Riesling ‘Roche de Granite’ Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Turkheim 2016
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Turkheim (Biodynamic)
The Humbrecht family can trace their winemaking heritage back over 10 generations, although the Domaine Zind Humbrecht story really began in 1959 through the amalgamation of the Zind and Humbrecht family vineyards. Under the stewardship of first Léonard Humbrecht and then his son Olivier, the domain has grown to around 40 hectares, including some of the very best parcels in Alsace’s top Grand Cru and Lieu-Dit sites. Taking a non-interventionist approach in the cellar and paying incredible attention to detail in the biodynamic management of his vineyards, Olivier is leading the field in crafting superb terroir-driven wines.
The single vineyard Herrenweg is located in the middle of the gravelly valley floor located between the villages of Turckheim and Wintzenheim, on deposits left by the river and glaciers in recent geological time. Going West towards Colmar, the vines are more exposed to the north winds, deeper in the valley it gets cooler and soils are less deep, towards Turckheim the water table is less deep and towards Wintzenheim the soils get gradually more covered by loess. So, like in many other places: the middle is the best part! Herrenweg soil is poor and suffers easily from drought and thus older vines have a much higher quality potential. This vineyard was planted by my grandfather Zind and my father. The fermentation was very slow but the wine finished very dry.
This ‘new’ wine label complements now the ‘roches’ series. As its name indicates it, all the vineyards are located on the poor granitic soils of the Brand hillside. It is in fact the second wine of the Grand Cru Brand. It is a very interesting experience to compare the three Rieslings side by side (Granite, Calcaire, Volcanic) in order to understand the influence of soil origin on the nature of the wine. These precocious and warm granitic soils produce wines that have a vertical structure, always expressive at a young age and never shy on their aromatic potential. In 2016, these were the first Rieslings harvested but the fermentation took a year to complete.
Bright yellow colour. There is still an obvious lees autolysis influence as the fruity aromas (white fruits, pears) are mixed with more toasty, rock dust scents. It is possible to sense how this wine is going to open up and deliver fabulous aromas in the near future. The wine hits the palate full on, delivering a silky smooth texture where the ripe acidity brings salivation on the finish. It is a very enjoyable wine, delicate yet lasts a long time on the palate. The granite influence can be seen through the generosity of taste and pleasure this wine brings. The great origin comes on the finish with the presence of noble tannins. It can be enjoyed now, but will still improve for many years.
Grape: 100% Riesling