Widely acknowledged as one of the legendary wineries in Alsace, the wines of Domaine Zind Humbrecht are nothing short of magical.
The pedigree is undeniable; the estate boasts over 100 acres of vineyards, including 4 of the prestigious Grand Crus – Rangen, Brand, Hengst and Goldert – and single vineyards – Rotenberg, Clos Hauserer, Herrenweg, Clos Jebsal, Heimbeourg and Clos Windsbuhl. In 2002, the winery was certified organic and biodynamic, an improvement on the already meticulous practices in their unbroken winemaking lineage, operating since 1620.
Today, the Alsatian terroir is translated with Olivier Humbrecht at the helm, the first Frenchman and one of the world’s few winemakers to have obtained the MW status. Olivier has quite possibly overseen the greatest improvements in the estate’s long history, having initiated biodynamic practices and a new wine cellar (which retained the old barrels). He is a strong believer in understanding and respecting his land with minimal intervention in the winery; a philosophy that is convincingly exemplified when you taste his range of wines.
Recently, our team at FINE+RARE had the pleasure of tasting two verticals: Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal Trie Spéciale 2006-2010 and Pinot Gris Clos St Urbain Grand Cru Rangen de Thann 2000-2002. Here are our highlights:
Vineyard: Clos Jebsal
This Pinot Gris vineyard was planted in 1983 and lies on a geological fault of grey marl limestone situated just below the Brand Grand Cru. Only a tiny 1.3 ha is planted on the very steep (50%), south-facing slope. Because of its location and soil, every vintage of Clos Jebsal from 1989 onwards has been a Late Harvest or Selection of Noble Grapes (SGN). The site is also known to produce noble rot which is often detected in the wines. The sweet and concentrated flavours in the Clos Jebsal wines are a distinct reflection of this specific site.
2006 Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal SGN Trie Spéciale
Deep tawny colour with orange highlights towards the rim. A super-complex nose reveals toffee, walnut, fig, orange peel and sweet spices. The palate is a multi-dimensional elixir of caramel, nougat, citrus, toasted nuts and prune. Invigorating acidity plunges through every sip, providing balance to such concentrated, creamy texture. Layers of sweet and savoury follow into the long finish.
2010 Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal SGN Trie Spéciale
From a great vintage in Alsace with low crops.
Bright amber orange colour with an intoxicating nose of pineapple, wild herbs, lemon and mango. On the palate – massive acidity with rich, honeyed texture and flavours of sweet tropical fruits, baked peach and quince. Long length, incredible balance.
Vineyard: Rangen de Thann
This Grand Cru vineyard is the most southern in Alsace and is known for its terroir that promotes late-ripening. The soil is made up of a thick layer of volcanic rocks and sedimentary sandstones dating back from the Carboniferous era and the aspect of the vineyard is fully south-facing on a steep hillside with terraced plantings. Because of the proximity to the Vosges Mountains, coupled with higher altitude and rainfall, there is a unique late-ripening capability that creates great depth and concentration in these wines. The volcanic composition and structure of the soil is attributed to bringing intensity to the flavour profile, often characterized as flinty or smokey. Despite plantings of different varieties – Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer – the wines from this vineyard share the common hallmarks of structure, acidity and minerality.
2000 Pinot Gris Clos St Urbain Grand Cru Rangen de Thann
Deep amber in colour. The nose opens with aromas of orange blossom, apricot and smoke. The palate is opulent and textural . Flavours of toffee, smoke, toasted orange and spiced-fruit are fused with citrus oils and fresh acidity. Sweet and velvety but finishes dry with a burst of mineral.
Both verticals confirmed that the resounding trademark of Zind Humbrecht wines is their overriding sense of terroir, each a pure representation of place and time.
If you are interested in acquiring one of our Zind Humbrecht Vertical Collection Cases, please email us. To view our full Zind Humbrecht listings, click here.
We currently have three Zind-Humbrecht collection cases available direct from the property: the Riesling Clos Windsbuhl Case, the Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal Case and the Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Case.