Zind-Humbrecht 2001 - Vintage notes

The 2001 Vintage at Domaine Zind-Humbrecht
(text from Olivier Humbrecht)

It would be so easy to compare the last vintage with previous vintages which are well known, so the potential evolution of each wine would not be a mystery. Unfortunately (or interestingly?), 2001 is not one of those easy year to associate with another one. Budbreak was late, but the flowering was normal during the first two weeks of June. July and August were very warm to hot, allowing the vines to grow regularly thanks to enough rainfalls in most areas in Alsace. September, which is the month that should gives the character to the vintage according to many people, was relatively discreet , almost cold and humid, but not really rainy. The maturity levels were already good end of August, but didn’t progress as hoped in September. The opening date of the harvest was set for October 1st, but in fact, most growers started to pick the grapes from the 10th due to insufficient ripeness. From October 9th to November 5th the weather changed radically and became very dry and warm, helping the vines to fully ripen the grapes and giving good reasons to wait to the growers who showed patience.

The quality of 2001 was in fact determined during the whole year, not just September or October. More than any other vintage, it was crucial to gain precocity and obtain an homogenous véraison (change of colour of the grapes) before the end of August. The yield per vine, the control of the vigour, the quality of the vine training, the intensity of extra buds removal and the management of the hedging (as late as possible) were all equally important to achieve this result. In these conditions, the cold weather of September was not damaging for the ripeness. It helped to keep good acidity levels and good health conditions for the vines well anchored in their soil (thanks to regular ploughings and the grass growing before the harvest in the vineyards). The maturity continued to progress until the first period of warm weather (October 9th – 20th). Then there were some rainfalls and a second good period of warm/dry weather between October 31st and November 5th. The first period was ideal to harvest healthy grapes with good acidity levels, the second period allowed more development of noble rot.

On the Domaine, most vineyards were harvested between October 10th and 20th. The Clos Jebsal, the gewürztraminer Goldert, Windsbuhl and Rangen were harvested early November. No wine was chaptalized and all the vineyards were cultivated in biodynamie. The average yield for the AOC Alsace was 44 hl/ha and 36 hl/ha for the Grands Crus vineyards , normal considering that there was little botrytisation in 2001.

The optimum ripeness of the grapes (the skins were very thick) and the longer ripening season should characterize intense and aromatic wines. The absence of botrytis and over-ripeness in most wines mean that the wines show lots of delicate and fine structures. The 2001 wines are balanced in acidity and ripeness and show little malic character. Most wines (especially the Rieslings) fermented over 6 months.

Note : Mise= bottling date, alc= finished alcohol level, SR= residual sweetness, hl/ha= yield/hectare, 2002-2010.....= optimum drinking period.
Indice: level of sweetness on the palate. This note combines the sweetness, acidity, alcohol and overall structure of the wine. It ranges from  1 to 5. 1: totally dry (<2 to 6g/l RS), 2: not technically dry, but sweetness not apparent on the palate. Some tasters might find some roundness on the finish. 3: medium sweetness, especially present when the wine is young and might gradually disappear with the ageing. 4: Sweet wine 5: High sweetness, VT in richness without the usual botrytis.

Zind 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol:  12.9° alc; Residual sweetness: 9 g/l; Yields: 55 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2010; Average age of the vines : 19 years; Surface : 3.5 ha; Indice 2
This is our classic blend of Auxerois (50%), Pinot Blanc (15%) and Chardonnay (35%), from the usual vineyards of Rotenberg, Herrenweg and Clos Windsbuhl. Unfortunately, the chardonnay grape is only allowed for the production of sparkling wines in Alsace and is now definitely forbidden for the production of still wines. Our choice was either to pull out our vines (no way!), make sparkling wine (bof), sell the base wine or grapes to someone making sparkling wine (sell Windsbuhl grapes?!) or declassify everything into the Vin de Table category. Having planted chardonnay in 1989 in the Windsbuhl in order to increase the complexity and ageing potential of our blend, we chose the last solution. Because there are no Vin de Pays classification in Alsace, I can only use the very basic Vin de Table classification, which forbids us to write the vintage, grape varieties and any indication of origin on the label. We chose to name the wine ‘ZIND’.
The 2001 vintage produced a rich wine, high in maturity. Like most of the 2001s, the grapes were harvested very healthy with a good balance in acidity. The Rotenberg (auxerrois) vineyard was the smallest production. In general, the auxerrois grape variety did very well in 2001, resulting in good ripeness with the necessary balance in acidity (which is rare).
The wine has a strong nutty mineral flavour, very intense on the nose at this young age. The palate is powerful, but balanced with a crisp acidity and long aftertaste. Even if this wine never saw new oak (only classic old casks), it seems that the calcareous vineyards and extensive lees contact give some toasty character to this wine. A wine for plenty of occasions, from fish to white meat. 1/2003
 
