L'Oenothèque Alsace


Zind-Humbrecht 2006 – Vintage notes

This is the information provided by Domaine Zind-Humbrecht about the wines from the 2006 vintage.

(Read the vintage notes in french soon here)

Thierry Meyer

Le Millésime 2006
Domaine Zind Humbrecht Turckheim/France

Another year, and another vintage that has no comparison in the past! 2006 will be remembered as vintage of extremes. The specific climate, not always easy, has shaped up wines with strong character and various styles.

Most people do not realize that in fact, end of September, grapes actually were riper in 2006 than in 2005! If some grapes were sometimes not ripe enough in 2006, it was always the result of poor viticulture and bad decisions. The weather was complicated and did put more pressure on wineries, but it was possible to obtain high quality grapes.

April and May were wet and cold, June and July extremely hot and dry, allowing an early development of the vines and a fast growth. Harvest was forecasted to be very early. Thanks to the spring rainfalls, there was no drought in 2006, even though lots of winegrowers feared a repetition of 2003 at the end of July. August was very wet again and quite cold. Early September, the grapes showed a good ripeness level (June and July influence), actually higher than 2005 and 2004, and also very high acidity levels.

September was very nice, warm and mostly dry in the first half. (September 2006 is the 2nd warmest of the past 10 years, hard to believe, but true). We had a little rainfall the 17th-18th Sept, not important in volume, but it was responsible for many berries to crack open, allowing botrytis to penetrate the berries. Due to the dry months of June/July, the berries were very small and tight. August rains provoked an increase in size, causing pressure on the skins. Second half of September was very warm, with significant rainfalls the 24th/25th (25mm) and the 3rd/4th October (up to 70mm!!!).
After 4th September, the weather was beautiful (blue sky and cold nights): an ideal weather for the harvest.

Every single grape variety has excellent acidity and surprisingly low pH, even for some gewürztraminer. The ripeness is good to excellent for all grapes, thanks to an early and homogenous flowering, allowing plenty of time for sugar ripeness. Botrytis developed quickly end of September and quickly penetrated the berries, sometimes causing huge grey rot problems, but also allowed productions of fantastic late harvest style wines.
Proper viticulture would ensure that the root system is deep and that the soils are well drained and covered with vegetation (natural growth in our case), making it more difficult for the water to reach the roots of the vines and therefore avoiding dilution. There is no doubt that the October 3rd and 4th rainfalls put huge stress on every wine grower in Alsace. Luckily, the weather became beautiful just after, making it worth waiting a little. (Picture: harvest at the Rangen early Oct). The change of weather early October allowed a fantastic development towards noble rot, but only in a few great vineyards. Precocious vineyards, like Herrenweg, were harvested early and very quickly end of September, they would have suffered the most from bad rot problems. All the single vineyards were harvested between October 8th and 12th.

The average yield of the estate is 38.5hl/ha (41hl/ha for the AOC and 24 hl/ha for the Grand Cru) . For me, 2006 is another exciting vintage and one that proved that biodynamic farming makes sense.

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: technically dry or tasting dry. 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
Pinot d’Alsace 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 13° alc; Residual sweetness: 2 g/l; Yields: 79 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008/2010; Average age of the vines: 31 years; Surface: 1.2 ha; Terroir: Oligocene Calcareous and gravely soil. Indice 1.

In the continuation of 2004 and 2005, 2006 is produced from the classic blend of 70% Auxerrois and 30% Pinot Blanc grape, originating from both Herrenweg and Rotenberg vineyard. Most Pinot Blanc or Pinot are actually made with very little Pinot Blanc, as it is largely used for sparkling wines in Alsace. Auxerrois is a very interesting grape. The vines are very similar to Chardonnay except a small leaf detail, but Auxerrois grapes are perhaps more aromatic and have much less structure and acidity. Auxerrois ripens very well in the Alsace climate, so, if there is a problem, it is more often the lack of acidity. This is the reason why we planted the Rotenberg with some Auxerrois. The slower ripening calcareous vineyard ensure that the grapes have a natural higher acidity and better structure. We also insist in keeping some Pinot Blanc in the blend, as it also brings more acidity. The 2006 fermented faster than usual and finished completely dry, hence the slightly earlier bottling.
1/2008: this is classic Pinot d’Alsace. The nose exhibits delicate buttery/fruity aromas. The palate feels gentle and dry, there is no sweetness, but there is a certain roundness and well being on the finish that make it a very easy drinking wine. It is hard to describe perfect food combination, as it will pair most dishes very well, as long as they are not very sophisticated.

Zind 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 12.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 3 g/l; Yields: 59 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008/2012; Average age of the vines: 24 years; Surface: 2.4 ha; Terroir: Muschelkalk calcareous (Jurassic) facing south and east. Indice 1.

Since 2004, we decided to put aside all the Chardonnay (65%) and the Auxerrois (35%) from the Clos Windsbuhl. These vines were planted in 1988, just after we purchased the vineyard, and we felt that at 16 years old they were able to show the specific character of the old calcareous Windsbuhl soil. In this situation, the grapes grow and mature much slower than in Turckheim, therefore keeping extra acidity/structure but also developing more complex aromatics. Just like the Pinot d’Alsace, the Zind was harvested at a gentle 12.5% potential, allowing us to produce a fully dry wine, extremely pleasant to drink. I must admit that it would also have been a pity to let those grapes through the bad weather that was forecasted for early October 2006, so we took the decision to harvest them before, and eventually were very lucky having done that. Zind is fermented like any of our other wine in old traditional large oak casks (foudres) and sees no new oak at all. We liked to plant Chardonnay and blend it with the Auxerrois, to be able to produce a wine that has great acidity and structure. The wine fermented quickly to finish dry.
1/2008: The nose really shows the calcareous influence of the Windsbuhl vineyard: there is more minerality, less immediate fruit and more complex lees flavours. The palate is elegant, perhaps lighter than some of our powerful Zind styles (2003/2005), but the result is a well balanced wine, with a slightly lower alcohol than usual (12.5%) which makes it very drinkable.

Muscat 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007, Alcohol: 12.6° alc, Residual sweetness: 3.9 g/l; Yields: 62 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008-2010; Average age of the vines:  51 years; Surface:  0.36 ha; Terroir: Gravely/silt; 30% Muscat d’Alsace, 70% Ottonel. Indice 1.

