12.5% (part the second)

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Aah, memories. Those of an industrial looking town in south Alsace (Thann), standing in a carpark  looking across the Thur river to a 60 degree sloped vineyard on which crouched a chapel with a cross. That was, and still is, the Grand Cru Rangen vineyard. It is the most southern of the Alsace Grand Cru vineyards and sits on volcanic rock – quite unique in Alsace. The wine R kindly opened was Zind Humbrecht’s 2010 offering Clos Saint Urbain Riesling.

It was luminous green-yellow coloured and very bright with a very fresh, aromatic nose of honeysuckle, lime and jasmine. Interestingly, it had none of the petrol notes one associates with older Rieslings. The palate was a beautiful rich concoction of both sour and sweet notes, not completely dry with a lower acidity level – presumably because of its age.  All was in balance and what was significant was its low alcohol level yet it still had bags of flavour. This and the Chinon belied the modern idea of high alcohol is a prerequisite of flavours. Two older wines, really well-made and not a fuzzy head to be had. Lovely.

(Even Richard, who bridles at any sweetness in wine, liked this. Even more remarkable)

[Richard, lovely wine, fully mature and well balanced. If you were fanciful a flinty note from the volcanic soil was evident. Not sure where I purchased it or what it cost. Possibly one of the last wines brought back from Alsace in 2013. The Rangen is a famous vineyard site in Alsace and has been recognised as producing quality wine since about 1300.]

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