Top Families. Top Wines. From Torres and Hugel.

Top Families. Top Wines. 

From Torres and Hugel.

Torres, a Spanish family, dedicated to wine for five generations and the Hugel family, that started making wine in the Alsace in 1639, produced our two excellent wines today.

Torres Altos Ibéricos Rioja Crianza (DOC) 2018, 14% ABV

While Torres is synonymous with wine in Spain, it was only in 2005 that they first purchased land in Rioja. This wine, first produced in 2007, is 100% Tempranillo and has spent 12 months in French and American oak. It bears the red crianza sticker (see below).

Not surprisingly, it is regarded as a modern interpretation of Tempranillo. Its amicable aromas, intense and fragrant, draw you in, more so than its 20th century counterparts.

Yours truly with
Miguel Torres.

That “lighter touch” continues on the well-rounded palate, where soft red fruits and sweet spices combine smoothly with the effects of its time in oak. The finish is long with a light spicy aftertaste. Very Highly Recommended.

The Tempranillo grape is Spain’s top variety. Best known for its Rioja expressions but grown in many regions of the country. Older Tempranillo goes well with the likes of steaks and burgers while fresher styles like this are best matched with “baked pasta and other tomato based dishes” according to Wine Folly.

Rioja red wine stickers:

The green label (cosecha) indicates less than one year in oak, less than one in bottle.

The red label (crianza) indicates 1 year in oak, 1 in bottle.

The burgundy (reserva) indicates 1 year in oak, 2 in bottle.

The royal blue (gran reserva) indicates 2 years in oak, three years in bottle.

  • This Rioja was a gift. The wine, imported by Findlaters (as is the Gentil), is widely available, including at Bradleys, North Main Street, Cork for €14.95.



Top Wines 2022. With Reviews & Irish Stockists. 


Hugel Gentil Alsace (AOC) 2020, 13% ABV, €14.95 Bradleys.

Pale yellow with green tints is what you see in the glass. There are attractive aromas (including fruit, citrus and peaches, and floral elements). On the palate, it has a soft and supple feel, is full of flavour, dry and absolutely refreshing, with a great finalé. 

Lots of attractive features yet it is very versatile at the table, doesn’t overpower your food. Natalie MacClean recommends seared scallops, sushi, vegetables, herbed chicken, pork dishes, excellent too as an aperitif says our retailer Michael of Bradley’s. Very Highly Recommended.

Gentil is an Alsace tradition, made from all the white grapes of the estate. And it is done carefully, to a very high and controlled official standard.

It is Hugel’s only blend, dry and the ideal introduction to Alsace wines. It combines the elegance of Riesling, the richness of Pinot Gris, the fruitiness of Gewürztraminer and Muscat with the freshness of Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner. They are all here: “All the Alsace grapes in one glass”.

I’ve been very partial to Gentil in general for quite a few years now (the Hugel one is on sale in Bradley’s). I met Jean Frédéric Hugel in Cork a few years back and he told me it is their best seller. “It is produced from six different grapes. These are blended after the wine-making stage to balance it better. It is super versatile and works well by the glass in restaurants.” I thought that was interesting as I cannot recall seeing it offered around this area. Maybe there’s an opening there - it is delicious and, as Jean Frédéric said, super versatile.

Other Gentils available locally include Meyer-Fonné and Trimbach.

Hugel & Fils, founded in 1639 in picturesque Riquewihr, Alsace, France, is still 100% family owned and managed by the 12th consecutive generation of the family.

Alsace enjoyed a very good year in 2020, so much so that “No late harvest wines were produced due to the ‘too good’ sanitary conditions which forbid the development of botrytis. “A cool and long growing season gives this unique dry wine great finesse and unequalled drinkability.” And that is well confirmed by this bottle, by the way, closed with DIAM “the cork without the risk of cork taint”.

  • More here on DIAM closures.


Best Value Wines 2022. With Reviews & Irish Stockists.