Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Zind-Humbrecht Dinner

Special Guest Olivier Humbrecht MW. Hosted by David Berry Green, Buyer. Friday 18 November 2005. Another BBR dining extravaganza:

2002 Muscat. Herrenweg


2001 Riesling, Clos Windsbuhl

Baked rainbow trout with toasted almonds

2002 Riesling, Brand

Crispy sea bass with a lime, lemongrass and coconut sauce

2001 Tokay Pinot Gris, Rangen de Thann

Pork with caramelised honey and citrus sauce with crushed new potatoes and seasonal vegetables

19883 Gewurztraminer, Rangen de Than, Vendage Tardive

Selection of cheese and fresh fruit

1986 Tokay Pinot Gris, Rotenberg, Selection des Grains Nobles

Pear and frangipane tart with hazelnut praline


Berrys' selected coffee and mints

I have always had a soft spot for Zind-Humbrecht ever since I discovered their Gewurztraminer, Herrenweg Turkheim some twenty years ago. It is every thing that one could hope for in a dessert wine, complex flavours (a veritable fruit bowl of exotic fruits), unctuousness, sweetness without being cloying thanks to a hint of noble rot. I love it and I was looking forward to this dinner.

One of the pleasures of these dinners is that you get to hear from the winemakers themselves. For a twelfth generation wine producer Olivier had a refreshing amount of enthusiasm for his subject. As well as the wines themselves he did an excellent job of covering the history of the region, the domaine itself and biodynamics. The latter has a more than a hint of hew age hippydom about it but results in some very sensible, sustainable, organic farming practices. As, Olivier said "the proof is in the glass".

Apart from the marc which was, like 99.99 percent of the grappa breed, rocket fuel.


Ballpoint Wren said...

It sounds wonderful, especially the baked trout with almonds. But what does "noble rot" taste like?

Mark McLellan said...

It's not just what it tastes like but what it does to the grape.

In terms of taste it adds a slightly smokey note to the nose and oily / waxy notes to the palate. Can even be a bit musty if not harvested just so.

More importantly on the vine the fungus that is Botrytis cinerea (aka noble rot aka pourriture noble) makes the grape skin more porous. That means water loss, a raising of the sugar levels and concentrating of the flavours. That translates into the glass as high alcohol, sweet, honeyed, rich, complex, and so on - my kind of wine <g>