Browse Tag


Zind wagon

Zind-Humbrecht 2005 Riesling (Alsace) – 12% on the label, indice 1. That means dry, or at least dry to the taste. Is it? Yes, more or less; there’s so much intensity than there’s a definite sensation of sweetness, but the wine never tastes sugar, and the finish is quite dry. Otherwise, the dominant features of the wine are a laser-like acidity, the naked scent of sweaty lemongrass, and a hugeness that indicates a wine pushed to its limits. Is this a good or bad thing? It always depends, and this wine is as much on the fence as is this taster. (9/08)

Existential Hengst

[turckheim]Zind-Humbrecht 1997 Gewurztraminer Hengst (Alsace) – Rich and very intense, with lychees – perhaps with a touch of tinned quality to them – making the classic aged-gewurz shift to bacon. There’s also roasted cashew, papaya, and guava…exotic notes for an already exotic grape, and no doubt a result of the way this grape and terroir have been pushed to, and perhaps a little beyond, their limits. This is also seen in the wine’s powerful sweetness, and “powerful” here is meant more as a description of the intensity of the sugar than the quantity of it, because there’s a quite acceptable balance – especially for a ’97 – marred only by a shading of surplus alcohol, and this allows a throbbing, powdery minerality (stones and coal) to show through. This is a highly tactile wine, its texture a little over-shared and slutty, but I like it nonetheless. As for maturity, I see no reason it won’t hold for a good while, but I’d think about drinking it soon for maximum impact. And I mean that last word wholeheartedly. (2/09)

We can only grow the way the Windsbuhl

Zind-Humbrecht 1994 Gewurztraminer Hunawihr Clos Windsbuhl (Alsace) – Big & rich (save a cashew, ride a lychee), very spicy, and somewhat sweet…but it handles it all with balance. Orange peel candy and dried peach with a touch of heat on the finish, which is shorter than I’d like; it’s the wine’s most obvious flaw. (2/08)

An ill Zind blows no good

Zind-Humbrecht 2002 “Zind” (Alsace) – Heavy and, truth be told, tasting very much like chardonnay grown in Alsace. The flavors are fair enough, with a heavy metallic edge to the weighty, spiced stone fruit. And there’s some acidity, balanced with a little bit of residual sugar. But mostly, it’s powerful to the point where you’ll want some sort of palate version of earplugs. (2/08)

Past tense of Writenberg

Zind-Humbrecht 1995 Pinot Gris Rotenberg “Vendange Tardive” (Alsace) – Massively rich and lusciously textured, but not over the top. More pear than spice, with crystalline minerality, if this wine has a flaw it’s that it too stridently hits its best notes, and subsequent glasses eventually become a bit much. In more normal quantities, however, the wine is fabulous. While there’s plenty of residual sugar, the wine is not at all about its sweetness, but rather about intensity. It could be held longer, but I’m not sure there’s enormous benefit in doing so; the fruit will recede as the spice grows, but the weight will eventually become an issue as those qualities diverge. (10/07)

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