
...The Wines of Eastern France, J. Baxevanis
Twelfth-generation Etienne Hugel: "We have recently revived a centuries-old Alsace tradition by blending five white varieties to create a gentle, dry "Gentil."
How appropriate that such an old firm has resumed making such an old wine. Frederick Wildman imports it, making sure it is no longer "scarce in the U.S.A." What do the critics think of it? The Wine Spectator's Bruce Sanderson selected the 1996 as one of his best buy: "A vibrant white displaying floral, citrus and peach character. Finishes with a lip-smacking tanginess. Delicious." My nine tasters heartily agreed. Though Alsatian wines are generally drunk young, a year in my cellar gave it added aroma and charm.
1996 Gentil, Alsace, France
If you were wondering about the composition of Hugel Gentil, the five grapes are Sylvaner, Muscat, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.
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