This Muscat actually comes from the Herrenweg vineyard, from very old vines and roughly 2/3rd Ottonel and 1/3rd Muscat d’Alsace (or also known as petit grain). The Muscat Ottonel is a very precocious grape variety, and I fear that it will become progressively more and more difficult to grow balanced Ottonel grapes in Alsace, due to global warming. In 2005, we planted a new vineyard 100% petit grain Muscat, in order to lower the proportion of the Ottonel in the blend. The ‘petit grain’ is the classic Muscat used in south of France, and is, and will, be perfectly adapted in our climate. This grape variety is slower to ripen, produces grapes with more structure and better acidity. The only drawback is that it needs to be perfectly ripe in order to develop nice aromatics. In 2006, we decided to declassify the Herrenweg into varietal Muscat, as we felt that it was quite closed.
1/2008: Muscat can sometimes be quite unpredictable. From being very closed, it is now starting to open up and shows classy fragrant grapey aromatics. The palate still shows the 2006 characteristic: quite earthy and mineral, but it is a nice dry medium powered wine. Excellent to drink now with spicy dishes or, of course, asparagus…

Muscat Goldert 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcl: 13.5 ° alc; RS: 7.9 g/l; Yields: 59 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-201+5; Average age of the vines: 28 years; Surface: 0.23 ha; Terroir: Oolithic calcareous, facing East, gentle slope. 90 % Muscat d’Alsace, 10 % Ottonel. Indice 1

Goldert is a cooler vineyard. The calcareous soil and gentle slope facing east accentuate the late ripening. The result is better acidity and more flavour complexity. The fact that the vines are on a hillside, there is also better drainage, and in 2006, it allowed us to wait longer to pick the grapes. The Goldert is therefore significantly richer than the Muscat (from the Herrenweg) and its fermentation lasted almost an entire year. The sweetness is quite low for its potential alcohol and the fact that the acidity is very high, the residual is completely hidden in the massive structure of the wine.
1/2008: usually less aromatic than the Herrenweg, the Goldert 2006 exhibit such a powerful aromatic minerality that it feels more open. In fact, I believe that this wine should benefit from further ageing and show much more floral aromas with age. The rich palate is balanced with a fierce acidity that adds weight to the structure. Muscat was a difficult grape in 2006, but this one should go very far! I would almost use this wine as a Riesling in a few years.

Riesling 2006
Bottling date: 2/2008 ; Alcohol: 13.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 5-8 g/l; Yields: 53 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2008-2018; Average age of the vines : 27 years; Surface: 1.9ha,  Terroir : gravely/silt on valley floor, volcanic and calcareous; Indice 1

We started to produce this wine on a regular basis in 2003, using the younger vines of Riesling planted in the Herrenweg. As we are committed to produce a certain volume, we have to top he cask with some other younger wines coming from vineyards like Rangen and Brand. Younger doesn’t mean very young, hence the 27yo average. Because the gravely soil is dominating (about 80 of the wine), it does keep the floral and aromatic character of the Herrenweg. 2006 was a very precocious and overall warm vintage, so the grapes had no problems in ripening. 2006 is also a vintage with a cool summer, so acidities are very high. Both conditions are of course excellent for the Riesling grape. This wine is no exception, as the grapes were harvested a very good ripeness level. The fermentation was long (over a year), ensuring that almost all sugars fermented. It is a classic, powerful Riesling, without nothing to fear from any previous expressions.
1/2008: right from the beginning, our varietal 2006 riesling was a very aromatic wine, but since the end of the fermentation it is still opening up and is becoming a hugely flavoured wine with a strong minerality. The palate is rich, but not sweet, well balanced with a racy acidity. I am personally very proud of this wine, because it shows the potential of the 2006 vintage.

Riesling Turckheim 2006
Bottling date: 2/2008; Alcohol: 13.8°alc; Residual sweetness: 2 g/l; Yields: 42 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2009-2021; Average age of the vines:  23 years; Surface: 1.3 ha; Terroir: gravely soil/silt; granite and marl; Indice 1

Today, the Domaine Zind Humbrecht cultivates 2.42ha in the Grand Brand, from vines planted between pre 1939 and 2001. Every year, the vines planted between 1980 and 2001 are declassified into our Turckheim label, and, blended with a small vineyard (about 20% of the volume) located just below the Brand vineyard on a marl/silty soil. Sometims, we hesitate with one small vineyard planted in 1978, and depending on the quality, it is either declassified into Turckheim or into Brand. In 2006, this vineyard performed extremely well. Granitic soils are very well drained, so better prepared in case of rains before harvest. The very old vines produced an SGN and the 1978 vineyard a VT! All the younger vines went into the Turckheim, but still kept the 2006 trademark: great acidity and high ripeness. For a long time, this wine was very sweet and wouldn’t continue to ferment, until, certainly the right yeast decided to wake up a year later, the fermentation started again and the wine went bone dry.
1/2008: usually the Riesling Turckheim is very aromatic and fruity at an early stage. The 2006 ferment a very long time, over 15 months, and therefore spent also a long time on total lees, which made this wine extremely mineral, almost reductive, but also nourished its structure. Today, prior bottling, it is a dense, rich dry wine with good acidity. More mineral than fruity, but does open up with aeration. I expect a spectacular development during the next 12 months. This will be a fabulous wine to pair with classic fish/seafood dishes.

Riesling Gueberschwihr 2006
Bottling: 2/2008; Alcohol: 13.5 °alc; Residual sweetness: 7-10 g/l; Yields: 34 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period 2009-2021; Average age of vines: 32 years; Surface: .1.2 ha; Terroir: Limestone/calcareous/silicium, facing East and South. Gentle slope; Indice 1

Riesling Gueberschwihr is a blend of 8 different small vineyards, all scattered around the village, on similar soil types (limestone based rich soils) and climates. Gueberschwihr enjoys a slightly cooler climate than Colmar/Turckheim, which means that we often have to wait a week or two longer to harvest. The result is also often wines with more acidity and minerality. In 2006, however, this time was greatly shortened, as it was a very precocious year, and also because the grapes ripened very quickly. Richer soils can also sometimes be more problematic in case of heavy rainfalls, so waiting to long is not always a good option. The fermentation, just like most other Rieslings in 2006, was very slow and transformed most sugars into alcohol..
1/2008: the 2006 Gueberschwihr is more aromatic and gentle than usually. He higher ripeness explains the extra honeyed/softer aromatics, and the presence of noble rot gives this unmistakable roundness and flavour complexity on the palate. The limestone influence and classic acidity always present in Gueberschwihr wines show mostly on the finish: quite dry and racy. Despite its village status, it is a wine capable of good ageing.

Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim 2006 LOT148
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 14.8°alc; Residual sweetness: 8 g/l; Yields: 35 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2009-2021; Average age of the vines:  31 years; Surface:0.9 ha; Terroir: gravely soil/silt; Indice 1

In 2007, we produced again 2 different lots of Herrenweg, from the same reasons as in 2005 (difference in precocity) and both are from the same vineyards, and both fermented the same way: lot148 very quickly and lot144 took a whole year. Who said the terroir doesn’t influence the yeasts? This wine was never racked as natural clarification was easy. The long lees contact certainly explains why this wine feels so elegant at such a rich potential. In 2007, we were able to harvest the whole Herrenweg together, so there will be only one wine made.
1/2008: the nose develops beautiful waxy, honeyed floral aromas. Already very expressive (it was bottled in July 2007), it displays a rich, velvety palate, with a firm long finish. Acidity is high, so it feels very dry, but like all 2006s Riesling, there is no green/grassy flavour. This wine will suit a lot of different fish courses, but also will go very well with fish, poultry, Asian dishes…

Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim 2006 LOT144
Bottling date: 2/2008; Alcohol: 13°alc; Residual sweetness: 10-20 g/l; Yields: 3.5 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2009-2021; Average age of the vines:  31 years; Surface: 1 ha; Terroir: gravely soil/silt; Indice 2

This lot of Riesling comes from the South part of the Herrenweg vineyard, where the gravels are partially covered with richer decarbonated silt. Just like its counterpart in 2005, it fermented much slower (over a year) than lot 148. This vineyard is very precocious and we never have any problems in ripening the grapes. The style of the wines is usually very aromatic and they show very well at a young age. Due to longer lees contact, this wine developed a distinctive minerality and length quite unusual in this vineyard.
1/2008: the nose is quite mineral, mixed with herbs/hay, showing obvious lees influence. The palate is very elegant, slightly less alcoholic than the L148 and also shows great acidity. Further ageing and aerations will surely bring more floral Riesling character. Classic balance, the finish doesn’t really feel sweet, almost dry, thanks to great acidity.
Riesling Clos Häuserer 2006
Bottling: 2/2008; Alcohol: 13 ° alc; Residual sweetness: 10-20 g/l; Yields: 41 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2025+; Average age of vines: 33 years; Surface: 1.2 ha; Terroir: Calcareous Marl from the Oligocene period. Very gentle slope. Indice 2

The Clos Hauserer is located just below the GC Hengst limit, on a very rich marl limestone soil. For many years in the 1980’s, we really struggled to bring the natural vigour down, in order to avoid diseases and early rot. This can be done through deeper ploughings (force the roots down) and allowing a dense natural cover crop to grow. Naturally, this also allows the vines to be less affected by rainfalls just before the harvest. In 2006, it was a crucial factor! The grapes were very ripe, without any grey rot and kept great acidity. Despite a year long fermentation, the wine still kept some sweetness.
1/2008: the nose is classic Clos Hauserer: lots of minerals, stony aromas, citrus fruits. Still quite closed today (before bottling), but the palate reveals such complexity, that it is easy to forecast a great development. The mouth is characterised with great acidity, certainly responsible for the slightly higher residual sweetness, but just like in 2005, this vineyard almost needs it. The finish is clean and crisp.

Riesling Heimbourg 2006
Bottling date: 2/2008; Alcohol: 13.8 ° alc; Residual sweetness: 10 g/l; Yields: 43 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2025+; Average age of the vines: 12 years; Surface: 1.06 ha; Terroir: Oligocene calcareous, facing south, southwest, steep slope. Indice 2

We planted many different grape varieties in the Heimbourg, but chose the Riesling for the steep South facing part. This was perhaps one of our most difficult plantation, besides the Rangen of course. The land was abandoned after WW2 and trees and shrubs occupied the land, the stone walls felt down and erosion did some damage. The strong slope (over 50% in some part) made the reconstruction difficult. Being located just across the road from the Clos Jebsal, we did have strong hope that this vineyard would perform very well. We already had some great successes in the past, but I think that the 2006 is now showing us that this is a potential GC soil!
1/2008: the nose is powerful, very aromatic (floral, citrus), so intense, that the minerality is barely showing now. The palate is intense, repeats the nose character, but also shows that this is calcareous soil. The acidity is sharp, manages to balance the sweetness to leave the mouth dry on the finish. The is a great sensation of fullness and satisfaction in this wine today, and a promise of complex development for the future. After 8-10 years, this wine will taste dry.

Riesling Clos Windsbuhl 2006
Bottling date: 2/2008; Alcohol: 12.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 2 g/l; Yields: 37 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2025+; Average age of the vines: 32 years; Surface: 0.9 ha; Terroir: Muschelkalk calcareous (Jurassic), facing southeast, medium/steep slope. Indice 1.

The Clos Windsbuhl is, with the Rangen vineyard, the less precocious site that we cultivate on the estate. The higher altitude, the old rocky calcareous soil, its location near the forest all participate to create a slow ripening process. Often criticized in the past for this characteristic, we think that on the contrary, it helps the grapes to keep a structure based on acidity and not alcohol, and also that the vines have more time to ripen the grape physiologically. In biodynamie, we would say that Saturn had the time to play its role… 2006 may have been a very precocious vintage with lots of grapes in Alsace suffering from rot, but here, in the Windsbuhl, it looked like the vines were disconnected from the vintage and that nothing happened. We were able to harvest the Riesling late, under great weather condition, without grey rot and of course, with this ‘Windsbuhl’ textbook acidity.
1/2008: the nose does warn you: be careful, this isn’t just another fruity easy Riesling style. It is packed with minerals, strong lees influence and it is almost possible to associate all those stony flavours with a raging acidity. The sugar maturity wasn’t high, so the wine appears elegant and delicate at first, but then the dry and racy character kicks in. This is great dry Riesling!

Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain 2006
Bottling date: 2/2008; Alcohol: 13.7 ° alc; Residual sweetness: .31 g/l; Yields: 24 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2012-2030+; Average age of the vines: 44 years; Surface: 2.1 ha; Terroir: Sedimentary volcanic rocks, facing south, very steep slope. Indice 4

The Grand Cru Rangen enjoys extreme growing conditions: crazy steep slopes (80 to 100%), unusual sedimentary volcanic soil, much higher altitude (between 350 and 450m elevation) and a climate than can go from very dry and hot to very cold and rainy, due to he proximity of the river and the Vosges mountains. There is no doubt that these factors do help to produce wines with strong character and a very strong sense of origin and place. 2006 will stir up comments, there is no doubt about that, as ALL the wines from the Rangen have a special personality. First, botrytis was very important, especially for the Riesling and Gewurztraminer, which explains the higher residual sweetness and darker colour of the wines, but fermentations were also very persistent, transforming a high proportion of the sugars into alcohol. The Riesling Rangen was initially presented as a late harvest, but thanks to a high acidity and good fermentation, the wine has now lost some of this character, but still remains with an Indice 4.
1/2008: the nose shouts Rangen before anything else. There are strong aromas of herbs, ginger, aromatic plants (thyme) and of course, the classic flinty/earthy volcanic aromas. The importance of botrytis shows more through the darker gold colour than the nose, even if there are traces of honey aromas. The mouth is dense, rich, packed with toasted aromas and again finishes on dry flinty, rubbed stones flavours. The acidity is high, so the sweetness is well balanced. I can predict a long ageing potential here!

Pinot-Gris 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol:14.4° alc; Residual sweetness: 16 g/l; Yields: 42 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2008-2013; Average age of the vines :  27 years; Surface:1.9 ha, Terroir : gravely soil/silt; calcareous  and marl; Indice 2

Nothing has changed between 2005 and 2006, all our Pinot Gris grapes come from our own single vineyards. In order to produce this wine, we decided on declassifying some of the younger vines from some single vineyards. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to fill up the cask, so we thought differently. We tried to imagine which vineyards would lower the quality of some single vineyard. The age of the vines is an excellent criteria, but then also, we started to look at yields, vine behaviour, disease resistance… and started to take grapes from all the vineyards. This wine is made with a high proportion of Herrenweg grapes (because we made no Herrenweg in 2006) and some from Heimbourg and Rangen. The fermentation was classic (2 months) but stoped with some residual sweetness, certainly because the wild yeast responded to the high acidity and presence of botrytis.
1/2008: the nose is very typical of the vintage. It shows strong earthy/underwood characters mixed up with the classic Pinot Gris toasty aromas. There is good power and structure on the palate, hiding behind an elegant finish, thanks to good acidity. Certainly the gravely soil speaks the loudest in this wine, and explain the bold flavours and immediate drinking style of this wine.

Pinot-Gris Calcaire 2006
Bottling date: 2/2007; Alcohol:  13.8° alc; Residual sweetness: 14 g/l; Yields: 40 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008-2016+; Average age of the vines: 18 years; Surface:1.6 ha; Terroir: calcareousl, muschelkalk, South & West facing,  steep slope. Indice 2

In 2006,we took the decision to declassify the entire Heimbourg vineyard, after it had been hit by a medium severe hail in summer. Of course, nothing to compare with the 2007 hail in central Alsace, but with enough consequences that we feared some influence on the wines. Every year, we also declassify the Pinot Gris vines planted in 1990 in the Clos Windsbuhl, and in 2006, we thought that these two vineyard put together would produce an interesting wine, because they share two common factors: calcareous soil and late ripening situation. The fermentation was steady, still keeping some RS because of higher acidity, and gradually the wine was showing an interesting personality. As it originates from two different vineyards and villages, the only name we thought of was: ‘calcaire’, meaning calcareous. It is not a pretentious wine, but it is not shy either, as it has a very good pedigree.
1/2008: the nose is very elegant and harmonious. The cooler climate from both source vineyard show clearly: the aromas are very precise, mineral, almost salty with a typical austerity, which is welcomed for a grape variety that can sometime be to showy. The palate is identical to the nose: clean, feels dryer than it is, with pure calcareous minerality.

Pinot-gris Vieilles Vignes 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 13.4° alc; Residual sweetness: 40 g/l; Yields: 35 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2009-2020+; Average age of the vines: 61 years; Surface: 0.5 ha; Terroir: gravely soil on valley floor. Indice 4

Pinot Gris was rarely planted in the past, because the grape selection then were very small, low yielding and would not equal the more productive Pinot Blanc. Therefore, older vines are quite rare, and we do nurture those 2 old vineyards, as we also source all our vine cuttings from there for all our new Pinot Gris plantations. They also have a very rare characteristic, which one cannot find in any modern selection: they only have one cluster per shoot. In 2006, their age saved them from bad rot or water problems. It never is a big production, but whenever possible, we always try to separate them from the other parts of the Herrenweg vineyard, as the wine tastes so different.
1/2008: the nose exhibits powerful toasty, milky coffee, rich creamy flavours, obviously showing the over-ripe character of the grapes and high presence of botrytis. The grapes were so rich, that there is no way possible hiding the sweetness. The palate is decadently sweet, unctuous and flavoured. A pleasure wine, but with foie gras or dessert…

Pinot-Gris Rotenberg 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 14.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 39g/l; Yields: 25 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2021+; Average age of vines: 25 years; Surface: 1.2 ha; Terroir: Oligocene calcareous. West to Northwest facing. Strong slope. Indice 3

The Rotenberg vineyard was first planted in the 1940’s by my grand father Emile Zind, mostly with the pinot blanc and auxerrois grape varieties, and my father introduced the Pinot Gris there in the late 70’s. The higher altitude and north-west exposure create a cooler micro climate, ideal or the pinot family, that need long ripening periods to ensure proper physiological ripeness. Another side effect of this red calcareous soil is that the grapes resist longer to the development of rot and keep higher acidities. By the time we finished harvesting all the valley floor and went into the Rotenberg for the Pinot Gris, the noble rot had already spread at great speed over many clusters, so yes, this is very close to a late harvest style and it was impossible for the yeasts to transform all the sweetness into alcohol.
1/2008: Rotenberg is often very aromatic with strong apricot/quince flavours. In 2006, the intense botrytis and strong vintage character have brought a lot of stony/earthy aromas. It is much less fruity than usual, but nonetheless very powerful and intense, perhaps more earthy. The palate shows great weight and length, It is obvious that this wine, at this early stage, is not yet showing its full potential. The fact that the palate is more showy than the nose is often a giveaway.

