Category Archives: Winemakers

Domaine Zind Humbrecht Tasting Recap

Pinot-Gris-Rangen-ThannLast week, the HDH team gathered together to taste the exceptional wines of Domaine Zind Humbrecht. These wines are the benchmark for the Alsace region, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to taste several of them side by side. It was a great reminder of the heights wines from this oft-overlooked region can reach in the hands of a great producer.

The Humbrecht family has viticultural roots in Alsace that can be traced back to 1620. Since 1989, Zind-Humbrecht has been managed by Olivier Humbrecht, one of the world’s only winemakers to attain MW status. Olivier has overseen the expansion of the winery’s cellar and the conversion of the winery to biodynamics in 2002. The domaine produces wines from many traditional Alsatian grape varieties including Gewurtraminer, Muscat, Pinot Noir, and Riesling, but for this tasting, we focused on their Pinot Gris. Though grape originated in Burgundy, it’s been widely planted in Alsace since the 16th century due to the fact that it is a vigorous varietal that is well-adapted to the deep, chalky soils of the region. The personality of this varietal is strong, so much so that Alsatian Pinot Gris can successfully be paired with dishes that would typically be paired with a red wine.

With all this in mind, we delved into the tasting: five bottles of Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris (four of which were from the famed Clos St. Urbain, Rangen de Thann Grand Cru vineyard) including a bottle of Vendange Tardive and a bottle of Selection de Grains Nobles. The first wine we tasted was the 2009 Pinot Gris “Calcaire.” The grapes for this wine are sourced from young vines in the Clos Windsbuhl vineyard, Zind-Humbrecht’s northern most vineyard. The thin topsoil, limestone rock (Calcaire translates to limestone), and high altitude of this vineyard help create a wine with vibrant acidity matched by honey and dried fruit characteristics. The balance of the wine was astonishing, especially given that my co-workers had their eyes locked on to the Grand Cru wines. It just goes to show that even in difficult years a world-class producer can produce a fantastic wine.

That said, the late harvest wines from Clos St. Urbain lived up to their lofty expectations. Both came from the 1998 vintage which has been described as, “the year of the century for botrytis wines in the grand cru of Rangen”. It was a rare experience to see the same grape, from the same vineyard, from the same year made into two very different wines. The 1998 Pinot Gris, Clos St. Urbain, Vendange Tardive (Late Harvest) had a luscious mouthfeel and a honeyed sweetness. The volcanic rocks and tufa of the vineyard gave the wine a smoky elegance to match the earthiness of the Pinot Gris grape. It’s complexity and long finish made it a true pleasure to drink. The 1998 Pinot Gris, Clos St. Urbain, Selection de Grains Nobles (Selection of Noble Berries) is predominantly made from grapes affected by noble rot and with an even higher sugar content than Vendange Tardive. Not much else can be said about this wine as it needs to be experienced. My coworkers remarked about its perfect texture and precision while others said they were going to race back to their computers to buy bottles for their cellar. This is a wine that can last at least fifty years and shows what an artist Olivier is.

The wines of Domaine Zind Humbrecht are some of the best white wines in the world and, at their current prices, represent a true value. Check out Hart Davis Hart Retail’s excellent selection of these wines and add them to your collection today!

Lynch Bages Dinner Recap

Lynch Bages Dinner Recap

The Blizzard of 2015 wreaked havoc with many a Bordeaux winemakers plans this week. Each year, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux brings a number of the leading lights from the major Chateaux to the US for a series of tastings highlighting the newly released vintage of their wines. Among them is Kinou Cazes-Hachemian, theContinue Reading

Producer Profile: Château Pichon Lalande

Producer Profile: Château Pichon Lalande

In addition to château-direct consignments from Montrose and Cheval Blanc, our upcoming auction, A Celebration of Bordeaux, features a consignment direct from the cellars of Château Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande (lots 1103-1133). We’re delighted to offer the wines of this historic Pauillac estate, and we encourage you to explore the careful balance of traditionContinue Reading

Producer Profile: Château Cheval Blanc

Producer Profile: Château Cheval Blanc

In addition to the château-direct consignment from Montrose, our upcoming Bordeaux Auction features a pristine consignment direct from the cellars of Château Cheval Blanc (lots 1-32). In honor of their consignment, we invite you to take a further look at the traditions and techniques that have made this estate one of Bordeaux’s most famous. PerchedContinue Reading

Producer Profile: Château Montrose

Producer Profile: Château Montrose

One of the first châteaux that comes to mind whenever the term “Super Second” is uttered is Château Montrose. We are delighted to feature a consignment direct from Montrose’s cellars in our upcoming Bordeaux Auction (lots 735-798), and we’d like to take a moment to highlight the estate’s history and recent innovations. Situated on slopes overlookingContinue Reading

Bruno Giacosa Dinner Recap

Bruno Giacosa Dinner Recap

We have witnessed a revolution of wine making talent around the world in the past few decades.  Where once single villages and counties could lay claim to being the world’s only reputable source of a certain varietal or blend, advances in oenology have made it possible for the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir,Continue Reading

Grower-Producer Champagne

Grower-Producer Champagne

Of the 19,000 growers in Champagne, 14,250 sell their grapes to négociant Champagne houses like Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Krug. These houses go on to make the delicious bubbles that we know and love. There’s no doubt that négociants can produce fantastic wines, but as the grapes are sourced from multiple vineyards, theContinue Reading

Women In Wine: Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy

Over the past century, women have made great strides in the world of wine. While the wine industry and winemaking profession remain male-dominated, women now make up a substantial portion of its workers. The industry, in turn, has begun to recognize the important contributions that women have made to the field. In the past fewContinue Reading

What is HDH Drinking Today?

What is HDH Drinking Today?

One of the great joys of learning about wine is finding that value bottle of wine that will knock your socks off, and potentially your friends’ too.  I have had the good fortune of spending the last 7+ years at HDH.  In that time, I have learned a little something about wine, so I thoughtContinue Reading

Dominus: An Old World Approach to New World Vines

One of the first wines I tasted as an employee of HDH was a bottle of 2009 Dominus.  As a Northern California native and a graduate of the University of California, Davis, I was already familiar (and enamored) with an array of Golden State wines, most of which were made by Californian or American winemakersContinue Reading

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