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Tim York

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WTN: Fine entry level Riesling from Zind-Humbrecht

by Tim York » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:15 am

Riesling Gueberschwihr 2000 – Domaine Zind-Humbrecht – Alc. 12.5% - (€ 20 for 2007)

Its acidity was rather fierce when I tasted it in its youth but I bought it because of its substance and purity and my confidence was not misplaced.
C: Yellow/ straw yellow
N: Aromas of white flowers, citrus fruit and minerals with an attractive hydrocarbon edge underpinned by a touch of candy.
P: The nose could have presaged a sweet wine but it turned out to be quite dry with medium body, good depth, complexity similar to the nose and lively acidity with only a hint of its former fierceness on the long firm finish; 16/20+++.

Zind-Humbrecht are very discreet about their biodynamic credentials. I have not seen a Demeter certificate on any of their bottles and I can find no website of theirs explaining their philosophy. Detractors of organic/biodynamic sometimes claim that it is unscientific (or worse) and nothing but a marketing ploy. Clearly not in Zind-Humbrecht’s case.
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Mark Lipton

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Re: WTN: Fine entry level Riesling from Zind-Humbrecht

by Mark Lipton » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:02 am

Interesting note, Tim. Was there an "indice" on the label? (I forget in which year it was introduced by Olivier H) I have great trouble with the wines of Z-H, as they often seem to me too ponderous for service with food (that, and their US pricing). I'm glad to hear that your experience with this wine is so positive.

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Re: WTN: Fine entry level Riesling from Zind-Humbrecht

by Tim York » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:47 am

Mark, 2000 was the last year, I think, without "indice" numbers; I would call it Indice 2 but Z-H might call it 1 given the drift towards sweetness of so much "dry" wine.

I agree that a lot of ZH wines are ponderous or baroque, as I would call it. This one, which had been quite acidic in its youth, was by no means too full and rich for simple food (it was sole in a shrimp sauce) but some of the others are and I don't know when I will serve them. Clos Haüserer is another ZH Riesling which is usually quite food friendly; its '93 was delicious in the early 00s.
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: Fine entry level Riesling from Zind-Humbrecht

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:09 pm

Tim, has been years since I tasted anything from Z-H. I love wines from Alsace but think their wines are too big for my palate. Guess wrong in this case!
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Salil

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Re: WTN: Fine entry level Riesling from Zind-Humbrecht

by Salil » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:43 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:I have great trouble with the wines of Z-H, as they often seem to me too ponderous for service with food (that, and their US pricing).

I've had hit and miss experiences pairing ZH wines with food. The ones that haven't worked have come across as heavy and ponderous, but the rest of the time I have had some really amazing experiences (that stand among my most memorable food/wine combinations). I normally try and match them with bolder flavoured, richer Indian, Chinese or Thai meals that include both meat and rich starch (rice, potatoes or a fairly creamy/almond-base gravy) and recollect some great combinations like the '98 Brand (a real monster at 15%, but amazingly balanced and one of the greatest Rieslings I've ever had) with kebabs, or the '98 Heimbourg Gewurz VT with chicken biryani.
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Re: WTN: Fine entry level Riesling from Zind-Humbrecht

by Tim York » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:29 pm

Salil, was you Brand '98 quite sweet? I have some '99 which I'm sure is sweet but maybe with less acid than '98. You are giving me some ideas how to use it; the only problem is that the house chef is not very practised with oriental food.
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