Zind Humbrecht 2017 Big Guns Offer
If you were to ask any serious wine expert for his or her list of the top white wine estates in the world today, Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht would nearly always be among those included. Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is one of the world’s most famous white wine estates, producing a bevy of world-class bottlings that have very few peers in their respective categories. IAN D’AGATA, Vinous
I admire Olivier Humbrecht’s unceasing quest for quality immensely and he has succeeded in making many luscious, intense and attention-grabbing wines. JANCIS ROBINSON MW
Seven of our top 10 wines were from 2017, and we are keen to tell the world how wonderful the vintage was for Alsace. The vintage may have been slightly low in quantity, but the wines show the kind of intensity, depth and finesse that we honestly didn’t expect!
We hope that you can see from our list that we don’t favor any of the key varieties over any other, as they all feature prominently, whether riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris or pinot noir.
2017 was something of a goldilocks harvest in Alsace where the summer was hot and dry but not extreme, and the spring brought the necessary rains. Conversely, yields were down due to an unforgiving bout of frost, which decimated some 4,500 hectares; many lost as much as 100 percent of their crop in some areas. As previously mentioned, gewurztraminer did especially well, but there are many fantastic rieslings and pinot gris, too. Most wines had the necessary concentration but the creme de la creme also achieved balance and finesse. Buy at will. JAMES SUCKLING
Olivier Humbrecht has released another great series of wines…
The barrel samples of the 2017s I tasted in mid-October showed lovely purity of fruit along with serious concentration and lingering salinity. These wines speak very clearly of their particular terroirs. STEPHAN REINHARDT, The Wine Advocate
I would like to begin this email by explaining that as of this year we are now the national importer for the iconic wines of Domaine Zind Humbrecht and we are immeasurably proud and excited to be working with an estate widely regarded as one of the greatest white wine domaines on earth.
Our first shipment of Olivier Zind-Humbrechts wines are due to arrive any moment now and what a way to begin. This upcoming arrival consists of some of the estates most sought after and highly regarded wines from the epic 2017 vintage. It is a veritably treasure trove of aromatic whites from their top sites and his field blend named simply Zind.
Michael and I visited the domaine as our first stop on this years European trip to taste through the new releases and to grow our understanding of a domaine that we have both loved and admired during our time in the industry. As incredible as this years trip was the visit to Humbrecht remains the highlight.
In the years of travelling and tasting wine I have had few experiences as profound as this. The attention to every aspect of the business here is remarkable. The deep understanding of their sites and the connection to vines they work with is obvious and celebrated here. I have had countless discussions with vignerons about their vineyards and the wines they make but every once in a while you come across a producer so deeply involved in their vines that their passion radiates throughout the business. Sadly the great man himself was not in France at the time of our visit but his chief winemaker Paul was on hand and he obviously worked with the same obsessiveness as Olivier. There is an intensity to the place which is palpable and this in transferred in to the remarkable wines.
This dedication to their sites is not a new thing, the domaine has been run on strictly biodynamic principles since the 1990s, long before these practices were widely adopted. Olivier has long held that working with the land to improve its health is the only way to ensure that the best possible fruit is grown and that this fruit properly transfers its terroir in to the wine. As the very first French Master of Wine (and possibly the first wine maker to achieve his MW, I am not 100% certain on this but reasonably so) he took his pursuit of a greater understanding of wine to help him improve his own practices as fanatically as he continues to run the domaine today.
While we chatted a lot about various aspects of the domaine one point repeatedly came up in the discussion which was the move in recent times to towards proper dryness across all the Cru wines every year where in times gone by the sweetness levels would shift from season to season. Olivier now understands that the best way to demonstrate the DNA of any site is to produce wines of similar style each vintage. Sweet wines are still made here with outrageous success but focus on their phenomenal dry wines is most certainly the focus today.
As to the wines themselves, the 2017s herald from a vintage that was ravaged by frosts, as much of Europe was that year, resulting in very low yields. The summer was warm but rains and cool periods came at all the critical times giving the vines the necessary reprieve and reinvigorating them. The results are, as a bracket, wines that demonstrate incredible intensity and depth with abundant textural phenolics and power. An impression of the vineyards seems to have been ramped up a degree this year, the minerality is obvious and each of the wines has a unique and wonderfully unique character which is openly on display.
While these wines probably don’t need any introduction to consumers we would like add that this estate remains one of the greatest producers of aromatic whites anywhere on the globe and that each and every one of these offerings is something genuinely remarkable. These are wines that speak to the soul and captivate the senses. Few wineries can lay claim to crafting so many wines of such high quality and so consistently as those of Olivier Zind-Humbrecht MW.
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