Hengst of Wintzenheim
The Hengst was mentioned for the first time in the 9th century in an endowment of the Murbach Abbey. The lord of Haut Landsbourg as well as the bailiff of Kaysersberg shared the feudal rights up to the Great Revolution, while various noble families, abbeys and the bourgeoisie of Colmar worked important parcels. This provides a striking account of the vineyard’s reputation.
The Hengst Grand Cru is in the commune of Wintzenheim. It lies at the same latitude as Colmar, below the Chateau of Haut Landsbourg, at an altitude of 270 to 370 m, on a slope that is quite steep and homogenous. This south-east facing vineyard still benefits from the dry, warm Colmar microclimate as the rainfall is not abundant with only around 640 mm per year.
The soil structure of this Grand Cru is essentially made up of oligocene conglomerates and lattorfian interbedded marl. The incorporated pebbles are of a granitic, sandstone and siliceous nature. The interbedded marl, sometimes multicoloured, can include remnants of liassic microfauna. This substratum has resulted in the formation of clayey, very pebbly sometimes quite thick soil
The Hengst produced at the Zind-Humbrecht Domaine comes solely from the gewürztraminer grape variety. Without doubt the locality favours this type of wine and it has great keeping potential. Whatever it is like, each vintage always takes a few years to reach maturity but can then expect to last several decades without losing any of its presence.
The soil type expresses itself mainly by the vineyard’s ability to produce very powerful wines, quite high in alcohol, resulting in great maturity but rarely attacked by the noble rot (except for vintages with sufficient heat and humidity). The aromas are often discreet, even closed on the nose. It is with age that the Hengst develops above all notes of a complex spiciness.