Zind Humbrecht 2018 Big Guns Pre Arrival Offer
Zind-Humbrecht Rireslings are gigantically fresh wines and this freshness is married to an astonishing intensity of expression. Each wine is entirely itself, absolutely original in the way a great work of art is (which is the kind of orginality that defines a great work of art), as dazzlingly bright as a newly born star. STUART PIGOTT
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
Writing an offer like this is quite difficult. As someone who basically writes about wines and wineries for a living I still struggle to explain the importance of a domaine like this and also adequately convey the incredible quality that is produced here with remarkable regularity and across all of their wines. I mean, it is like trying to write about DRC, or Leroy, or Dagueneau, such iconic and legendary estates that a simple spiel in an email just doesn’t quite feel right. Perhaps it is worth just pointing everyone back to the quote from Ian d’Agata where he refers to Humbrecht as one of the “top white wine estates in the world today”. A short statement like that is probably as close to properly summarising this grand domaine as you can get to.
I know the story is well known to many, it is chiselled in to the minds of every wine geek on the planet. Olivier Humbrecht took over his family’s estate. Expanded it and began aggressively purchasing some of the greatest plots in the region at a time when Alsace was not in favour and many where using those plots to produce fairly average wines. Olivier focused in on all the best patches of land around the region and added them to his stable where possible winding up with the most enviable collection of top tier vineyards in the region. Many producers would be happy to have access to one or two of the Crus he declassifies in to other wines, let alone his pinnacle vineyards.
He converted the property to biodynamics, at a time when you just didn’t do that. At a time where this kind of thing was considered to be financial suicide and the realms of lunacy for fringe dwellers of the wine trade.
He was the first (I am fairly certain) French person to get his Masters of Wine, the world’s most difficult and respected wine qualification. He tasted and drunk widely at a time when Alsace was still very parochial. He began to travel and talk to other winemakers from the greatest regions and top estates. He absorbed it all and took the best from everything and everyone and weaved it in to his own estate.
Olivier helped reshape and redefine what Alsace wines where and what the potential quality of the region was. In part a revival and in part a revolution.
Today the estate remains one of the greatest producers of aromatic white wine anywhere on the globe. A visit there last year was one of the greatest wine tasting experiences of my career. Every single aspect of the visit was remarkable. The discussions ran from how they are still learning to better extract the highest possible quality from their vineyards, tweaking and adjusting the practices of sustainable agriculture that is the foundation stone of their philosophy. Their management of fermentations to ensure properly dry wines of texture and intensity are consistently yielded, through to how they were combating a certain bug . For a wine nerd it was remarkable. The obsessive attention to every facet of the production was awe inspiring. I have only had a handful of tastings, anywhere on earth, where I left with a sense that I had experienced something truly special.
What was more remarkable, or perhaps not considering the visit we had just completed and my long love affair with the wines, was the incredible quality of the tasting we went through. They were among the greatest wines we tasted on that trip and we visited a lot of great estates.
So, back to my first point, I feel like I have not come close to doing the wines of Olivier Humbrecht justice. Fortunately there are reviews for most of the wines, though due to his often late releasing of many wines some of the critics have not published their reviews yet. There is no safer bet than to say the rest of the reviews for his 18s will come and they will be glowing.
I have also left Olivier’s notes in for each wine. While this may be a little text heavy for some people it may be of interest to others and he gives some great insight in to the terroir of each Cru and his notes, as you would expect from an MW of his stature and accurate and astute reflexions on the wines rather than sales pitches as you would see from many wineries.
The wines are due to arrive very soon and urge anyone who loves aromatic whites to buy and buy up big. These are a remarkable collection of Alsace wines from some of the regions grandest sites and crafted by one of the world’s greatest wine minds.