French wine with a sense of power

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Long lineage: The 2011 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer comes from the vineyards of the Humbrecht family, which has been in the grape growing business since the 15th century. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

Alsace is a secluded province of France tucked away in the cool northeast corner of the country in close proximity to the German border. France and Germany have exchanged possession of Alsace countless times over the last century with a lasting German influence on its food and culture. The fertile plains of the Rhine River form the eastern half, with the Vosges Mountains on the west. The white wines from this region are soil driven and aromatic wines that reflect the character of each country and their affinity to pair well with richly textured foods.

The Humbrecht family has been involved in grape growing since the 15th century. In 1959, Genevieve Zind wed Leonard Humbrecht creating one of the most well-respected estates in Alsace. Today, son Olivier oversees winemaking with a resolve to follow strict biodynamic farming principles in the vineyards. Their modest production incorporates some of the finest fruit from four Grand Cru sites and six single vineyards.

The 2011 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer reveals a medium yellow hue and has an explosive aromatic bouquet of lychee nuts and spring flowers. There is an oily viscosity and sense of power that draws you into this wine. Spiced yellow fruit, waxy pear and quince add to the multi-layered mouth-feel of this wine. The fragrant yet dry style of this wine may be beyond the comfort zone of some, but they are worth exploring and can compliment the exotic undertones Asian cuisine.

Suggested Retail: $24.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.