Pinot-Gris Clos Windsbuhl 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 13.55° alc; Residual sweetness: 49 g/l; Yields: 30.4 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2021+; Average age of the vines: 29 years; Surface: 2.2 ha; Terroir: Muschelkalk calcareous, south/southeast facing. Medium slope. Indice 4.

For most people in the area, Windsbuhl is a cold spot! This is true, but it doesn’t mean that the grapes cannot ripe very well given the proper viticulture and waiting long enough. Thankfully, the rocky calcareous soil and steep slope provide a good micro climate. The grapes can ripe slowly but surely, keeping a textbook acidity and structure. In 2006, it would have been perhaps possible to let the grapes go as far as in 2005, but we really fear the bad weather and decided to harvest when the grapes looked good! Tasting the Clos Windsbuhl 2006 makes us believe that we took the right decision. The fermentation was very slow (10 months) and the wine found a natural balance in a sweet style. So different from the Riesling!
1/2008: the nose is perhaps one of the most open for a Pinot Gris in 2006: lots of fruits, aromatic herbs, light toasty aromas. A calcareous soil will never produce a fruit bomb, it isn’t in the nature of such vineyard, so there is always a certain restraint aspect in the personality of the Windsbuhl. The palate is delicate, sweet, precisely structured, and not fat and round as the numbers could evoke. Again, this is a wine that deserves some ageing.

Pinot-Gris Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 15.5° alc; Residual sweetness: 11 g/l; Yields: 21.6 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2011-2021+; Average age of the vines: 37 years; Surface: 2.3 ha; Terroir: Sedimentary volcanic rocks. South facing, very steep slope. Indice 1

The Pinot Gris took an important place in the Clos Saint Urbain, alongside the Riesling and Gewurztraminer. When my father purchased the vineyards from the Yung family in 1977, there was a large proportion of Pinot Gris, all planted at high density in the early 60’s with incredibly high quality massal selections (opposite of clones). Riesling is the obvious choice in a steep, south facing volcanic hill side, but we discovered that Pinot Gris was also capable to capture the flinty/earthy minerality of this vineyard. The alternance of dry/humid periods and presence of fog during harvest also make it easy for massive botrytis development. In 2006, the botrytis was intense, but like in many other Pinot Gris vineyards, we feared that its influence could be too powerful. We went to harvest the Pinot Gris just before it would be real VT, aiming for a dry wine. The fermentation was fast and powerful, leaving little chance for much residual sweetness in the wine.
1/2008: Not a VT? It is impossible to think differently with this dark gold colour, almost orange and this powerful intense waxy, shoe polish, flinty nose. Most people would swear that this is a very sweet wine, SGN like, but not. The palate is as austere and tight as it can be. It’s like chewing volcanic rocks. Right from their youth, all the Rangen wines had this dark colour. This is not oxidation, it is just the way the terroir decided to express the vintage. The finish feels very dry and powerful, also showing a racy acidity. Extreme vineyard, extreme wine…

Gewurztraminer 2006
Bottling date : 7/2007; Alcohol: 14.7° alc; Residual sweetness: 7 g/l; Yields: 46 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2007-2016; Average age of the vines : 28 years; Terroir : gravely soil on valley floor, marl limestone; Indice 1

Why change a recipe that works! There was no exception in 2006, we took the same Herrenweg vineyards and a portion of the Heimbourg to produce this wine. The yields were similar to 2005, so this wine shows a lot of concentration and richness. The climate changed so quickly at the end of September, that everybody was taken by surprise with the evolution of the grapes and the raising ripeness creating a rush into the harvest. At the end of the 2005 harvest, one of our press blew up (a stupid lock allowed a door to open during a pressing cycle…) so we eventually decided to change the poor old press and took a slightly bigger one, so we could extend the pressing cycle even longer. Well, in 2006, we didn’t use it to extend the pressing cycle, but it came very handy in increasing our pressing capacity and harvest quicker. Despite a lot of botrytis, the fermentation was fast and the wine tastes dry. Very similar to the previous versions.
1/2008: the nose is almost the most aromatic of all gewürztraminers today, showing intense delicate rose/litchi flavours, faithful to the grape variety characteristics, and doesn’t really show the influence of noble rot. The palate is powerful, long with a dry finish.

Gewurztraminer Wintzenheim 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 14.8° alc; Residual sweetness: 6.5 g/l; Yields: 39 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008-2016+; Average age of the vines: 49 years; Surface: 2.15 ha; Terroir: gravely soil and calcareous marls; Indice 1

Next to the village of Wintzenheim, my grand father planted in 1953 a large parcel with Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris (the one used for the Vieilles Vignes bottling). These 1.6 ha of gravely soil are blended with the younger vines in the Hengst (marl-limestone) and sold under the village name. This combination allows that the aromatic softer valley floor wine can be balanced with some leaner, spicy better structured hillside wine. Both vineyard are harvested together and ferment in the same cask. There is a significant proportion of botrytis and the fermentation was quite quick (less than a month), leaving little sweetness.
1/2008: the colour indicates the presence of botrytis and that the ripeness was high. The nose is a blend of classic floral aromas mixed with a lot of spices and toasted flavours. Of course, the palate is quite bold, but the fact that there is little sweetness leaves the finish very clean and sharp. This is the perfect type of Gewurztraminer to pair with Asian cuisine and fusion recipes.

