The Humbrecht family viticultural roots can be traced back to The Thirty Years War of 1620. Today they own forty hectares across five villages in the Haut-Rhin, the southern half of the picturesque vineyards overlapping the Vosges foothills, treasured for its idyllic climate, tapestry of terroirs as much for its half-timbered houses.
If you regard the level of ripeness exhibited by Zind-Humbrecht’s Heimbourg Pinot Gris S.G.N. as formidable, then consider that the 2005 Gewurztraminer Heimbourg Selection de Grains Nobles (from the lowest, most-protected portion of that vineyard) made it all the way to 12% alcohol and still retains 240 grams of residual sugar! Here too, the level of acidity was exceptionally high by any standard. “The only drawback,” remarks Humbrecht, “is that the production is only 1000 half bottles from a hectare.” This also offers a honeyed, candied pink grapefruit note reminiscent of Scheurebe. In the mouth, one is confronted with a viscous elixir so intense and sweet it almost blinds one to flavour or textural nuance. The overall impression is somewhat candied but there is still levity thanks to powerful acidity. Butterscotch and anise join the honey-drenched, caramelized peach, apricot and litchi in a sweet finish that followed me even when it was high time to get on with tasting the next wine! Not only is this likely to flourish for a quarter century or more in the bottle, I really wouldn’t care to revisit it for at least a decade, by which time the sweetness will have toned down, and the flavours and textures will become more differentiated – and probably downright magical. [94 Points, David Schildknecht – February 2008, robertparker.com]