WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

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WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:28 am

$12.95 at the LCBO. 12% alc./vol. Solid, high-quality natural cork closure.

Clear medium-straw, with a pale canteloupe-orange glint. A fruity bouquet overall with peachy/honeydew/pineappley aromas but only a tiny hint of Gewurz's rosewater and spice. Crisp and dry on the entry with a clean texture and citrus rind on the mid-palate. Clean, light bodied and well balanced. No Gewurz flavour replays on the mid-palate; quite neutral and not much on the finish. A technically sound wine.

I stopped buying Ontario Gewurztraminers some years ago after finding them almost unfailingly nondescript and lacking in the wonderful spicy lychee aromas and flavours that I so love about this grape. This example, while a sound wine and enjoyable in its own right, is a bit too neutral for my taste as far as Gewurz goes. I would love to know why our Ontario versions just can't seem to express those glorious aromatics as well as the Alsatians do.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Dan Smothergill » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:45 am

I would love to know why our Ontario versions just can't seem to express those glorious aromatics as well as the Alsatians do.


I would go further. Although just about any Alsace Gewurztraminer is likely to be rewarding, the same can't be said about Gewurztraminer from anywhere else that I know about. It's more than a matter of style too. Alsace Gewurztraminer is just plain better across wineries and vintages. So what is it about Alsace: the clone; the terroir; the winemaking; all the above?
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Alan Wolfe » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:35 pm

Not to be too contrarian, but I had a Traminette made from Pennsylvania juice a few months ago, and it was as good or better than any Gewurtz I've tasted from California, with the exception of some very inexpensive 1983 Sebastiani Gewurtz, now long gone. It's a shame really. NY, PA or the Niagara Peninsula should be able to do a better job with this very tasty grape variety.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Dan Smothergill » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:18 pm

Poor phrasing on my part Alan. I meant that the whole region of Alsace produces quality Gewurztraminer. I too have had good Gewurztraminer from other regions, but the quality varies considerably from winery to winery. When we were in Alsace a few years ago, just about every winery we went to had a reasonably priced Gewurztraminer that I'd recommend without question (there were tres expensive wineries we didn't go to).

Someone who knows the scene in Styria might want to comment. The several Gewurztraminers we had there were excellent. Is it characteristic?
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:33 pm

I don't know the answer to my question, i.e. about why Ontario Gewurzes are so lacking in aromatic presence, but I will hazard a guess ...

I think it might be because our growing season, while more than adequate in total heat units, is too much of a "spike" curve. Gewurztraminer possibly develops those glorious aromas only given a longer, gentler and more protracted growing season ... as opposed to one where really only two months of the summer are really hot and then it cools down rapidly again.

Same thing goes for the Bordeaux varieties: I have never had one from around here that didn't taste green, even if only mildly so. Just because we have enough heat units to get a given Brix into those grapes doesn't necessarily mean that we have the length of growing season to get fine aromatics, fine flavours and fine, ripe tannins out of them.

Ergo, my beef about the myopic focus on grape varieties that excel elsewhere. Foch, on the other hand, is a short-season red grape and does produce very good reds in the Ontarian climate.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:17 pm

Alan Wolfe wrote:Not to be too contrarian, but I had a Traminette made from Pennsylvania juice a few months ago, and it was as good or better than any Gewurtz I've tasted from California, with the exception of some very inexpensive 1983 Sebastiani Gewurtz, now long gone. It's a shame really. NY, PA or the Niagara Peninsula should be able to do a better job with this very tasty grape variety.
Which grape variety are you speaking of: Gewurtz or Traminette? Frankly, I tend to think Traminette is better suited to the Northeast and makes better wines, but I have had a few Gewurtz's that I liked. However, in agreement with Dan, I don't think they measure up to Alsace. I don't think Traminette is allowed in Canada. Too bad. I think it would do well in the Niagara Peninsula.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:27 pm

Howie Hart wrote:I don't think Traminette is allowed in Canada. Too bad. I think it would do well in the Niagara Peninsula.

VQA for sure doesn't allow it or any of the other new-generation hybrids. It's another example of what I call legislated myopia ...

The Niagara Peninsula may be rather saturated with wineries as it is, which is why I'm excited about getting some of the super-hardy varieties in off-the-beaten-trail parts of Ontario. Marquette just recently became legal in Canada, so I'm hoping it will make some waves in non-traditional regions where it would grow and produce well.