Muscat Herrenweg de Turckheim 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002,Alcohol: 12.8° alc, Residual sweetness:  9 g/l; Yields: 50 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : (2003-2006); Average age of the vines :  46 years; Surface :  0.36 ha; Terroir : Gravelly/silt; Indice 2.
The Herrenweg vineyard is located on a gravelly soil in a very precocious climate. It is frequent to see the botrytis develop there, but not in 2001, even in the Muscat grapes. Made with 70% Muscat Ottonel and 30% Muscat d’Alsace. Unusually, they were harvested relatively late for these grapes (October 10th) because of the slightly late ripening season of 2001. Muscat doesn’t always follow the normal rules and it seems that 2001 is a very good vintage for this grape variety.
This wine fermented for 5 weeks, keeping some residual sweetness which are little detectable on the palate. Extremely aromatic and pungent on the nose at the moment, the flavours are also powerful on the palate. Relatively delicate on the palate, the alcohol is medium, the Muscat Herrenweg shows lots of delicacy and is already delicious to drink today. The aromas are so developed that I wouldn’t wait to long to drink it and enjoy it the next few years.

Muscat Grand Cru Goldert 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol: 12.9 ° alc; Residual sweetness: 4 g/l; Yields: 55 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2004-2015; Average age of the vines : 23 years; Surface : 0.23 ha; Terroir : Oolithic calcareous, facing East, gentle slope.; Indice 1
Planted with 80% muscat d’Alsace grape variety, the Goldert was harvested relatively late to allow this late ripening grape to achieve correct ripeness level (remaining very healthy) in a vintage where September was cool. Thanks to its calcareous soil, this terroir gives a complex structure to the grapes, allowing them to develop a good acidity to a grape variety known to regularly have less. This wine fermented very slowly (over 12 months) and managed to transform all the sugars, which is also quite unusual in this wine.
Still impregnated by the long lees contact ageing in cask, this wine is astonishingly open and aromatic today. Very powerful on the nose, it also shows a strong minerality, which will dominate gradually the wine in the months that will follow the bottling. The mouth is strict with lively acidity, with great harmony, developing classic flowers/fruits characteristics. Strong autolysis of the lees still give a slightly reductive character which should disappear quickly after decantation prior service. 1/2003

Riesling 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol: 11.9° alc; Residual sweetness: 3 g/l; Yields: 77 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period :  2003-2004; Average age of the vines : 5 years; Surface : 0.8 ha; Terroir : gravelly/silt on valley floor; Indice 1
This wine comes from a young vineyard aged 5 years located in the Herrenweg de Turckheim vineyard. The age of the vines and the crop size (first pruning with 2 canes) made us declassify this wine into a varietal wine without any indication of origin beside Alsace. The grapes were healthy and the slightly lower maturity compared to the other wines of 2001 can be explained by the fact that it was the first vineyard to be harvested in 2001. (8th October). We didn’t want to take the risk to see botrytis developing on this vineyard.
Pale yellow green colour. The nose develops grapefruit zests aromas, without the usual bitterness associated with these kind of flavours. The palate is clean, medium light weight and finishes dry, without bitterness or acidity, showing classic Riesling varietal characteristic. This wine is ready now and will not improve after 2-3 years in bottle. 1/2003

Riesling Gueberschwihr 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling : 2/2003; Alcohol: 13.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 6 g/l; Yields: 53 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2015; Average age of the vines : 27 years; Surface : 1.17 ha; Terroir : Limestone/calcareous/silicium, facing East and South. Gentle slope.; Indice 1
Even though the 8 vineyards entering in this wines are located all around the village of Gueberschwihr, they all have similar soil and exposition characteristics. The climate and terroir of this village, slightly slower to ripen than the Colmar-Turckheim area, were particularly favourable to this grape variety in 2001.Harvested fully ripe, even slightly overripe, but without any botrytis, the Riesling Gueberschwihr fermented until September 2002 to finish dry.
Pale yellow. The nose is still impregnated of the long lees contact and will need some months to fully show all its potential. The mouth shows a very dry wine, with a crisp acidity, backed up with a powerful structure, reminding that that those grapes were very ripe. Thanks to the perfect health condition of the grapes, this wines will develop strong mineral flavours and should age very well for this kind of vineyard. 1/2003

