The great winemakers of Alsace
We have previously written in this column that beginning wine enthusiasts will find Alsace wines easy to remember because the grape varieties are listed on the label. Yet many people will find it hard to choose one at first. Even wines made with the same grape varieties have different flavors depending on who makes them. At times like these, it’s good to rely on Alsace’s greatest producers: Hugel, Trimbach, and Domaine Zind-Humbrecht. Each domaine has a long history, but Domaine Zind-Humbrecht enjoys an enduring popularity among fans of wines with an “edge.”
The Humbrecht family has been making wine since 1620, and the current general manager and chief winemaker Olivier Humbrecht is the twelfth-generation owner. In addition to his skills as a superb winemaker, he also earned “Master of Wine (MW),” one of the world’s most difficult qualifications to obtain. He holds the distinction of being the first Frenchman and the second winemaker in the world to receive this honor. He also introduced Biodynamic wine some 20 years ago, and continues to evolve the flavors of the domaine’s wine. Using only the finest vineyards and with special attention to the terroir, he produces a number of top quality wines, including Riesling.
Most of all, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht takes pride in the diversity of its terroirs and its own vineyards. For example, its south-facing Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain on the southern tip of Alsace produces a well-rounded and smoky Riesling that’s full of mineral essence. Others also offer excellent flavors, including the Gewurztraminer from Grand Cru Hengst and the Muscat from Grand Cru Goldert.
When it comes to wine, learning about the domaine often lets you understand the region even better. Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is no exception.
(Text: Kimiko Anzai)
Contact: Nippon Liquor Ltd. Tel: 03-5643-9770