Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, "ZIND," Auxerrois Blend, Alsace, France, 2016
The expression of terroir, conveyed through grape varieties of Alsace, is reinforced by cultivating the vines organically and according to biodynamic principles. Great lengths are gone to each growing season to produce the best quality grapes from each vineyard. As respect for the vine and soil life is imperative, the viticultural tasks are carried out by a team of 22 dedicated staff members. The high ratio of vineyard worker to vineyard surface enables an attention to detail and the execution of many of the viticultural tasks manually. In addition, animal traction and the use of their own compost help to reduce the impact of mechanical compaction on the soils.
Ripe, balanced and concentrated grapes enables the elimination of any vinification techniques that would modify the initial harmony of each terroir. Fermentations are very slow, and the wines spend a minimum of 6 months on the total lees. The wines are bottled between 12 and 24 months after the harvest.
In 1989, when we had to decide on the plantation of the south side of the Clos, nearest to the forest, we opted for the Chardonnay grape, with the clear intention to produce a still wine, blending it with Auxerrois grape also located near the Clos. The cooler climate and rocky limestone, rich in magnesium (the Windsbuhl limestone is of the dolomitic type) felt ideal for Chardonnay. We were also looking for higher acidity, in a global warming context, and we met eventually all our expectations. Sadly, the Chardonnay is only allowed for sparkling wines in Alsace, hence the presentation as Vin de Table. 2016 produced a generous crop of beautiful healthy grapes. The wine fermented slowly, as usual, and finished dry.
The vintage 2016 is extremely contrasted. A mild and wet winter and spring allowed for a fertile budbreak but also caused lots of disease problems (mildew). Summer and ripening period to the harvest were arid and warm. 2016 strangely combines the characteristics of an early and late ripening vintage.
Grape / Blend
Auxerrois and Chardonnay
Windsbuhl vineyard in Hunawihr, Alsace, France
Pale bright yellow color. The nose is elegant, announcing a mineral packed wine. The influence of the limestone is obvious: light reductive character, almost Riesling like, in need of time and air. Lots of citrus fruit on the palate, nice salivation and zesty ripe acidity, with no aggressiveness. This wine possesses a delicate language, the finish has a medium length with a broad mouthfeel and pure balance. This should be a very easy wine to use, not overwhelming showing all the characteristics of a great vineyard.
An off-piste Alsatian wine made from Chardonnay and Auxerrois. This textured and distinctly mineral blend comes from the chalky soils of the cool, late-ripening Clos Windsbuhl vineyard in Hunawihr. It’s fermented ‘wild’ for up to 12 months in large oak foudres giving it immense body and lush tropical fruit notes. Lanolin, vanilla, limestone and a zippy lime-tinged acidity complete the picture. Biodynamic.
Product size: 750ml
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