2007 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Riesling Clos Windsbuhl

March 6, 2015

Name:Riesling Clos Windsbuhl
Type:White Wine
Producer:Domaine Zind Humbrecht
Region:France / Alsace / Turckheim
Indice:1 (Dry)


Whoa! Truly a gem. I really wish I had a many many cases of it!!

Properly benzine-laced nose mixed with ripe yellow fruit and floral smorgasbord. Dry (Indice 1, see below), crispy, almost crackling on the tongue with razor-sharp acidity and yet somehow round and even slightly tannic. Backbone so taut, you could pluck it like a harp and it will sing. Invigorating and fresh with salinity and chalky minerality. The balance between the slight residual tannins, hints of mountain-forest honey and sophisticated acidity is, for the lack of a better word, addictive. 

The vintage background. What was special about the 2007 is that grapes for this wine were harvested much later than usual (even past the time for Zind Humbrecht’s late-harvest crop) because while they waited for bortrytis to set in, it never happened.
However, as it turned out that year the sugar maturity of the grapes peaked relatively early and remained flat, while extended hang-time provided a uniquely extended polyphenolic (flavor) ripening time. The result – alcohol level of only 13% AND (!) residual sugar level of bone-dry 1 g/L.

The Zind Humbrecht Indice system. We should all be grateful to the wise men at Zind Humbrecht for introducing in 2001 their Indice system to indicate the sweetness level of their wines. Indice 1 (like this wine) being the driest and Indice 5 being the sweetest ends of scale.
Historically, the variation of residual sugar levels in Alsace white wines has been so great, that for the vast majority of consumers it was (and still is with many producers) impossible to determinewithout professional help just how dry or sweet wine they were buy would really turn out. What was classified as a dry wine could indeed contain enough residual sugar to completely ruin the unsuspecting person’s dinner plans. Moreover, the same wine could vary substantially in sweetness from vintage to vintage, making this a complete nightmare for somebody who doesn’t want to do turn into a full-blown wine analyst just to avoid a cat in the bag situation.

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