The properties of Zenon Humbrecht and Emile Zind merged in 1959 to form Zind-Humbrecht. The domaine now covers 40 hectares in five villages in the Haut-Rhin; its best parcels from four Grand Cru vineyards: Brand, Hengst, Goldert, and Clos St. Urbain on the steep slopes of Rangen.
Master of Wine, and vigneron extraordinaire, Olivier Humbrecht, directs operations here.
His supremely rich, complex and concentrated wines are controversial owing to their overwhelming power, often considerable residual sugar and flamboyant personalities. But this is one of the world's great producers of white wine, with no corners cut in the vines or winery. It's hard to choose a favorite variety here, as Humbrecht excels with Riesling
, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Muscat
and Pinot Blanc
. Vendange Tardive wines here are as rich as most producers' Sélection de Grains Nobles.
Much of the success here can be attributed to low yields, late harvests, and biodynamic viticulture, which Humbrecht introduced in full in 1998. Depending on quality, between 10,000 and 18,000 cases of wine are produced each year, 75%-85% for export.
Alsace has been almost pathologically ignored by the American wine-drinking public for generations--a real mystery in light of the great number of juicy, pure wines produced in this picture-postcard region of northeastern France.
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