2006 Zind Humbrecht "Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann" Riesling (Elsewhere $80)

SKU #1109228 92 points Wine Spectator

 A rich, just off-dry white, enlivened by intense, citrus acidity. Exudes kumquat, apricot and guava flavors, laced with exotic spice notes of anise and cardamom. Despite its power, this is elegantly put together, with a clean, dry finish that leaves a mouthwatering impression. Drink now through 2028. 410 cases made.  (10/ 2008)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Having pointed out - in connection with this year's Heimbourg Riesling - that a wine of only 9 grams residual sugar could 20 years ago have been sold as vendange tardive, Olivier Humbrecht proceeds to explain that - at 32 grams - he felt his 2006 Riesling Rangen Clos Saint Urban had already fermented too far to be bottled as V.T., which is how he had envisioned it at harvest! The deep color here signifies the strong presence of botrytis. The smoky aromatic pungency is, I think, a case of noble rot reinforcing vineyard character. Quince and gooseberry preserves, dried peach, nut paste, caramel, and peat saturate a palate of creamy richness and palpable density, and this finishes only slightly sweet, its analysis notwithstanding. It might well improve in bottle for a few years, but I would certainly monitor it carefully.  (4/ 2010)

89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (14% alcohol, 32 g/l r.s.) Deep yellow color. Tangy tropical fruits, honey, ginger and resin on the nose, along with the vineyard's characteristic smoke and flint qualities (reminded me of Mosel-like schist). Quite sweet and concentrated, with a tactile saline quality as well as fairly strong acidity from noble rot. Perhaps a tad bitter-edged, and less pristine than the 2006. "From 60% blue grapes that were fragile but not shriveled," according to Humbrecht, who originally declared this wine as VT only to watch it ferment to a high level of alcohol. This idiosyncratic wine should age slowly, in spite of its somewhat deep color.  (12/ 2008)

K&L Notes

On the 2006 vintage: "As for 2006, it's clear that this is a year to test the meddle of any grower, and it is therefore not surprising that Zind-Humbrecht was among the estates to demonstrate that excellence and even excitement were not ruled out by the weather. Furthermore, he arrived at an average 2006 yield virtually identical to that of 2005. 'Of course,' asserts Humbrecht, 'quality in 2006 depended on how you handle your vineyards and your vines the whole year through. It was a vintage where, if you made a mistake in the vineyards, you got slapped pretty hard at harvest time, unlike 2007 where if you made a mistake, nature was forgiving.' " (Wine Advocate, 04/10)

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Price: $64.99

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By: Melissa Smith |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/19/2012  | Send Email
Honey gold in color, and smelling like a much older wine, it is surprisingly lean, but balanced with explosive flavors and bright acid. This still tastes like it it has quite a bit of age potential.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Riesling

- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Alsace

- A region and appellation in France that has been a part of both France and Germany throughout history. Geologically isolated from both countries, Alsace has also maintained much of its own culture and wine tradition, while also being influenced by the traditions of both countries. Alsatian wine is easily recognized by it traditional tall bottles. Alsatian wine makers produce a unique style of varietal wine, 90 percent of which is white.