Gewurztraminer Turckheim 2006
Bottling date : 7/2007; Alcohol: 15.1° alc; Residual sweetness: 5.2 g/l; Yields: 39 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2008-2012; Average age of the vines : 25 years; Surface : 2.35 ha; Terroir : Gravely/silt soil on valley floor; Indice 1

There has been a few years since we produced any Turckheim Gewurztraminer. The reason is that we either used most of the grapes in the varietal bottling or in the Herrenweg. In 2006, we only used the oldest vineyards to produce our Herrenweg and Herrenweg Vieilles Vignes, leaving enough grapes to produce this wine. The botrytis was quite intense on the gravely floor around the winery in Turckheim, so the ripeness was high, and yields smaller than expected. Like most other Gewurztraminer from this area, the fermentation was fast and powerful, leaving almost no residual sweetness.
1/2008: the colour is dark gold, typical of late harvest style Gewurztraminer. It is actually a bad information, because the first sip shows that there is no sweetness in this wine. It tastes bone dry! The nose is intense, very spicy/toasted, which is also no frequent from the gravely soils. The finish is dense and will appear perhaps brutal if the wine is not used with some savoury or spicy dishes.

Gewurztraminer Gueberschwihr 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 15.1° alc; Residual sweetness: 33 g/l; Yields: 55 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008-2016+; Average age of the vines: 23 years; Surface: 0.2 ha; Terroir: calcareous limestone; Indice 3

Our acreage of Gewurztraminer Gueberschwihr was reduced dramatically after doing a few swaps in order to obtain more Muscat in the Goldert Grand Cru vineyard. This little survivor is located not far from the Grand Cru, but on a quite different soil type: much deeper, richer silt/limestone soil. Nonetheless, realizing that it was alone now, this little parcel decided to show us what it was capable of! The harvest was easy, everything was very ripe, with a high proportion of noble rot. The fermentation in a small wood cask (foudre) was eventless and naturally this wine finished with a significant amount of sweetness. There is no doubt that it will take a lot now, for us to drop this little last piece of Gueberschwihr Gewurztraminer.
1/2008: the nose is spicy, intense, in your face style. It would almost be too much if the cooler climate and calcareous influence wouldn’t bring some more classic structure and spicy aromas. The palate is rich, dense, clearly showing the botrytis influence. Sweet round finish. A pleasure wine!

Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 15.4° alc; Residual sweetness: 5.5 g/l; Yields: 31 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008-2018; Average age of the vines: 53 years; Surface:1 ha; Terroir: gravely soil on valley floor; Indice 1

The Herrenweg is located at the opening of the Munster valley and enjoys one of the most precocious climate in Alsace. The light, quick warming gravely soil increases this characteristic. It is true that south facing vineyards enjoy more heat during the day, but the hillsides are often very close to the mountains, and therefore under their shadow an hour or more earlier than the Herrenweg. In summer, from my house, I can witness this every night. In the past, precocious vineyards were mostly planted with Gewurztraminer, as it is the grape variety that needs the most warmth to ripen properly, hence the high proportion of it in this vineyard. This Herrenweg wine, even if it is not labelled ‘old vines’ does come from very old vines, just not the oldest. It was harvested very ripe, with significant botrytis and also finished its fermentation quite dry.
1/2008: definitely spicier than usual Herrenweg, this wine is today perhaps more interesting on the palate. It has a big bold powerful mouth, very aromatic and long. The fact that it is very dry prevents the wine to taste cloying or heavy on the finish. The massive structure does hide the acidity for the moment, but it is still quite early to give a full assessment of this wine. Further cellaring should improve it.

Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim Vieilles Vignes 2006 Lot 17V
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 15.8° alc; Residual sweetness: 9.6 g/l; Yields: 22.9 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2009-2021; Average age of the vines: 60 years; Surface:0.45 ha; Terroir: gravely soil on valley floor; Indice 1

Waow, three different Herrenweg Gewurztraminers! With all the range of wines that we produce, why bother? In fact, we dramatically reduced the volume of the Herrenweg wines in order to produce the Gewurztraminer Turckheim. When we started to harvest the three oldest vineyards, we thought that once, just once, it would be interesting to see how they would taste if fermented separately. We ended up liking all three style and wanted to push the experiment further in keeping them apart in the bottle. The 2 oldest ones are labelled Vieilles Vignes and the third one, only 53 years old, became our ‘regular’ Herrenweg.
Lot 17V comes from the richer part of the gravely valley floor soil. This vineyard was planted in 1947 by my grand father and often produces the richest grapes in the Herrenweg. There is significant botrytis, but the yeasts managed to ferment the wine almost dry.
1/2008: the colour is dark gold, announcing the richness. The nose is pungent, spicy, peppery, toasted, far from the classic rose scented Gewurztraminers… The palate immediately shows the powerful structure, dry touch and huge leathery/pepper aromas. One could almost think that this comes from a calcareous vineyard site. I would expect this wine to soften with further ageing and also develop more floral flavours.

Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim Vieilles Vignes 2006 Lot 178
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 15.3° alc; Residual sweetness: 10.6 g/l; Yields: 22.9 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008-2021+; Average age of the vines: unknown!; Surface:0.45 ha; Terroir: gravely soil on valley floor; Indice 1

Waow! three different Herrenweg Gewurztraminers! With all the range of wines that we produce, why bother? In fact, we dramatically reduced the volume of the Herrenweg wines in order to produce the Gewurztraminer Turckheim. When we started to harvest the three oldest vineyards, we thought that once, just once, it would be interesting to see how they would taste if fermented separately. We ended up liking all three style and wanted to push the experiment further in keeping them apart in the bottle. The 2 oldest ones are labelled Vieilles Vignes and the third one, only 53 years old, became our ‘regular’ Herrenweg.
Lot 178 comes from the old vines located next to the winery. We acquired this vineyard 10 years ago after doing a few exchanges with neighbouring winegrowers. It is that old, that nobody really knows when it was planted. I can say that it regularly produces some of our best grapes in the Herrenweg. In 2006, the botrytis was excellent, and compared to the other two Herrenweg, the fermentation was the slowest, keeping a little bit more sweetness on the palate.
1/2008: the nose is classic aromatic Gewurztraminer, with all the rose, geranium spicy flavours, combined with a welcoming austerity that stops it from being heavy. The palate is harmonious, perhaps a little less pungent and dry than lot 178. This is beautiful Gewurztraminer, but already a powerful style. It will need flavourful dishes to match this one!

