Archive for the ‘Gewürztraminer’ category

Jean-Luc Mader Gewürztraminer 2004

September 29, 2007

img_3687.jpgAt present it seems that Alsace wines are inextricably bound up with the issue of sweetness. There is no doubt that global warming has led to a series of vintages producing physiological ripe grapes with high sugar levels. After fermentation a lot of wines will keep some residual sugar although the total amount will depend on the potential alcohol level and not to forget the intended style of the winemaker. Much heard criticism is that quite some producers in Alsace deliberately chase sweeter styles of wines that would suit the Goûte américaine. True or not, in my opinion it’s more important that sweetness is countered by fresh acidity. Whether you then still perceive a wine as sweet or not is a subjective matter of personal taste and preference. This Gewürztraminer from Jean-Luc Mader shows an exuberant nose of rose petal, musk, pear and exotic fruit. Although there is no doubt that the wine contains residual sugar, the sweetness is never out of balance with the crisp acid on the palate that runs through tropical fruit, honeysuckle and asian spices. Open-hearted varietal, vinous and succulent, this wine is a perfect example of good and over-delivering entry-level Alsatian Gewürztraminer. 90 points.

Source: Vintage & Vine/Liquid Library  Price: $29  Drink: Now-2009

Web: www.vins-mader.com

Vinoptima Gewürztraminer 2004

August 20, 2007

img_3704.jpgAfter 40 years of groundbreaking work in the industry Nick Nobilo hasn’t slowed down. In contrary, his mission to create his own masterpiece has only yet begun by the start of his Vinoptima project in 2000. With passion, flair and catching enthousiasm Nick grows, crafts and promotes what is one of the world’s best Gewürztraminers. The choice for this slightly unfashionable variety needs a lot of courage and determination, characteristics of great winemakers who aim to enrich our experiences by producing something extraordinary out of the square. Since the first release of the 2003 vintage this wine has been compared with the ones from Zind Humbrecht and Josmeyer Hengst, although Nick himself says he’s not out to achieve an Alsatian Gewürztraminer but one on the same parallel from Ormond in Gisborne on New Zealand’s North Island. His dedication has materialized into 8 hectares of Gewürztraminer only and a custom-built winery. Add to this 20 years of clonal selection, fastidious vineyard management and impeccable winemaking and I can’t think of anything else a human-being can possibly do to make a perfect wine. And this is precisely where nature plays its part and takes over to produce wines that reflect terroir and vintage, the latter being the best on record in 2004. The resulting wine teases your senses straight away with an exotic and rich nose of rose petal, lychee, ginger, citrus and spice, all with balanced elegance rather than being over-exuberant. The same applies to the palate where an unctious, oily texture is matched by great purity and limpidity of flavour and crisp mineral acidity. This wine is far from the ones that are simple, plump and overly sweet, it fascinates and provokes by its complexity instead, slowly unveiled after half an hour in the glass. As a wine that can easily be laid down for 10 years this is an absolute must-have for any serious cellar or collector. 95 points.

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $54  Drink: Now-2015

Web: www.vinoptima.co.nz

Hugel Gewürztraminer 2004

February 22, 2007

img_2344.JPGHugel & Fils, a family run négociant-producer from the Alsace, owns more than 25 hectares of vineyards in the village of Riquewihr. In search of excellence no fertilizers are used, yields are kept low and grapes are picked by hand. The wines under the most prestigious labels ‘Jubilee’ and ‘Tradition’ are all made from grapes form these family vineyards. As a négociant for the basic range, Hugel sources grapes from another 100 hectares, only purchased from reliable and skillfull growers. This Gewürztraminer clearly shows the aimed style of this range: true varietal character and a reflection of the vintage.

Regarding the latter, 2004 was pretty good in the Alsace. After a relatively cool and damp summer, a sunny September saved the day and allowed the growers to make very good wines from healthy and ripe grapes. The cooler conditions are seen in the wine by a good acidity, something this variety often lacks. With a typical nose of perfumed, floral and fragrant characters and a refreshinly dry and spicy palate, it’s a very good entry-level varietal wine. 88 points.

Source: Negociants Australia Price: $ 40 Drink: Now

Web: www.hugel.com