Just before leaving for my Christmas vacation, I had lunch with two friends at Marea in New York. The seafood was terrific, and the restaurant was packed. We started off with a Moschofilero from Greece, before moving on to a richer white from France to match our main course of fish.
We chose a Riesling from renowned Alsatian producer Zind-Humbrecht; its 2005 Turckheim Herrenweg Lot 148 bottling was on the list at $85. Herrenweg is a single vineyard that straddles the village of Turckheim, where the Zind-Humbrecht winery is located, and neighboring Wintzenheim.
Olivier Humbrecht makes Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris from Herrenweg. He identifies the sweetness level of his wines with an index of 1 through 5 (driest to sweetest) on the label. In the 2005 vintage, Humbrecht bottled two Rieslings from Herrenweg: Lot 148 and Lot 144. The 148 started its fermentation later, yet finished before lot 144, with less residual sugar. He decided to keep the lots separate to show their different characters.
Though this wine was dry (Indice 1), we knew that the concentration and rich style of this Riesling would stand up to our grilled branzino. A soft, floral nose with a touch of wax gave way to peach, lemon and mineral flavors. Rich and lacy, the wine was complex and long, a fine match for the fish; I gave it 91 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Alsace Turckheim Herrenweg (L 148) 2005 (90, $48).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values in whites from Alsace.