Riesling Turckheim 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  12.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 14 g/l; Yields: 53 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2016; Average age of the vines : 20 years; Surface : 0.55 ha; Terroir : granite biotite, facing south to south-west. Medium slope. Indice 2
In 2001, this wine comes from 3 adjacent vineyards, all located in the Brand vineyard in Turckheim. They are traditionally declassified into the village category due to their younger age. In this vineyard, which warms up very quickly, lack of water can be the major problem in obtaining a perfect ripeness. 2001 was very well balanced in this respect (sometimes too rainy in September), giving these grapes a great acid/ripeness balance. Like most Rieslings in 2001, these clusters were harvested very healthy with good ripeness. Granite soil is particularly efficient in years like 2001.
This wine is almost technically identical to the same wine in 2000. The 2001 also has the strong typical minerality enhanced with fruity flavors that make this riesling relatively easy to taste young. The mouth is nicely balanced thanks to a fine acidity, the residual sweetness is palatable on the finish, but do not leave the impression that the wine is sweet. This is the Riesling which has the highest residual sweetness in 2001, but I am convinced that the wine will taste drier and drier with age, like the 2000. 1/2003

Riesling Thann 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling : 2/2003; Alcohol:  12.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 7 g/l; Yields: 39 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2004-2015; Average age of the vines : 21 years; Surface : 0.4 ha; Terroir : sedimentary volcanic rock, facing south, extremely steep slope. Indice 1
Some of the youngest riesling vines from the Rangen vineyard were vinified separately in 2001 and produced this wine. At the opposite of the pinot gris which was highly botritysed in this vineyard, the Riesling remained very healthy. The difference in maturity and yield were enough to justify the declassification into the village category. This wine fermented over 12 months and to the end of the sugars.
Intense yellow, this wine develops strong toasty, smoky almost peaty aromas on the nose. The palate shows a dry structure, strong minerality, still rough and finishes with this typical bitterness often seen in this type of soil. 1/2003

Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol:  13.2° alc; Residual sweetness: 7 g/l; Yields: 47 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2012; Average age of the vines :  26 years; Surface : 3.2 ha ; Terroir : gravelly soil/silt ; Indice 1
Our riesling vineyards in the Herrenweg are located in the area where the gravelly soil is covered with some loess. Loess is a recent deposit of silt originating from the wind, often quite rich but also poor in high quality clay, responsible for the mineral character in wines. The warmth and precocity of this type of soil helped to produce in 2001 grapes that were ripe and healthy, but also very aromatic on the taste. Beside mildiou that was quite aggressive in this vineyard in July, it was relatively easy to obtain high quality grapes. The slightly higher than usual acidity also made the fermentations last longer (12 months) but the yeasts were capable to finish to transform all the sugars, thanks to the absence of botrytis.
This wine is at the opposite style of the 2000. The nose is very developed at this early stage and shows all the purity of the Riesling grape variety: light minerality enhanced by floral notes, typical from Herrenweg vineyard. The mouth is a surprise. The nose would falsely indicate that the wine is sweet, when in fact it is quite strict and well focused for a gravely soil. The aromas are very fruity on the palate and the finish is dry but not acidic. Even though this wine fermented for a year, it doesn’t show the classic lees characteristic one would expect on such a young wine. This wine will age well, but I personally keep thinking that this vineyard should be drunk in its youth. 1/2003

Riesling Clos Häuserer 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling : 2/2003; Alcohol: 13.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 3.5 g/l; Yields: 36 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2015+; Average age of  vines : 28 years; Surface : 1.2 ha; Terroir : Calcareous Marl from the Oligocen period. Very gentle slope.; Indice 1
For the last few vintages, we always tried to harvest the Clos Hauserer at a nice physiological ripeness, but without over ripeness. This terroir already demonstrated its ability to develop noble rot (1989, 1994), it is also capable to produce racy rieslings with much less residual sweetness. The 2001 vintage was harvested in this style: very healthy, despite the strong mildew pressure in July, and with a strong mineral character coming from the calcareous marls. 2001 is also a small crop, given that the grapes weren’t botrytised.
2001 is a great dry riesling vintage, because it was able to express all the finesse and elegance of this grape variety. The Clos Häuserer was one of the last wine to finish its fermentation (end of October 2002) and right to the end, revealing a nervous wine with great length showing stony and mineral flavours. This wine, maybe even stricter than the 2000, will benefit from many more years of ageing. 1/2003

