Just two hours ago I left the Humbrecht home after an enjoyable “aperitif” prepared by Ginette Humbrecht for my wife and me and her husband Leonhard. I would have called it “lunch,” but she knew that in just a few hours we would be at Marc Haeberlin’s table at Auberge de l’Ill to continue our wine research with Serge Dubs, world renowned sommelier.
We had left Olivier at the winery with his business consultants and banker and a busy production team awaiting final instructions for the harvest to begin tomorrow. Olivier assured us the grapes in all 22 vineyards are just fine and that today’s warm, dry weather would last through trhe weekend. In all, the harvest would take four or five weeks.
With Leonhard, now completely retired, we sampled ten different wines, including some Grand Cru Rieslings, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminers, each of which proved once again why the Humbrechts are ranked among the very best vintners in France.
The Humbrecht living room opens toward the Jebsal, Heimbourg, and Brand vineyards, and it was a 2010 Brand Riesling Leonhard poured first, a good match for a ham terrine laced with parsley. With the Brand, Ginette slipped in a tarte flambee and confessed what we all already knew — that wine is best with food.
Conversation focused on our “old days” together in the 1970s and 80s and all the steps the family had taken to pass Domaine Zind-Humbrecht from parents to son.
Clos Jebsal Gewurztraminer with Munster cheese sent us on our way, pleased that some things on this troubled earth are still very good indeed.