Monday 4 June 2018

Tasting Lunch With Olivier Humbrecht

On my way from this tasting I asked myself - when was the last time I had a bottle of wine from Alsace? I couldn´t remember. Probably a couple of years back, I kind of remember a so-so bottle of Cuvée Fredérick Emilé.
The next question that came to mind was - why don´t I drink it more often, at least when it is as good as these bottles were?

Thanks VinUnic for the invite and thanks to Olivier Humbrecht for making a passionate and knowledgeable claim for the these wines.

2015 Zind
This can´t be bottle as an Alsace wine beacuse of the Chardonnay content (2/3, the rest is Auxerrois). Not minding that, this is a fine wine with a deep, layered noes with notes of yellow plums, pickled ginger, cucumber and sun warm rocks. Very, very good.
The taste is broad and fine with notes of candied lemons, chrushed rocks, dry bread and some grassy notes. The nose has a dried up sweetness that doesn´t come through in the taste, it is bone dry. For drinking now.
88p   (tasted 2018/05)

2016 Riesling Heimbourg
The 16 Heimbourg has a cool, refreshing nose with notes of lemons, chrushed stones, clay and a hint of metal/iron. Fresh and fine.
The taste is racy and fine with notes of lime peel, chalk and some salty notes in the finish. For drinking the coming 5+ years.
89p   (tasted 2018/05)

2016 Riesling Clos Windsbuhl
Here we move up in quality, with a deep, concentrated, luscious nose with notes of chalk, ripe lemons, dry grass, hard lemon candy and oyster shells. Complex and fine.
The taste is tight, ripe and focused with notes of ripe lemons, lemon grass, chalk and lots of minerals. Long and promising 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

2011 Riesling Clos Windsbuhl
This 7 year old Riesling shows a seedy, nice nose with notes of decaying summer flowers, wheat bread, gravel and grass. A tad anemic compared to the others. A fine structure though.
The taste is tight and refined with notes of dried yellow plums, dry lemons and hay. Again, a fine backbone but the flesh is somewhat missing.
88p   (tasted 2018/05)

1999 Riesling Clos Windsbuhl
Oooh boy, come to Papa! This delivers the goods in the shape of apricots, furniture polish, dried herbs, rust and wet stones. Very deep,  complex and fine. The slightest hint of botrytis. Oliver confirmed that there were probably some botrytis affected grapes in the mix. Today they are discarded. I wonder how the current vintages then will age, time will tell, but some botrytis grapes in the 1999 blend just makes is complex.
The taste is big, round, mature and lovely with notes of apricots, candied lemons, warm sand, hand cream and metal. Very long, intense and still perky. Great wine, for now and 3+ years.
95p   (tasted 2018/05)

Pinot Gris
2016 Pinot Gris Heimbourg
A young, fresh nose with notes of herbs, earth, plums and slate. Pure and fine. A touch of deep fish stock after a while. Really good.
The taste is pure and refined with notes of dried up lemon ice cream, warm grass, plums and hay. A very fine acidity. Long and fine. 4+ years.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

2016 Pinot Gris Windsbuhl
The Clos Windsbuhl has a high, somewhat reductive nose with notes of grass, ripening yellow fruits, steel and gravel. A tad locked up.
The taste is dry, seedy and structured (in a fine way) with notes of lemon peel, clay, incense and minerals. Very tight but promising. 6+ years.
89p   (tasted 2018/05)

2011 PInot Gris Thann
The last vintage with the name Thann on the label. This is really nice! An open, direct, sweet nose with notes of yellow plums, smoke, handcream, dried up honey and wet stones. Lovely.
The taste is big and juicy with notes of apricots, plums, smoke and warm grass. A long, warm finish with a fine acidity. A fine maturity. Really good. A bargain at 23 Euro.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

1999 Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl
Another stunning 99. According to Olivier this was harvested in mid November and the sugar level was 40 gr/lit! Now, 19 years later the sugar has, on the nose, subdued to notes of plum cakes, yellow pears, ski wax and dry honey. Intense and fine.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of lemon candy, yellow plums, smoke and warm asphalt. Starts out semi dry but ends bone dry. Very, very fine.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)

2016 Gewürztraminer Clos Windsbuhl
Another fine 2016, with a pure, handsome nose with notes of warm grass, herbs and summer flowers.
The taste is spicy and fat with that typical soap/overripe flowery notes that are so common in Gewúrztraminer (and the reason why I normally don´t like the grape) but this one keeps it in check and also displays notes of wet asphalt, gravel and smoke. A fine acidity. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2018/05)

2012 Gewürztraminer Goldert
A very deep, intense nose with notes of passion fruit, roses, dry caramel and spices. Very fine.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of dried flowers, hand cream, gravel and smoke. A very fine acidity. Long and generous. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

2003 Gewürztraminer Goldert
Olivier said that this could "be drunk as an anti freezer"... The nose doesn´t reveal its 17% alcohol content and is very interesting with notes of dried plums, rubber, nail polish, lemon candy and smoke. A very fine but odd nose.
The taste is concentrated and large scaled with notes of dried herbs in liquor, birch sap, dried plums and some notes resembling Triple Karmeliet. Very long and intense.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

1999 Gewürztraminer Clos Windsbuhl
A very deep, multi layered nose with notes of dried flowers, wool, iron, hay, lemon cream and minerals. Very, very good.
The taste is big, tight and focused with notes of dried flowers, quince marmelade, apricots, hay and chrushed rocks. A fine dryness at the end.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

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