Riesling Heimbourg 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling : 2/2003; Alcohol: 13.2 ° alc; Residual sweetness: 11.6 g/l; Yields: 43 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2004-2015; Average age of the vines : 7 years; Surface : 1.06 ha; Terroir : Oligocen calcareous, facing south, south-west,  steep slope. Indice 2
This vineyard is located on the steepest part of the Heimbourg vineyard (50ù) and is facing south ; south-west. Surprisingly, this vineyard is capable of reaching high ripeness without any botrytis. The cool dry winds from the valley blow every night on this vineyards, stopping the development of noble rot. For this reason, we try not to harvest above 14% potential alcohol in order to avoid too many residual sweetness in the wine. Despite the young age of the vines, the high density of plantation and small yields are responsible for a good concentration.
The grapes are always very coloured and quite small in this vineyard, producing concentrated wines and slightly grapey on the nose. The mouth is powerful and purists might detect some roundness on the finish, that will quickly disappear through the ageing, thanks to a good acidity and alcohol level for this grape variety. This wine is already quite open and aromatic and will reach its apogee only in some years. 1/2003
 
Riesling Clos Windsbuhl 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol:  13.3° alc; Residual sweetness: 6.5 g/l; Yields: 44 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2018+; Average age of the vines : 28 years; Surface : 0.9 ha; Terroir : Muschelkalk calcareous (Jurassic), facing south-east, medium/steep slope. Indice 2
The riesling at the Clos Windsbuhl is produced on the upper part of the hill side, where the soils are shallower and only recovered with a thin layer of earth. We have in fact two different parts in the Riesling, one planted in 1989 and the other one being very old. The climate is one of the coolest of the estate and this parcel of Riesling is often one of the last one to be harvested on the estate, well after the pinot gris of the same vineyard. 2001 was an easy vineyard at the Windsbuhl, especially for the Riesling which was very healthy.
The nose is still characterized by the long lees contact and important yeast autolysis. However, the terroir shows through strongly, with intense exotic and citrus flavours. The palate is ample, rich but finishes dry with typical mineral stony aromas. Classic balance making this wine particularly interesting with delicate fish courses. 1/2003

Riesling Grand Cru Brand 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol: 13.7 ° alc; Residual sweetness: 7.5 g/l; Yields: 33 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2020+; Average age of the vines : 51 years; Surface :  1.6 ha, 100% Riesling; Terroir : Biotite granite, facing south. Strong slope; Indice 1
The Brand vineyard is capable of storing lots of sun energy (Brand means fire or heat), thanks to its light granitic soil. The 2001 vintage is interesting, because this vineyard was capable of exploiting the sun in September. The maturity is homogenous, harvested mid-October, under warm weather (28°C). Like most of our vineyards in Turckheim, the Riesling Brand was harvested very healthy without noble rot.
Thanks to a 12 months fermentation, this wine was capable of finishing its fermentation keeping little residual sweetness. Its dense and structured texture (yields were small for healthy Riesling) give volume and roundness on the palate. The finish remains dry and net, with good length. The Brand is always a wine with strong fruity/floral flavours in its youth, with strong minerality developing with the ageing in a few years. 1/2003

Riesling Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol: 12.6 ° alc; Residual sweetness: 12 g/l; Yields: 35 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2004-2020+; Average age of the vines : 39 years; Surface : 2.1 ha; Terroir : Sedimentary volcanic rocks, facing south, very steep slope. Indice 2
Riesling is a grape variety which has thicker skins than the pinot gris. This might explain why it has a greater botrytis resistance and also why the pinot gris was heavily botrytised in 2001 and the Riesling harvested perfectly healthy. We took only the oldest vines (planted in 1963) to produce this wine. The fermentation, at the opposite of all the other Rieslings, was much faster (3 months) but was able to finish completely dry, keeping some small amount of residual sweetness.
The volcanic soil gives strong peaty, smoky or even flinty character to the wines of the Rangen. The Riesling is capable of keeping in 2001 all its elegance and delicacy. The nose is typical, strongly mineral, almost austere. The palate is refined and elegant, and doesn’t show the powerful structure often obtained in the warm vintages where the botrytis can be important. The finish develops strong minerality, the classic Rangen bitterness and ripe acidity, which balances the residual sweetness. 1/2003

