Obsessive readers will recall an earlier post (May 2015) when I tasted the 2002 edition of this wine. Alsace wines are often “manly” and Zind Humbrecht is typically at the extremely powerful end. Hengst is one of the too-numerous Alsace grand cru sites. The colour is a bright brassy gold, but very respectable for a wine that is 15 years old (and the long cork has performed its duty). Alas, the tall bottle is ridiculously heavy. The wine however presents with archetype dark honey, musk and rose-petal aromas.
Alsace is situated near the border of France and Germany, meaning its history is littered with changes of nationality. On one of the occasions I visited this scenic area, the couple who owned the B&B spoke to each other in different languages – they understood both, but each preferred to speak in a different one!
Meanwhile, the palate is lush and ripe (guessing 40 g/l sugar), oily, honeyed, with apricot, other ripe stonefruits, camphor and unashamed phenolics. Gewurztraminer is a wine of distinct intrigue, but usually one glass is quite enough. This bottle passes this hurdle admirably, despite nearing the end of its drinking span – and it probably would have been better a few years ago. The acidity has ensured the sweetness does not cloy, and the wine possesses “drinkability”.
Drink to 2018, score 90.
FYI, the vintage rating chart published by Alsace producer Hugel is here