This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Off Dry over £15 went to Domaine Zinck, Pinot Gris Portrait, France 2012 (13%)

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  • There were no other Regional Trophies tasted in this category

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This trophy-winner enjoyed an unhindered run to the finish line, as there were no other Regional Trophies in its category. No matter, for our judges decreed that it was fully deserving of an International crown, remarking on its exuberant nature, the panoply of honeyed, exotic fruits on show, and its balanced sweet finesse.

Paul Zinck set up his domaine in 1964, with 2.5 hectares of vineyards. In 1997, at 22 years of age, his son Philippe entered the family company and it is he who now runs the firm, along with wife Pascale, today tending more than 20ha of vines.

‘I grew up in Eguisheim, a little village in Alsace surrounded by vines,’ Philippe says of his upbringing. ‘Since I was a child I helped my father in the winery and in the vineyard. I studied viticulture and winemaking in Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Australia, and then I joined the family winery.’

Domaine Zinck’s Portrait range is named as such because the wines are intended to be classical representations of a particular grape, at an affordable price – in addition to this Trophy-winning Pinot Gris, a Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Gewurztraminer complete the line-up. ‘The Pinot Gris,’ explains Philippe, ‘comes from parcels located at the bottom of the hills on silt soil. The result is a wine which is fruit-forward and light to medium bodied. It’s actually a very challenging grape to farm because it ripens fast, so the date of picking is key in ensuring that the grapes have enough acid structure.’

As to the ethos of Domaine Zinck, Philippe says: ‘Our philosophy is to respect the soil and produce wines with real varietal identity. To achieve this we focus our work in the vineyard, using traditional methods and organic viticulture. The aim is to have wines that reflect our unique terroirs, combining freshness, purity and authenticity.’

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Written by Decanter