Pinot Gris 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  13° alc; Residual sweetness: 36 g/l; Yields: 55 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2010; Average age of the vines : 30 years; Surface : 1 ha; Terroir : muschelkalk calcareous and gravelly soil. Indice 3
This wine is originating from the vineyards usually producing our pinot gris Vieilles Vignes and also from some of the pinot gris in the Clos Windsbuhl. It is a generic wine with noble origin! We decided to declassify those two wines because we judged the pinot gris VV too austere (it is often very botrytised). The part coming from the Windsbuhl concerns the vineyards where we selected the botrytis to produce the SGN in 2001. Having harvested the most noble part, we preferred then declassify the remaining of the grapes, to produce this very interesting blended wine, still having great richness.
Yellow straw. The nose is already very developed, showing ripe exotic fruits aromas, quince and smoky flavours typical for the pinot gris. On the palate, this wine shows ripe grapes character (bee wax, smoke) and soft structure with great length. The residual sweetness is easily noticeable, making this wine quite agreeable to taste young and without bringing heaviness. The finish is well balanced with the acidity coming from the Windsbuhl grapes. It is a wine that will be better enjoyed in its youth, before ten years old. 1/2003
 
Pinot Gris Herrenweg de Turckheim 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  13.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 17 g/l; Yields: 45 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2012; Average age of the vines : 10 years; Surface : 0.8 ha; Terroir : gravelly soil on valley floor. Indice 2
Pinot Gris in the Herrenweg vineyard are located near our cellars. This vineyard is precocious in the ripeness and quite warm, despite its location on a valley floor, and the soils absorb lots of sun energy, thanks to an excellent drainage and deep water level. This vineyard is regularly one of the first to be harvested every year, with often lots of botrytis, but not in 2001.
This wine shows a classic balance. The residual sweetness is very well integrated and is not the first element the palate can detect. The aromas on the nose show some minérality, which is quite rare in this vineyard, as well as some typical smokiness. The wine is powerful on the palate with a relatively lively attack and structured finish, thanks to good acidity balance. Unusually, I think this wine will benefit some ageing. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Rotenberg 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol:  13.1° alc; Residual sweetness: 56 g/l; Yields: 38 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2004-2015; Average age of vines : 20 years; Surface : 1.21 ha; Terroir : Oligocen calcareous. West to North-west facing. Strong slope. Indice 4
The Rotenberg of Wintzenheim is located on the western side of the Hengst hill. The west to north-west facing could seem negative, but in fact, the quality of the mother rock compensate the lack of sun energy. The therefore cooler climate does slow down the ripeness, increase the aromatic components in the grapes and also helps to keep higher acidity levels. The under soil is identical to the one of the Hengst vineyard, except that there is no marl and the top soil is much thinner and high in iron content (which gives the red colour to the soil). The 2001 is very ripe with presence of some noble rot.
Despite a long and slow fermentation, this wine wasn’t able to transform all the sugar into alcohol. The result is a wine with incredible aromatic depth (ripe fruits, quince jelly) and fine nose. On the palate, the wine is round and mouth watering, the residual sweetness is almost VT like, but well balanced on the finish with an acidity typical of this vineyard. This wine will keep its sweetness a long time and will be able to age for a long time. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Heimbourg 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2003; Alcohol:  13.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 50 g/l; Yields: 22 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2016; Average age of the vines : 16 years; Surface : 1.61 ha; Terroir : Oligocen calcareous, facing west, north-west, strong slope. Indice 4
We chose to plant the pinot gris on the highest and west facing part of the Heimbourg, because it is the place where the soils are the poorest and most rocky, with little marls. This is certainly also the reason why we have every year such small yields in this vineyard. The less precocious climate (similar to the Rotenberg) is not an handicap. The grapes ripen slower and more regularly with good acidity balance. The 2001 crop is very ripe with little botrytis.
This wine just finished its fermentation at this date and will be bottled only in september 2003. Strongly influenced on the nose with yeast aromas, it still shows lots of fruity flavours (white fruits, peach, bee wax…) and very fine on the palate. The residual sweetness is obvious in the wine, but the finish is balanced and elegant. Very complex wine, certainly easier to describe later in the year. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  13.9° alc; Residual sweetness: 41 g/l; Yields: 41 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2020+; Average age of the vines :18  years; Surface : 1.3 ha; Terroir : Grey marls and gypsum. South facing, very steep slope; Indice 3
The Clos Jebsal is a small vineyard located between the Brand and the Heimbourg vineyards in the village of Turckheim. It is located in one of the warmest climate of Alsace, well protected from the winds. This contrasts with the soil, which is very rich and takes more time to warm up. The result is an aptitude to develop noble rot which is quite amazing. In 2001, the first harvest produced an SGN, and the second harvest produced this wine, which contains less botrytised grapes, but still very ripe.
