White, Ready, but will improve

2010 Pinot Gris, Clos Jebsal, SGN Trie Spéciale Zind Humbrecht

2010 Pinot Gris, Clos Jebsal, SGN Trie Spéciale Zind Humbrecht

White | Ready, but will improve | Domaine Zind Humbrecht | Code: 30377 | 2010 | France > Alsace > AOC Alsace > Selection de Grains Nobles | Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio | Full Bodied, Sweet | 6.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Domaine Zind Humbrecht

Domaine Zind Humbrecht

The wines of Olivier Humbrecht M.W. need little introduction, possessing great depth, exactitude as well as generosity…like the man himself.

The Humbrecht family viticultural roots can be traced back to The Thirty Years War of 1620. Today they own forty hectares across five villages in the Haut-Rhin, the southern half of the picturesque vineyards overlapping the Vosges foothills, treasured for its idyllic climate, tapestry of terroirs as much for its half-timbered houses.

The domaine has vines in 4 Grands Crus - Rangen (Thann) 5.5 ha, Brand (Turckheim) 2.4 ha, Hengst (Wintzenheim) 1.4 ha, Goldert (Gueberschwihr) 0.9 ha as well as Single Vineyards; Rotenberg (Wintzenheim) 1.8 ha, Clos Häuserer (Wintzenheim) 1.2 ha,  Herrenweg (Turkheim) 11.5 ha, Clos Jebsal (Turkheim) 1.3 ha,  Heimbourg (Turkheim) 4 ha and Clos Windsbuhl (Hunawihr) 5.2 ha.

Olivier has arguably overseen the most notable improvements in the estate’s illustrious history: a new cellar in 1992 while retaining the traditional ‘foudre’ oval barrels; initiating biodynamic practices in 1997 (certified in 2002); and the buying of a horse in 2006 to plough the vineyards!

The Grape

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

A first class grape variety grown in Alsace, where it is known as Tokay Pinot Gris, and in Italy, where it is called Pinot Grigio. In Alsace it is best suited to the deep, clay rich soils found in the north of the region where it produces richly honeyed, dry whites as well as superb sweet late harvest wines. At its best it combines the heady perfume and rich aroma of Gewürztraminer with the acidity one associates with Riesling. It ages very well, developing rich buttery characteristics.

In Northern Italy Pinot Grigio produces many thin undistinguished dry whites. However it comes into its own in Friuli-Venezia and the Alto Adige, where leading producers such as Alvaro Pecorari of Lis Neris produce marvellously rounded, elegant, and mineral laden examples. Pinot Gris is now grown with notable success in Oregon in the USA and in New Zealand.

The Region

Selection de Grains Nobles

Sélection des Grains Nobles (SGN) is a particular classification for Alsace wines signifying wines made from grapes affected by noble rot.

Sélection des Grains Nobles (SGN) wines are rarer, due to a bunch by bunch harvest, with minimum sugar levels stipulated at 256 grams per litre for Riesling and 279 grams per litre for Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. 

Sélection des Grains Nobles is a further step up from Vendange Tardive, where the grapes have reached even higher sugar levels. The harvest may contain a proportion of grapes affected by botrytis, or noble rot. 

SGN wines are sweet, yet the concentration and the degree of sweetness varies from producer to producer.

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