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MWG April 17th tasting (3/6): Dry and not so dry

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Alto Adige 2012, Gewürztraminer, Kastelaz, Elena Walch ($40.25, 12142559)
100% Gewürztraminer from the steep Kastelaz vineyard, which has been devoted to the variety for generations. Manually harvested in two passes. The destemmed grapes are crushed, cold-macerated for six hours and pressed. The resulting juice is refrigerated and clarified by sedimentation. Fermentation, with selected yeasts, takes place at 18°C. The wine is kept on the lees for several months. 6.6 g/l residual sugar, 14.5% ABV.
Aromatic nose of rose and, yes, spice, not to mention juniper, orange blossom and a whiff of alcohol. Quite extracted but fresh and unheavy due to the bright acidity and relatively low residual sugar. The flavours echo the aromas and are joined by a hint of gin and tonic. Good depth and a lasting if heady finish. I’m not normally a fan of northern Italian Gewurzes but this is excellent, a wine that would make a good ringer in a flight of Alsatian grand crus. (Buy again? Yes.)

Alsace 2012, Gewürztraminer, Vignoble d’E, Domaine Ostertag ($31.75, 00870493)
100% organically and biodynamically farmed Gewürztraminer from several parcels located around the winery in the commune of Epfig (whence the Vignoble d’E moniker). As the wine is always made in a moelleux style, the grapes are picked late in the season. Manually harvested. Whole-cluster pressed and vinified in stainless steel tanks. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. 50 g/l residual sugar, 12% ABV.
Textbook Gewurz nose dominated by floral and lychee aromas. In the mouth, the wine is pristine, dense but still fluid, fruity but not too, quite sweet and rather long. Lovely in its slightly cloying but not caricatural way. (Buy again? If looking for a fruit-forward, luscious and definitely not dry Gewürztraminer, yes.)

After tasting the wines on their own, we tried them with a fine stinky Muenster from Yannick, which the Walch handled with aplomb and which redeemed the Ostertag.

Written by carswell

April 30, 2014 at 21:17

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