Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl 2016/17, Zind Humbrecht
Pale yellow colour. He first nose shows the typical Windsbuhl ‘reduction’ and an almost austere tight aromatic profile. Clearly the longer full lees ageing of 18 months has closed the wine, but that’s only for now. A good decantation will slowly make the wine open up, first with toasty/smoky flavours and then more ripe fruits. This is potentially the wine that will take the longest to find its place of all 2018s, but what a potential! The palate is powerful, full flavoured, intense and a with a rich velvety texture on the finish.
Winegrowing is a passion that has been passed down from father to son in the Humbrecht family since the 17th century. Domaine Zind Humbrecht today comprises of 40 hectares of vines, spread out over an array of different terroirs in the geological patchwork which is the Alsatian wine region and birthplace of our noble grape varieties.
The Clos Windsbuhl is located on the top of the village of Hunawihr on a soil type that can be found along the vineyards, especially in this area of Alsace: Muschelkalk. Here on the Windsbuhl, the top soil layers are particularly thin and the vines can reach the mother rock very quickly. Located in a late ripening climate, the warmth of the soil and south to south east exposition compensate both altitude and cooler influence from the proximity of the Vosges forest. It actually creates a unique climate explaining the style of the wines from this old historical Clos: aromatic, delicate and expressive, but also strict, racy acidity and austere. Never really powerful, their force comes more from their character than sheer power. The Pinot-Gris is the first grape variety mentioned in the history of the Clos (Tokayer), it is also today the most planted. The vines planted in the early 90s are still today declassified into a second wine (roche Calcaire), and this wine comes from vineyards planted in the 50s/60s/early 70s. Of all the vineyard the domaine cultivates in Pinot-Gris, this is probably the trickiest to harvest at the perfect sugar ripeness. The grapes seem to hide their potential and more than often we regretted not to harvest them slightly earlier. In 2018 that wasn’t the case, and the harvest conditions (very dry weather) also probably helped to keep good wild yeasts on the grapes so the wine was able to fully ferment.