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Famille Hugel drops Jubilee brand

The historic Alsace producer Famille Hugel is to discontinue its Jubilee grand cru brand, the estate has confirmed.

Famille Hugel adopted the Jubilee brand to mark its 350th anniversary (Photo: Famille Hugel)

Introduced to mark the estate’s 350th anniversary in 1989, the Jubilee range comprised Famille Hugel’s grand cru Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir expressions from its oldest vineyards in Riquewihr.

As of the estate’s 2010 grand cru releases, the Jubilee label will be replaced by the designation Grossi Laüe, which means ‘great growth/vineyard’ in Alsatian, Etienne Hugel said.

Famille Hugel will use the new branding “until the 2015 vintage”, Hugel explained, after which it may “potentially” adopt specific grand cru designations for its grand cru wines. Until 2015 the grand cru range will also include the term ‘Édition Limitée’.

The move has come in response to what Famille Hugel sees as increasing knowledge among its customers and a greater demand for information concerning terroir.

“People that consume our [entry level] Classic wines trust our brand, our reputation, our family,” Hugel explained.

“But when it comes to the upper range of our wines, consumers are now educated enough about Alsace to want to know about the story behind the terroir, which is one of the motivations for our move.”

Hugel has in the past criticised the Alsace grand cru AOC system, which was established in 1975, for a “lack of rigour”, preferring to sell its grand cru wines under its own brand name.

Famille Hugel has also announced two other changes to its portfolio. The Famille Hugel Classic range now includes a Muscat and Pinot Gris for the first time, including “elegant and refined new labels”, and all legal information being relocated to the back label.

The drinks business reported recently that Famille Hugel completed its 2015 harvest on October 8, describing the vintage as “truly exceptional”.

The estate also confirmed that it would be producing its Riesling Vendanges Tardives and Sélections de Grains Nobles from this year’s vintage.

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