Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer 2009
Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
#67 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
The nose is very pungent, showing lots of exotic aromas, roses and spices, clearly also influenced by the limestone vineyards from Wintzenheim. The palate shows surprising structure and a dry finish. The grapes were very healthy, so the fermentation was steady and almost complete, which suits this style of Gewurztraminer. It is already quite open but will benefit from a little time in the bottle.
This style of Gewurztraminer will be perfect with grilled fish or white meat, go very well with smoked food, Asian recipes and anything that could be complicated with wines.
Wine Spectator - "Crackling acidity sets up this dry, aromatic version, with layered flavors of lychee, fleur de sel, orange peel and smoke, joined by a hint of cantaloupe. Finely meshed, building in intensity toward the minerally finish, with lots of lingering white pepper notes. The L170 in small print in the lower left corner of the label distinguishes this from the otherwise identical label of the L17M. Drink now through 2024. 3,000 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The Zind-Humbrecht 2009 Gewurztraminer L17O (along with its modestly sweet counterpart L17N) incorporates most of this year-s crop from the Herrenweg; the entire crop of the small but often distinguished village parcels in Turckheim and Wintzenheim; plus young vines from the Hengst. At 3,000 cases, it and the L17N constitute a volume three times the usual for generic Z-H Gewurz. Like the corresponding Pinot Gris, this finished dry at 14% alcohol, yet not only does it retain a fine sense of primary fruit juiciness, it also displays buoyancy that borders on delicacy. That-s not to say the oily richness or sense of inner-mouth expansiveness one expects from its genre are missing. Celery root, brown spices, and rose petal abound in this charmer, with pungent hints of catnip and pepper adding stimulation to an unusually refreshing finish. A small-scale triumph for its vintage which might well keep longer, I would still relish this wine-s youthful allure over the next couple of years. "
The Domaine Zind-Humbrecht was created in 1959 by the merging of two families, that on Zenon Humbrecht, viticulteur in Gueberschwihr, and that of Emile Zind, viticulteur in Wintzenheim, with the marriage of their children, Leonard Humbrecht and Ginette Zind. Before this date both families produced and sold their wines separately. Domaine Humbrecht had been passed from father to son since the Thirty Years War (1620). The vinification is now in the hands of Oliver Humbrecht, son of Ginette and Leonard. In 1995, Robert Parker called Oliver's 1993's "The wine of a genius". View all Zind-Humbrecht Wines
About AlsaceView a map of Alsace wineries France and Germany, nestled between the Voges Mountains and the Rhine River. These landmarks give Alsace an ideal climate for the white grapes that have become the mainstays of the region. Pinot Noir is also grown, with plantings of the grape increasing with consumer demand for red wine.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Alsace underwent a territorial tug-of-war, bouncing from France to Germany and back to France again at the end of the first World War. While the French led the renaissance of fine wine production in the 20th century, Alsacians have integrated both French and German influences in their wine. Alsacian wines are mostly white, with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer leading the plantings. Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner are also popular varietals. The bottles are flute-shaped, like many German wines, and the type of grape is clearly placed on the wine's label – quite unlike the typical French practice of labeling wines by region.
Notable FactsAlsace wines have four noble varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat. These are the only varietals allowed in the 50 Alsacian Grand Cru wines. Pinot Blanc, while not noble, is key in making many of the Cremant d'Alsace (sparkling wines) and is found in many Alsace AC blends. Most of the wines from the region are dry – with steely acidity and round fruit flavors, typically more full bodied (aka, more alcohol) than their German counterparts. There are also sweet wines and, of course, sparkling.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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