Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Zind-Humbrecht, Riesling, Gueberschwihr, 2004 (Dec. 6, 2008)

Far freakin' out!

If a good German Riesling purrs like a finely tuned engine, an Alsace hums and sputters along the expressway like a bat out of hell. And from my limited experience, none roar louder than a Zind. Here, the nose seduces with aromas of baked pear and and apples, flint, dill and slate. And, oh boy, an appealing substratum of smoke. The palate has the lush roundness of an off-dry Riesling coming into its prime along with a certain quinine bitterness I find, and don't always like, in Alsace. Though here it is balanced by the sweetness of the finish. There is a fiery acidity as well and an oilyiness that together form a hardfisted - as opposed to crisp - structure and mouthfeel that could stand three-five more years of softening up in the cellar.

Imported by WineRoute. I remember three years ago, someone told me, "Alsace rocks. Now, all we have to do is convince the Shaked family to give a good discount on Zind-Humbrecht." They got the message because, for the last 2-3 years, they've been selling the non-Grand Crus for 135 NIS. And more power to them.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You open your bottles too soon. The 2001 is in it's peak now

2GrandCru said...

I have another bottle left and I felt like drinking this one now.

Iron Chevsky said...

Hi Chaim,

I just had some high-end Zind-Humbrecht Rieslings (and one gewurz) on Tue night at a tasting at a local wine shop in Palo Alto, California:

1. 2006 Muscat "Alsace Reserve" (Weinbach) $45.00 $29.25 5.00
2. 2006 Riesling "Clos Hauserer" (Zind-Humbrecht) $68.00 $44.25 7.50
3. 2006 Riesling "Schlossberg-Ste. Catherine" (Weinbach) $72.00 $46.75 8.00
4. 2006 Riesling "L'Inedit" (Weinbach) $85.00 $55.25 9.25
5. 2006 Riesling "Clos Windsbuhl" (Zind-Humbrecht) $88.00 $57.25 9.75
6. 2006 Pinot Gris "Clos Windsbuhl" (Zind-Humbrecht) $80.00 $52.00 8.75
7. 2006 Gewurztraminer "Laurence" (Weinbach) $60.00 $39.00 6.50
8. 2006 Gewurztraminer "Clos Windsbuhl" (Zind-Humbrecht) $88.00 $57.25 9.75

after having been drinking exclusively German Rieslings (mainly from Mosel, but some from Nahe as well), and I thought the the Alsacians were very big and sticky - definitely more substantial, heavy, and alcoholic wines than German Riesling. The Rieslings smelled fruity but were fermented all the way through to dry. For me, there are a number of other wines (white Burgundy, white Riojas and white Rhones, to name just a few) that are competing against the Alsace Riesling at a lunch or dinner table, while good German Rieslings are quite distinct when the the fruit is balanced by acid, minerality, and petrol/rubber.

Cheers! (hope to see you at my wine blog at www.chevsky.com)