Pinot Gris Rangen – a characterful experience

Pinot Gris Clos Saint Urbain Rangen 2008 Zind HumbrechtThe most famous vineyard in Alsace is probably the Rangen de Thann Grand Cru, located in the south of Alsace. This Grand Cru is located near the town of Thann and has an average gradient of 60%. It lies at heihgts of 340 to 460 m and at its foot the River Thur provides the necessary moisture to support botrytis in autumn. Summers are warm and rainfall is low – 750 mm per year, which yet is more than the average of 500 mm in Alsace.
The Rangen has two vineyards, the 14 hectare Clos Saint Theobald and the five hectare Clos Saint Urbain, which is owned by the Zind-Humbrecht winery.

We tasted the Pinot Gris Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann 2008 from the Zind-Humbrecht winery, which is one of the world’s great wines.
A wine with an acidity of 8.7 g/l acid and a residual sugar of 46 g/l.
The character of this Pinot Gris from Rangen – its smoky scent, its saltiness and its acidity – is probably due to the barren, volcanic soil, not least because it allows the vines to root deeply. In addition, its dark color ensures a higher soil temperature. Together with the southern orientation, the altitude and the climate, this enables long and late ripening until November.
The very dense planting of around 10,000 vines/ha and the low yield of around 20 hl/ha probably do their part to positively influence concentration and length.

Pinot Gris Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann Grand Cru 2008, Zind Humbrecht
Medium golden yellow. Peach, melon, botrytis and smoky notes of flint on the nose. In the mouth lots of quince, lemon balm and herbal, slightly peppery aromas, incredibly clear with a very fine, chiselled, almost delicate, very present acidity. Subtle sweetness, in very nice tension with the acidity, invigorating the flow of saliva. The very long finish is characterized by an incredibly salty minerality. This outstanding wine is an experience.

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