domenica 16 novembre 2014

Zind-Humbrecht winery - Alsace - Byodinamic winery

Zind-Humbrecht is one of the most prestigious winery in Alsace. During our trip to Alsace one and a half year ago (time flies!), we were recommended this company while purchasing its wines in a wineshop in Colmar. Everything started because we asked the wine merchant some organic/biodynamic recommendation: I know it’s an obsession. There are people obsessed with naturalness of food. Other with naturalness of wine. I am a little bit of both!
At the end we purchased a series of bottles, being guaranteed that we had the same price as buying them at the winery cellar.

Despite of that, we decided to visit it but the problem was that, being August, everything was closed and we had to stay happy with what we had: just the bottles :). Treating them as pearls, taking away the dust every week, we finally decided to have a tasting sharing this jewel.

Just some notes about the company to keep them in my jotter. The Domaine Zind-Humbrecht was born in 1959 from the merger of two families. The “guru” of the winery, or better “the mind”, was Léonard, who is now operating with the son Olivier. Their principles is to not use the sugar in the must, to keep very low yeld per hectare and, since 2002, to adopt biodynamic viticulture to grow Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer.

 The estate has 3 Grand Crus: the Hengst, dedicated fully to the Gewürztraminer; the Brand, where the Riesling better expresses itself; the Goldert: this area is suitable for tardive ripening, donating its grapes a good acidity on the other side – the protagonists are here Muscat and Gewürztraminer.

 The other vineyards, in few words, are:
Herrenweg: it’s the most expanded due to its favorable climate which allows the growing of all the different grapes. This is where most of the company production takes place.
Clos Hauserer: it’s a very small one and its terroir is quite similar to the Brand Grand Cru.
Clos Windsbuhl: they say it’s the best lot not classified as Grand Cru. It is a vineyard site with lots of seashells The grapes cultivated here generate Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer with excellent aromatic quality, always in balance with a good acidity.
Clos Jebsal: this small Vineyard is inclined for the development of the Botrytis cinerea and its tardive grape harvests originate the best Pinot Gris Sélection de grain nobles.
 Heimbourg: small area where, thanks to the climate, the Botrytis develops later.

The wines I have bought (and therefore tasted :-)): 

 @ Pinot Gris “Clos Windsbuhl” 2010 : very intense aromatic quality. No botrytis. Bold, richly fruity (pear, matured apple, melon), mineral.

@ Riesling “Clos Windsbuhl” 2010 : I liked the deep yellow colour. Rather than creamy notes here you find more citrus fruits, some white fruits as well. Again good acidity and minerality.

@ Gewürztraminer “Clos St Urbain” - Grand Cru Rangen 2010 : also here exotic fruits, richness in taste well balanced by a good minerality. I couldn’t feel particular smoky notes. It’s a rounded wine, a little bit fat. They say that 2010 was a bad year for Gewürztraminer in Alsace, but I didn’t notice particularly in this wine.

@ Pinot Gris “Herrenweg” 2010: I am a little bit repetitive J But again excellent aromatic quality. In this wine I could feel more toasty notes, almond, honey and a good acidity to balance the sugar and keeping it extremely pleasant.

 And after those, two wines from 2011 vintages:

@@ Riesling “Herrenweg” 2011 : it’s one of the most vivid in terms of freshness. Citrus, green apple, white fruits.

 @@ Gewürztraminer 2011: perfumed with pear and grape notes. Not my favourite.

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