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.
When botrytis rapidly overtakes the grapes, says Humbrecht, as it did those of the 2005 Pinot Gris Heimbourg Selection de Grains Nobles, the ennobling effect is all the more concentrated and dramatic. And when high acidity is added to the effect of botrytis – as is also the case here – the yeasts seldom stand a chance of getting very far along in fermentation (in this instance 10% alcohol) and even an enormous amount of residual sugar (here 219 grams) does not come off as cloying. An absolutely ethereal concentration of pure botrytisin, honey, apricot nectar, litchi, white raisin, and cinnamon spice on the nose set the tone for this amazingly rich, buttery-textured, yet buoyant and positively invigorating wine. Licorice, vanilla, and saline, chalky mineral threads weave their way into the already intricate and plush carpet of flavors in a finish of astonishing lift and refinement. This extraordinary wine will reward at least three decades in the cellar. [97 Points, David Schildknecht – February 2008, robertparker.com]