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Flat front label of wine

Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer 2009

Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
  • WS92
  • RP90
14% ABV
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • JS92
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • WS88
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
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.
RP 90
Robert Parker's 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.
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Zind-Humbrecht

Zind-Humbrecht

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Zind-Humbrecht, Alsace, France
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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".

Certified Organic and Biodynamic.

With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence, and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory, and this is easy to see both in Alsace’s architecture and wine styles. A long, narrow strip running north to south, Alsace is nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, making it perhaps the driest region of France. The growing season is long and cool, and autumn humidity facilitates the development of noble rot for the production of late-picked sweet wines Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles. Alsace is divided into two halves—the Haut-Rhin and the Bas-Rhin—the former, at higher elevations, is associated with higher quality and makes up the lower portion of the region.

The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris. Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted here, responsible for about 10% of production and often used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty, and historically has always been bone dry to differentiate it from its German counterparts. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is fresh and floral, developing complex mineral and gunflint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat is vinified dry, and tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal. There are 51 Grand Cru vineyards in Alsace, and only these four noble varieties are permitted within. While most Alsatian wines are bottled varietally, blends of several (often lesser) varieties are commonly labeled as ‘Edelzwicker.’

Gewurztraminer

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Gewürztraminer is an expressive and aromatically distinctive white grape variety. It is considered a noble variety in the Alsace region of France, and can produce beautiful wines in the mountainous Alto Adige region of north-eastern Italy. With the notable exception of the Anderson Valley, most regions of California are too warm for Gewürztraminer’s low potential acidity, but it has done particularly well in more northerly, cooler regions of North America such as British Columbia, Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, and New York's Finger Lakes.

In the Glass

Gewürztraminer is bold and highly aromatic, with intense flavors of lychee, rose petal, ginger, musk, exotic spice, smoke, pineapple, apricot kernel, and peach. Wines range from bone dry to quite sweet, and its naturally low acidity is offset by high levels of skin-derived phenolics, which in addition to aromatics provide weight and a good structural grip.

Perfect Pairings

Gewürztraminer’s natural spiciness makes it a great ally for flavorful cuisine, such as Indian, Middle Eastern, or Moroccan fare. It is also excellent with dense, oily fish like salmon, swordfish, and mahi-mahi, and works well with a wide range of meats and charcuterie. Gewürztraminer truly shines with classic Alsatian dishes like choucroute, Quiche Lorraine, and anything egg-based.

Sommelier Secret

Because of its floral perfume and tendency towards slight sweetness, Gewürztraminer makes for an excellent gateway wine. For those who have been introduced to wine through Moscato or other sweet wines, Gewürztraminer can serve as the perfect bridge towards an appreciation for dry whites.

MNS18515091_2009 Item# 113691