The nose is still very austere with underlying minerality. The Jebsal is never the most open wine and the 2001 will take at least 3 to 4 years to fully develop all its potential. The mouth is racy and powerful, with strong wet stones and earthy flavours. The residual sweetness is apparent on the palate, but less important than in the Heimbourg or the Rotenberg wines. The 2001 Jebsal has a great acidity, that shouldmake this wine taste drier with age. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  13.3° alc; Residual sweetness: 70 g/l; Yields: 30 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2020+; Average age of the vines : 24 years; Surface : 3 ha; Terroir : Muschelkalk calcareous, south to south-east facing. Medium slope. Indice 5
In 2001, one part of the pinot gris in theClos Windsbuhl vineyard was used to produce an SGN. On the other part, where no selection was made (there was less botrytis), we harvested all the grapes, without any selection and it produced this wine. The result is a wine with a maturity very close to Vendange Tardive. It is rare to obtain botrytis of such quality in the Windsbuhl (1994, 2000). The late ripening climate of the Windsbuhl and also the 2001 vintage have favorized higher acidity levels.
Already very open on the nose, with aromas of exotic fruits, honey, apricots… The richness and roundness of this wine are detectable on the nose. The mouth only confirms this feeling. It is a voluminous wine on the palate, and the sweetness dominates. On the finish, the terroir is present and balances this wine. This wine will keep its sweet character most of his life, but only the Windsbuhl can produce this kind of ripeness with so much elegance. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol:  13.6° alc; Residual sweetness: 30 g/l; Yields: 36 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2018+; Average age of the vines : 32 years; Surface : 2.91 ha; Terroir : Sedimentary volcanic rocks. South facing, very steep slope. Indice 3
The very favorable climate during the 2001 harvest helped to the development of high quality botrytis in the Rangen vineyard, but only for the pinot gris. An SGN was produced in the vines nearest to the river Thur, the remaining vines produced this wine. If the terroir dominates in the wines from the Rangen, it doesn’t ripen the same way the pinot gris and the Riesling in 2001. Despite a long fermentation, this wine still has some sweetness.
The nose shows typical Rangen aromas : flintstone, peat, smokiness…which are also strongly influencing the palate. Quite unusually for this vineyard, it is already quite open, with intense exotic fruit at this early stage. I expect the mineral flinty character to overpower this wine in a few years. The structure is imposing on the palate, with significant sweetness. The balance will evolve with time towards a drier style. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Gueberschwihr 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  14.2° alc; Residual sweetness: 8 g/l; Yields: 47 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2010; Average age of the vines : 39 years; Surface : 0.4 ha; Terroir : Limestone/calcareous/silicium, facing East. Gentle slope; Indice 2
Harvested from our vineyards located around the village of Gueberschwihr, outside the Grand Cru Goldert, this gewurztraminer was perfectly healthy. The fermentation was vigorous (only one month), like most wine from the same grape variety in 2001. This will be our last wine in this vineyard. We exchanged it against another vineyard located in the Goldert (unfortunately smaller!).
This wine possess the classic rose aroma and spicy structure, without vulgarity and is almost austere. Elegantly balanced, it appears basically dry on the palate. The mouth is rich, without the roundness of previous vintages. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Turckheim 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  14.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 2 g/l; Yields: 58 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2008; Average age of the vines : 20 years; Surface : 0.9 ha; Terroir : Gravelly/silt soil on valley floor; Indice1
All the grapes that made this wine are coming from the Herrenweg vineyard. (We only the oldest vines to produce the Herrenweg). In 2001, the grapes were ripe and very healthy, with no sign of over ripeness or botrytis. (excellent distillations of marc in 2001). The fementation was vigorous and the wine finished bone dry.
As usual in this vineyard, the nose is very aromatic. The rose and geranium aromas dominate today, but with great delicacy and almost some rigor on the palate with a very dry finish. There is no bitterness, thanks to the health condition of the grapes. Drink young. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Wintzenheim 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  14.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 2 g/l; Yields: 55 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2010; Average age of the vines : 44 years; Surface : 2.4 ha; Terroir : gravely soil and calcareous marls; Indice 1
The gewurztraminer Wintzenheim is partly coming from a very old vineyard located on a gravely soil and partly from young vines (20years old) located in the Hengst vineyard. The blend of those two different soils results in an interesting balance. As the Turckheim, the fermentation was vigorous and this wine finished totally dry.
The nose has strong spicy, peppery flavours. The palate shows a racy structure with a very dry finish, but without bitterness. This wine is always less showy in its youth, but does have a balance that will unable him to age slightly better. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  14.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 6 g/l; Yields: 39 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2003-2012; Average age of the vines : 48 years; Surface : 4 ha; Terroir : gravely soil on valleyfloor; Indice 2
Only the oldest vines in the Herrenweg are used to produce this gewürztraminer. It is frequent to witness an important development of botrytis in this vineyard, but in 2001, the whole of this terroir was harvested in perfect health condition. The small crop and exceptionally thick skins guaranteed intense flavours for this vintage. Excellent overall acidity for a variety and a location which often have a low level.
Leather, spices and flowers dominate on the nose. The mouth is powerful and basically dry. The richness feeling comes from the concentration obtained from lower yields and a relatively high alcohol structure. The finish is dry and elegant, very different from the 2000. 1/2003
 
