Clos Windsbuhl sits enthroned in the village of Hunawihr and is known for the dominant soil of the Alsace region - shell limestone. For the vines at Windsbuhl, the soil layers are relatively thin, which facilitates access to the parent rock for the vines. The unity of the southern exposure and the warm soil balances the altitude and the cool spell of the nearby Vosges forest. Indeed, the site creates a unique climate that lends much expression, aroma and delicacy to the wine style of this storied Clos, but also allows it to play strictly with a striking acidity. The wine we are reviewing today comes from vines planted in the golden age of the 1950s to the early 1970s.
Among the estate vineyards that produce Pinot Gris, this one is perhaps the trickiest to achieve the ideal amount of sugar at harvest. One could say that the grapes hide their potential a little, and more often than one might think, one would have wished to have picked them a little earlier. In 2018, however, there were no such regrets, and the harvest conditions were ideal for getting good wild yeasts on the grapes, allowing for a full fermentation of the wine.
A dense, muted golden yellow stands out.
The 2018 Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl exudes a distinctly complex nose. In addition to notes of lime, malt and light wood smoke, a collection of intense aromas unfolds - apple, vineyard peach, kumquat, broom, fresh ginger, honey and a hint of soy sauce. The aroma alone suggests an umami wine and makes you curious about the first sip!
An impressive drop that grabs the palate with abundant fruit flavours, spice and a complex, invigorating acidity. The 2018 vintage is a testament to Olivier Hummbrecht's skill at bottling a fascinating Pinot Gris with invigorating complexity and drinking flow. Let's hear it! Should anyone decide to open this wine, it is advisable to decant it at least one day beforehand and to serve it not too cold from large Burgundy glasses.
Spicy goat cheese with figs and honey or scallop ceviche are wonderful alternatives. Likewise, a lamb tajine with basmati rice, slivered almonds and dried apricots harmonises excellently with this wine.
Domaine Zind Humbrecht, 4 Route de Colmar, 68230 Turckheim / France, Organic certificate: FR-BIO-01