Gewurztraminer Heimbourg 2006
Bottling date: 2/2008; Alcohol: 13° alc; Residual sweetness: 40 g/l; Yields: 35.5 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2021+; Average age of vines: planted in 1983; Surface: 1 ha; Terroir: Oligocene calcareous, facing west, medium to strong slope. Indice 3

The Gewurztraminer is planted on the lower and west facing section of the Heimbourg vineyard. The soil is slightly richer and ripeness progresses slowly but surely. Due to the late precocity, this calcareous vineyard is also ideal for late harvest/SGN style, as the botrytis develops late and evenly. For the same reason as most other vineyards in 2006, we didn’t want to push our luck and harvest too late, so the grapes were picked just before real VT level, but still with lots of botrytis. The fermentation was the slowest of all, resulting in a wine with more sweetness than any other in 2006.
1/2008: even if this wine is still in cask at this time, the nose is already amazingly open, showing lots of fresh floral, geranium, old roses aromas. The palate is gentle, surely dominated by the important residual sweetness, but also balanced with excellent acidity. This wine suits its sweetness very well. This is more a dessert style wine, but a very enjoyable and aromatic one.

Gewurztraminer Clos Windsbuhl 2006
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 14.4° alc; Residual sweetness: 32 g/l; Yields: 38 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2008-2026; Average age: 36 years; Surface: 0.9 ha; Terroir: : Muschelkalk calcareous, south to southeast facing. Medium slope. Indice 3.

The cool climate of the Clos Windsbuhl is ideal for late ripeness, as the botrytis develops late and more often into noble rot. Certainly the higher altitude and direct proximity of the forest must influence on the local climate of the Clos. Usually calcareous soils are associated with important layers of marl or clay, which have a cooling effect, but this isn’t the case in the Windsbuhl. The Muschelkalk rock is quite poor, there are a lot of rocks in the vineyard, and this helps to compensate the cooler climate, by allowing the soil to warm up quicker, especially late in October, when the sun is rarer. The proximity of the forest, some grazing land (where we keep our sheeps) and a small lake (pound) also help biodiversity. It is in the Windsbuhl and Rangen that we find the widest range of plants growing wild. The 2006 Windsbuhl was harvested very ripe, at the limit of VT, and kept a significant amount of sweetness.
1/2008: the nose is typical of the Windsbuhl vineyard: lots of elegant/delicate floral influence, but nothing is extravagant. It is a very subtle wine. The palate shows sweetness, not the kind that really makes it a dessert wine, but enough to make it also enjoyable without food. There is good acidity on the finish, but this is classic for the Windsbuhl, I shouldn’t have to mention it.

Riesling Brand 2006 Vendange Tardive
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 12.2° alc; Residual sweetness: 70 g/l; Yields: 21 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2015-2030+; Average age of the vines: 56 years; Surface:  1.6 ha; Terroir: Biotite granite, facing south. Strong slope

The steep granite soil of the Brand was perhaps the most adapted to resist  the rains we had end of September. The grapes were already very ripe (Rieslings are riper in 2006 than 2005!), didn’t loose any acidity and eventually developed a lot of noble rot in October. The low yields also explain why those grapes managed to go as far as Vendange Tardive or SGN in 2006. In another vintage, this wine would have perhaps fermented drier, but the acidity is so racy and sharp in 2006, that the wild yeasts decided to respect the Vendange Tardive character of this wine. The fermentation stopped relatively early, leaving a decent amount of residual sweetness.
1/2008: the nose already shows glorious ripe Riesling aromas. Everything is fresh in this wine, and I expect it to mature very slowly. The high acidity and lower/normal alcohol level make the wine taste harmonious and elegant. It develops fragrant honey, citrus, dandelions aromas. The finish is long, based on a vivacious acidity and good salty minerality.     

Gewurztraminer Goldert 2006 Vendange Tardive
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 15° alc; Residual sweetness: 53 g/l; Yields: 34 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2026+; Average age of the vines: 23 years; Surface: 0.6 ha; Terroir: Oolithic calcareous facing East. Gentle slope.

The evolution of the ripeness is always slow on the rich pure calcareous terroir of the Goldert. Naturally, we tend to leave the grapes hanging a long time, knowing that the late harvest style suits the Goldert well and botrytis always develops nicely, concentrating both acidity and sugars. In 2006, the grapes were ripe early, so, being very busy harvesting quickly all the precocious vineyard sites, we left vineyards like the Goldert alone. By the time we thought that the grapes were ripe, they were in fact very ripe, but the right way, with this percentage of botrytis that brings this extra complexity and richness in Gewurztraminer. The fermentation was steady, actually quite fast (less than 2 months) and the wine kept enough sweetness and late harvest character to qualify as a Vendange Tardive.
1/2008: the nose is still very mineral, normal after a year on the full lees, showing strong honeyed, stony, earthy peppery flavours. The palate is very powerful, dense, long, balanced with a great acidity. At this early stage, it really deserve to be opened almost for days before being enjoyed. This makes me believe that this style of wine will age very well.

Gewurztraminer Rangen de Thann Clos-Saint-Urbain 2006 Vendange Tardive
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 16.2° alc; Residual sweetness: 38 g/l; Yields: 25 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2010-2031+; Average age of the vines: 43 years; Surface: 0.5 ha; Terroir: Sedimentary volcanic rocks. South facing, very steep slope; Indice 3

Describing the Pinot Gris and Riesling from the Rangen vineyard, I already explained that 2006 was an extreme vintage that produced some extreme styled wines. This Gewurztraminer is no different. The botrytis was very intense and dry, to the point that some grapes looked like torrified coffee beans. When the concentrated botrytis is associated to the strong volcanic character of the Rangen, the result can be quite amazing and will destabilize most tasters. The 2006, despite being drier, goes in the direction of the 1998 or 1993 vintage. The fermentation was slow, but Rangen wild yeasts are ferocious and not ashamed to go far, so expect a powerful wine!
1/2008: the nose is a dense combination of roasted beans, flinty flavours and stone powder. Where are the Gewurztraminer flavours? Not there yet, certainly hiding behind the huge structure of the wine. It wouldn’t surprise me if they never show up, such is the terroir influence strong. The palate is very long, well structured, packed with minerals and salty influence. Do not expect a sweet VT, as this wine appears drier than the numbers would suggest (like an Indice 3).