Gewurztraminer Heimbourg 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  13.4° alc; Residual sweetness: 43 g/l; Yields: 49 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2018; Average age of vines : planted in 1983; Surface : 1 ha; Terroir : Oligocen calcareous, facing west, medium to strong slope. Indice 4
The gewurztraminer is located on the western slope of the Heimbourg, at a lower altitude than the pinot gris. Usually this vineyard develops lots of botrytis (sun in the evening, humidity in the morning). In 2001, rot was inexistent (noble or grey), but the grapes did reach a high ripeness. Despite a quick and powerful fermentation (1 month), the wild yeast weren’t able to ferment all the sugar from the grapes.
This wine shows a strong minerality on the nose, as well as spicy/smoky flavours. The residual sweetness is important on the palate, despite good acid balance and structure. This wine is still relatively closed at the moment, but one can taste discreet rose and flower aromas, not quite open yet. The finish is rich, without being heavy, and underligned with good acidity that gives a fresh appeal to this wine. It will gain tremendously to age. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Clos Windsbuhl 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  14° alc; Residual sweetness: 35 g/l; Yields: 39 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2015+; Average age : 31 years; Surface : 0.9 ha; Terroir : : Muschelkalk calcareous, south to south-east facing. Medium slope. Indice 3
The Clos Windsbuhl has a relatively cool climate. Thanks to its well drained and light calcareous undersoil, it is capable of ripening the grapes to perfection, keeping great acidity and finesse in the wines. The 2001 vintage was specially favourable to the development of noble rot. A small part was harvested as VT and the other one produced this wine. Slightly influenced with the botrytis and the richness of the grapes, the fermentation was slow and the wine kept some residual sweetness.
The nose is already very open and reveals strong toasted, spicy and fruit cake flavours. It is long and powerful on the palate and does have a structure for ageing. The 2001 vintage is strongly dominated by the vineyard character. The botrytis and residual sweetness give some roundness to this wine, but it should evolve towards a drier style with some ageing. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Goldert 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  15° alc; Residual sweetness: 21 g/l; Yields: 49 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2006-2018+; Average age of the vines : 18 years; Surface : 0.6 ha; Terroir : Oolithic calcareous facing East. Gentle slope. Indice 2
The Goldert vineyard was one of the last vineyard to be harvested (November 5th ), with relatively little botrytis, but very ripe. The grapes are always incredibly perfumed in this  vineyard. The facing is not spectacular, the slope is very gentle, but the pure calcareous mother rock always give a great ageing potential to this vineyard.
The fermentation was incredibly vigorous. This wine did transform most of the sweetness into alcohol, to end up with a powerful balance, where the residual sweetness is almost not palatable. On the nose, the rose aromas are mixed with more smoky, earthy or even dry meat flavours. This wine is long and powerful on the palate, finishing quite strict. It will definitely evolve towards a much drier style quite quickly. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Hengst 2001 – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  14.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 22 g/l; Yields: 32 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2006-2020+; Average age of the vines : 50 years; Surface : 1.42 ha; Terroir : Marl-oligocen calcareous. South-south-east facing, medium to strong slope. Indice 2
The Hengst Grand Cru is located on a hill ideally exposed and in a warm and dry climate, rarely developing lots of botrytis. The calcareous rock is covered with a foot of rich marl and high quality clay. The calcareous shows the breeding and elegance to the wine, and the marl brings the structure and acidity. If other grape varieties succeed also on this vineyard, we always give preference to the gewürztraminer, because it is rare to obtain so much strength  and distinction in this grape variety.
As with the Goldert, the Hengst 2001 femented very vigorously, transforming most of the grape sugars. The mouth structue is dominated by the power and breed of this vineyard, hiding the little residual sweetness. On the nose and on the palate, the aromas are very spicy and smoky, overpowering the more classic floral notes. The finish is long but quite strict. 1/2003.
 
Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain 2001 Vendange Tardive – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 2/2003; Alcohol:  14.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 73 g/l; Yields: 25 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2026+; Average age of the vines : 38 years; Surface : 0.3 ha; Terroir : Sedimentary volcanic rocks. South facing, very steep slope
The climate in 2001 was very favourable to the development of high quality botrytis in the Rangen. The little gewürztraminer plot is located very near the river Thus and also enjoys good conditions for botrytis development. This terroir totally dominates any grape variety planted on it, even the gewürztraminer, which completely looses its exotic aspect.
The nose is strongly dominated with peat, flint and smoke flavours. It is practically impossible to recognise the gewürztraminer, so much is the varietal character dominated. The palate  is powerful and long on the attack, and warm and unctuous on the finish. The late harvest style is well defined in this wine that should age incredibly. 1/2003

Gewurztraminer Clos Windsbuhl 2001 Vendange Tardive – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  15.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 77 g/l; Yields: 32 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2025+; Average age of the vines : 31 years; Surface : 0.9 ha; Terroir : Calcareous Muschelkalk facing south-east, medium slope.
The Clos Windsbuhl in 2001 enjoyed a favourable climate for the development of noble rot, even in this grape variety. For the first time since we produce wine on this estate of Hunawihr, we were able to select some clusters significantly affected with noble rot, in order to produce this vendange tardive wine, that has in fact an almost SGN maturity. The ripeness was exceptional, but so was also the fermentation, transforming more sweetness and giving ore a VT style to this wine.
Yellow straw colour. The nose, already very pen, reveals powerful aromas of roses, spices, fruit cake and honey. The mouth is very powerful, without being dominated by the high alcohol of this wine. The dry extract concentration brings a strong spicy character, almost tisane like. The balance of the sweetness/richness will make this wine age endlessly. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal 2001 Sélection de Grains Nobles – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  12.2° alc; Residual sweetness: 168 g/l; Yields: 22 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2025+; Average age of the vines : 18 years; Surface : 1.3 ha; Terroir : Grey marls and gypsum. South facing, very steep slope
This vineyard confirms its ability to produce botrytised wines every vintage. The balance resulting between the soil (cold, slow to warm up and often humid) and the climate (warm, precocious, protected from the winds) allows the noble rot to spread consistently year after years. We had to wait longer in 2001 than in the Rangen or Clos Windsbuhl (it is often the opposite) to be able to do the SGN in the Jebsal. Classic maturity for this vineyard.
The nose is already incredibly open and reveals intense and refined fruit flavours. Rarely in an SGN of this richness would the botrytis be so overpowered by the natural fruit characteristic and minerality of the vineyard. This results certainly from the beautiful quality of the botrytis. The palate is elegant and the residual sweetness are in harmony in the wine. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain 2001 Sélection de Grains Nobles – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  11.6° alc; Residual sweetness: 209 g/l; Yields: 20 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2025+; Average age of the vines : 32 years; Surface : 2.91 ha; Terroir : Sedimentary volcanic rocks. South facing, very steep slope.
This SGN was made principally in the lower part of the Rangen vineyard, the nearest to the riverand the most adapted to develop botrytis. In 2001, the good weather really started around October 9th. A real Indian summer lasted until the 22nd and allowed the noble rot to spread evenly, without a single drop of rain. The result is a botrytis of unmatchable quality, concentrating all the Rangen character.
Just as the Clos Jebsal, the Rangen vineyard is showing intense mineral and fruity flavours on the nose. The botrytis, very noble, is underlying the wine, but not dominating it. The residual sweetness is important in this wine, but do not overpower the delicate structure, elegantly balanced with a good acidity. There are no classic mushroom or under-wood flavours, though typical of this kind of wine. It helps giving this wine a delicate palate. The classic peaty and flinty character of the Rangen appears on the finish. 1/2003

Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl 2001 Selection de Grains Nobles – Zind-Humbrecht
Bottling date : 9/2002; Alcohol:  9° alc; Residual sweetness: 276 g/l; Yields: 13 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2005-2030+; Average age of the vines : 24 years; Surface : 3 ha; Terroir : Muschelkalk calcareous, south to south-east facing. Medium slope.
Since 1988, 2001 is the first vintage where we judged the botrytis sufficiently intense to be able to produce an SGN. Often, we did prefer to harvest the whole crop without selection, in order to produce a late harvest. The botrytis was much drier in this vineyard, compared to the rest of the estate. The result is a wine of incredible concentration in sugar and acidity. The very slow fermentation ended with a balance sugar/acidity typical for SGN of great richness. This wine was vinified in new oak barriques.
Deep gold. The nose is already very open, with strong honey, waxy, exotic fruits flavours and a slight toasted character. The nose is a give away to the richness and sweetness of this wine. The sweetness on the palate is balanced with a great and fine acidity. The overripe character of this wine is never heavy, but well in harmony with the vineyard influence. Incredible ageing potential. 1/2003

(Olivier Humbrecht)