Browse Tag


Urbain decay

Zind Humbrecht 1997 Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain (Alsace) — Like an oloroso made by ferrets to which has been added stale bathwater and molten lead. Beyond undrinkable. (4/16)

Weg the dog

Zind-Humbrecht 1998 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Past it, which…even though this is from the ripeness-fetishizing house of ZH…is a bit of a surprise from what was a good year for riesling. There’s plenty of size, still, but it’s dried out and curling like old paper. (6/12)

And the Windsbuhl “Mary”

Zind Humbrecht 1994 Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl “Vendange Tardive” (Alsace) – My expectation of this wine is that it will be very, very sweet. It is not. Oh, there’s sugar to spare, but the non-sugar dry extract – well, as geeks would name it; regular drinkers might just want to call it “stuffing” – is immense, and in fact it is the latter that dominates the wine. Long, big, muscular, a little more monotonal than I think a VT should be (then again, I’m not convinced that the Clos Windsbuhl is more than a good to midlevel site within the Alsatian pantheon), with a very long finish that brings ever-more of the same. It’s a pretty striking wine that doesn’t really go anywhere. I would say, from the metallic edge to the bronzed pear fruit, that it’s probably about as mature as one would wish. (12/11)

Brand identity

Zind-Humbrecht 2007 Riesling Brand (Alsace) – Indice 2. 13.5%, and while I have no visual reason (based on adhesion to the interior of my glass) to doubt this number is far off the mark, my palate is screaming that it’s something more like 15.8%. Which it probably isn’t, but that should give one an idea of the incredible, overwhelming density, heat, and pineapple sludge which are this wine’s primary characteristics. “Isn’t the Brand supposed to be one of the great vineyards of Alsace,” one might ask. Change that verb to “wasn’t,” and I think we’re on the right, if unfortunate, track. Its centuries of value as a perfectly-situated solar attractor may now be working to its detriment in these differently-acclimatized times, and no more so than at houses where extremes of ripeness can sometimes be an end in themselves. (7/11)

Herren the dog

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Liquefied vineyard dust, bronzed orange, molten amber. What firmness there was has been overtaken by lushness. Fully, fulsomely mature. (5/11)

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Very slightly edgier than the previous bottle, but still a copper-jacketed exercise in ambered snow globe, swirling with dust. I do like this wine in its blocky, steroidal bodybuilder way, but absolutely do not hold it any longer. (5/11)

Hairy wig

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Medium-density metal-jacketed pear and mineral dust. Fully mature and quite good. Dry as a dried-out bone in the desert. (1/11)

Herrenweg the owl

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Indice 1, which means dry. Now featuring: beautiful minerality, the kind that may not be unique to Alsace, but does mark it. What I mean here is the creamed-iron form, salty and free-electron at the surface, but dense and liquid at the core. Intense and vibrant. Perfectly mature. To this known ZH-detractor, Humbrecht does his best work at the extremes of dry and sweet, and it’s the rest that is too often soupy and leaden. (12/10)

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – More aged than the previous bottle, with the dusty and salt intact, but a lot of erosion from the foundation. It’s still nice, but other bottles have been better. (1/11)

Owl service

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Somewhere in here, there’s a finely-poised, iron-rich, balanced expression of riesling. Unfortunately, it’s layered in lush coverlets of velour and gravity. Not, as ZH’s wines go, at all bad. Quite nice, actually. But way too heavy for its inherent presence. (10/10)

And the wind cries Hunawihr

Zind-Humbrecht 1997 Pinot Gris Hunawihr Clos Windsbuhl (Alsace) – Very sweet, as befits the vintage. Intense pear syrup and spice jacketed in metal plate armor. A touch hot and short – also unfortunate vintage artifacts – but this is holding on better than many of its fellow ‘97s, especially given the grape. Drink up, though. (7/10)

Goldert is better than goldust

Zind-Humbrecht 1994 Muscat Goldert (Alsace) – Getting rieslingish, with green grapes dominant. Light and pert, but unquestionably thinning. Linear, acidic, and a little sweet. The finish is salty. Fifteen years was probably a little long to hold this wine. (12/09)

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