Gewurztraminer Hengst 2006 Vendange Tardive
Bottling date : 7/2007; Alc: 14.4° alc; Residual sweetness: 75 g/l; Yields: 19 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period : 2011-2031+; Average age of the vines : 55 years; Surface : 1.42 ha; Terroir : Marl-oligocen calcareous. South-south-east facing, medium to strong slope.

Only the two oldest vineyard in the Hengst qualify for Grand Cru. Hengst is located in a relatively dry climate, enjoying a full sunny south-east facing. There is rich marl above the aggressive calcareous mother rock, but only on very small layer, which explain why this vineyard needs specific climatic conditions to develop enough noble rot to reach late harvest ripeness. Hengst is never a light dry wine, but never is also the sweetest of our Gewurztraminer. The warmer humid weather of September 2006 was actually ideal for botrytis development. A very small cluster selection allowed the final selection to reach high Vendange Tardive richness (last made were 1990 and 1989). The very small yields also explain the very high concentration of this wine. Should there be a wine of the year…
1/2008: the nose aromatics are packed with spicy, leathery, exotic, nutmeg flavours. It is hard to describe a complete profile, such is the nose complex and intense. The palate surrounds the mouth, leaves different coatings, layer after layer. The sweetness is obvious, as it should be in a VT, but I wouldn’t add or take away any. The power and acidity are just right to balance the finish. I could comment this wine forever and ever…

Pinot-Gris Clos Jebsal 2006 Vendange Tardive
Bottling date 7/2007; Alcohol: 13.8° alc; Residual sweetness: 114 g/l; Yields: 23 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2011-2036+; Average age of the vines: 23 years; Surface: 1.3 ha; Terroir: Grey marls and gypsum. South facing, very steep slope.

The Clos Jebsal is a tiny vineyard tucked between the Brand and the Heimbourg in Turckheim. Its special character comes from the fact that it is delimited by two geological faults, that revealed just 3 acres of gypsum marl during the last part of the secondary era. It is planted full south, on a steep terraced slope, and we think that the contrast between the rich cold soil and very hot and precocious climate creates the right condition for the development of botrytis every year. This vineyard was planted in 2003, and since 1989, it either produced VTs and/or SGN every single vintage. Botrytis developed intensely in 2006, so I let you imagine what happened in the Jebsal… We did first an SGN selection, and then went through what was left to produce this Vendange Tardive, actually closer to an SGN in richness with 20.5° potential alcohol at harvest! The only problem: microscopic yields…
1/2008: the nose exhibits already today beautiful honeyed, botrytised aromas. The nose feels almost as rich as an SGN, showing lots of candied fruits, apricots, quince as well as the classic Jebsal minerality. The palate is unctuous and sweet, not cloying, as there is lots of acidity there to make the finish harmonious. This is great late harvest style, able to rival the best vintages.

Riesling Brand 2006 Sélection de Grains Nobles
Bottling date: 7/2007; Alcohol: 11.8° alc; Residual sweetness: 185 g/l; Yields: 12 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2016-2036+; Average age of the vines: 57 years; Surface:  1.6 ha; Terroir: Biotite granite, facing south. Strong slope

This is the third SGN Riesling produced at Domaine Zind Humbrecht, ever. The first one was the Riesling Clos Windsbuhl 1989, the second one the Riesling Rangen 1998, and the Brand 2006 complete the series. The botrytis development on the old vines was spectacular, and we only needed to do a small rough cluster selection to obtain enough richness to produce this wine. It is the richest of the three at 165° Oechslés (23° potential) and also the one with the highest acidity. The selection process was quick, but the yields were extremely low. Before catching botrytis, the grapes were dark yellow in colour and fully ripe. SGN in Riesling isn’t a priority on the estate, as we always want to favour the full ripeness of the dry wines. We feel that taking the best botrytised berries for the Riesling grape variety can impoverish the classic dry wine. In 2006, there was no such dilemma, as everything was affected by noble rot. My only hope is that I will not have to wait another 8-10 years to produce the next Riesling SGN…
1/2008: what a nose! It is already showing a vast range of complex fruity flavours mixed up with delicate honeyed waxy aromas. Delicacy is the supreme word when describing the nose. Leaving the bottle open a few days reveal even more complexity. The palate is technically extremely sweet, but it doesn’t show at all. Again, the mouth feel is harmonious and delicate, the acidity underline every aspect of the wine. It really is delicious to drink now; to the point I had to hide the wine in the most unreachable place in the cellar.

Pinot-Gris Clos Jebsal 2006 Sélection de Grains Nobles Trie Speciale
Bottling date ?/?; Alcohol: under 7° alc; Residual sweetness: well above 300 g/l today; Yields: 8 hl/ha; Optimum drinking period: 2016-god knows; Average age of the vines: 23 years; Surface: 1.3 ha; Terroir: Grey marls and gypsum. South facing, very steep slope.

In 1994, when we harvested our first SGN above 200°Oechslés (roughly 30° potential), I decided to call these wines ‘Trie Speciale’, because they have this extra richness and show luscious honeyed waxy characters, often very low finished alcohol level and a huge residual sweetness, well above 300g/l. The second wine made like this was the 2002, then the PG Clos Windsbuhl 2005. This 2006 reflects the huge noble rot development and of course reached very high level of ripeness, combined to an even higher acidity.
1/2008: it is too early too describe this wine. The fermentation will certainly last another year or so and it will not be bottled before 2009 or 2010. Already now the Jebsal character show intensely on the nose and palate. The residual sweetness must be huge, but already the bracing acidity takes care of it. This is still a work in progress. More news about it next year!

Léonard et Olivier HUMBRECHT, Propriétaires-Viticulteurs
4, route de Colmar – F 68230 TURKCHEIM
Tél. 03 89 27 02 05 – Fax  03 89 27 22 58
Tél. + 33 3 89 27 02 05 – Fax + 33 3 89 27 22 58
E-mail : o.humbrecht@zind-humbrecht.fr