Last night I wanted something special for no special reason. I found something very special in this 1997 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Rotenberg Pinot Gris. There's a lot of tasteless wine out there under the name of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, most of which would be dead at five years of age. This twelve year old wine certainly wasn't one of them.
The color was edging toward golden in the glass and despite an initial smell that reminded me of sherry the suggestion of old age quickly faded. There was some mango and lychee in the nose along with a sweet lemonade suggestion. A few more whirls in the glass and out came a touch of honey, a wee bit of pineapple and some citrus peel and a few green herbs.
The wine had tremendous body to it and was not shy about it's taste. The citrus peel was there, the pineapple was there, and the mango or peach made an appearance. There was tremendous acidity and a finish that went on for some time. This was a wine that gave the initial impression of being sweet only to finish with a dry, refreshing blast of acid. It was fully mature without feeling old in any way.
On the way home from work they were playing a Rosemary Clooney song on the radio, one from her second to last album before she died. It was an apt description of this wine. The song was "You got Class."
There was some simple food, but the wine just took over the evening, and there is one glass left to try again tonight.