The group met recently after a brief hiatus to look at a pretty diverse topic. Alsace is a French region very close to my heart having visited twice. It is possibly the most underrated and also misunderstood, which is partly to do with the seemingly unfocused nature (no one key variety or style) and the fact that it has a complicated history (several times it has been part of Germany). In my opinion it is the most beautiful wine region, and the people are some of the warmest in the country, possibly due to their history of oppression and war.
Tag Archives: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht
Goldert Grand Cru Muscat 1981
A very ripe tropical passionfruit and pineapple fruit character, a rich oily and complex palate with honey and cream, and showing some subtle savoury notes.
Goldert Grand Cru Muscat 1973
Spectacular concentration, the aromas were completely unfamiliar not having tasted white wines of this age in my limited experience. There were some delicate herbal and steamed vegetable aromas, but late on the palate there was some caramel nougat and slightly smoky minerality. The wine was still showing youth, and will live another 25+ years.
Goldert Grand Cru Muscat 1967
Officially the oldest table wine I have ever tasted, and whilst the first two vintages were still very light and straw in colour, this was a richer golden hue. The 1967 was still showing plenty of ripe glazed fruit characters on the nose coupled with some salted nut and mushroom complexity. On the palate there was something so familiar but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it, but settled on roasted artichokes. All three wines had amazing balance and length, and probably had some residual sugar when young which had dissipated in time.
As such we ended up tasting 33 wines, which was a little too much and I was getting palate fatigue by the end.
The 2010 wines that had recently been bottled included the Pinot Blanc, the Thann Riesling, the Clos St Urbain Riesling and Pinot Gris, the Clos Winsbuhl Gewurztraminer, and the Vielles Vignes Vendages Tardives Gewurztraminer. These wines were generally very concentrated and high in acid freshness, and were all far too young to be drunk now, with the possible exception of the Pinot Blanc.
Almost half of the many wines produced by Zind-Humbrecht are rieslings, from numerous renowned vineyards including Hengst, Windsbuhl and Brand.
There were a few standouts, such as the Turckheim 2008 which had some creamy oxidative richness and texture, and because of its demi-sec residual sugar would be fantastic with spicy Asian food.
Very elegant and fine acids, lovely freshness and brightness, but was very young.
Some lemon peel and dried mango notes, with some sharp tropical notes on the palate.
Rangen de Thann Clos St Urbain 1988 magnum
Exhibited the classic aged riesling characteristics of kerosene and lime on the nose, but was still very fresh in its citrus notes on the palate.
After trying some much older vintages of the same wine, it was nice to try the current release of the Goldert Muscat, which had the typical musk and dried grape notes, but was very fresh without obvious fruit on the palate.
Rotenberg Pinot Gris 2009
Some very subtle truffle and foie gras aromas, and was surprisingly savoury on the palate with a dry finish, a true hallmark of an Alsatian pinot gris.
Clos St Urbain Pinot Gris 1994
Very oily, rich and powerful, and is sitting in a very expressive place at the moment.
Some of the gewürztraminer wines were on the heavy and fat side, such as the Hengst 2008, whereas some of them were very soft and gentle like the Clos Winsbuhl 2008.
To finish with we looked at a SGN GWT from 1986 which was very earthy and had characters of fungi and cream, with a lanolin creamy texture on the palate. Tasting through the pinot gris and gewürztraminer wines showed how important texture viscosity and residual sugar can be to these varieties, but in terms of style seemed somewhat disparate from the very elegant and fine rieslings. This made determining the style of Zind-Humbrecht difficult, and will require more tasting to determine.