But as for Traminette, I agree: it probably would make nice wines in southern Ontario if anyone dared to plant it. Unfortunately there are way too few renegade winemakers in our country at present for that; everyone plays the safe card and goes with what is already known.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Alan Wolfe » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:00 pm

Howie - Both! My point was that a lowly hybrid Traminette was clearly a better drink than the (usually) more highly regarded Gewurtz.
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Klöch

Postby Dan Smothergill » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:22 pm

The small village of Klöch in the far southeast corner of Austria is known throughout Styria for its Gewurztraminers. Local wineries there have banded together to form a promotional association called Klöcher Traminer. At last count, 16 member wineries were offering more than 100 Traminers and Gewurztraminers; most in the 7 – 10 euro range. Talk about a dedicated region! We passed through in the offseason last year. Almost nothing was open and the place for buying wine, the vinothek/museum, was closed for renovations. Next time we'll know when to go.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Joe Moryl » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:33 pm

I recognize what Paul is saying about Ontario Gewurz but there are few that I have always found worthy: Malivoire and Marynissen come to mind (although I've heard the later winery isn't what it used to be). Similar situation in the Finger Lakes, where it can be done well but is often insipid. It is a harder grape to work with and I think the winemakers in these areas need to get their bearings. Finger Lakes producers who have been making consistently good Gewurz are Standing Stone, Lamoeaux Landing and Red Newt. Recent efforts from Wiemer, Shaw and Sheldrake Point have been strong. All of these wines best any Traminette that I have tasted (Arbor Hill, Fulkersons....) so it may be worth the effort.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby MichaelB » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:13 pm

Dan, you might also want to visit the source—Italy! Tramino aromatico is wonderful stuff. Lageder is good QPR and widely available, but the best I’ve tasted is deTarczal.
Reading this thread got me drooling, so I popped a bottle of 07 dT, and wow! Lychee on the nose, but more lanolin, pine and even peppermint on the nose. On the palate, rich grapefruit and spices. Great with a liver sausage and clover sprout sandwich. I like Alsatian GW too, but it’s not the only place for fine GW.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:52 pm

MichaelB wrote:Dan, you might also want to visit the source—Italy! Tramino aromatico is wonderful stuff. Lageder is good QPR and widely available, but the best I’ve tasted is deTarczal.
Reading this thread got me drooling, so I popped a bottle of 07 dT, and wow! Lychee on the nose, but more lanolin, pine and even peppermint on the nose. On the palate, rich grapefruit and spices. Great with a liver sausage and clover sprout sandwich. I like Alsatian GW too, but it’s not the only place for fine GW.

Oh boy ... I don't even know if we've ever seen the Italian stuff here in Ontario. Thanks for the heads-up; I'm going to want to try Tramino.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Paul B. » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:56 pm

Joe Moryl wrote:Similar situation in the Finger Lakes, where it can be done well but is often insipid. It is a harder grape to work with and I think the winemakers in these areas need to get their bearings.

Hmmm ... that suggests to me that maybe it's another case of wineries making wines from grapes known elsewhere for name recognition, but not really going all out with the sort of fanatical fervor that would coax better-than-average wine from said grapes. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon: it has undisputed prestige and name recognition, but rarely does it produce anything more than an acceptably vegetal red, usually doused with oak and suffering from a short finish.
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Alan Wolfe » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:09 pm

Joe - Thanks, that's good to know. :D
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Dan Smothergill » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:16 pm

Tramino aromatico is wonderful stuff. Lageder is good QPR and widely available, but the best I’ve tasted is de Tarczal.
- MichaelB

Looked on Wine-Searcher Pro and couldn't find a Tramino, Traminer, Gewurztraminer, etc. by either Lageder or de Tarczal. Where is it available?
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby Keith M » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:43 pm

Dan Smothergill wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Tramino aromatico is wonderful stuff. Lageder is good QPR and widely available, but the best I’ve tasted is de Tarczal.
- Looked on Wine-Searcher Pro and couldn't find a Tramino, Traminer, Gewurztraminer, etc. by either Lageder or de Tarczal. Where is it available?

I'm not Michael (and I've never had the opportunity to sample de Tarczal), but below are some producers who I've had positive experiences with who I think would do a good job of interpreting Gewürztraminer in the Alto Adige. Perhaps, some of them might be more accessible to you (though Lageder seems to have pretty good distribution in the States . . . or at least I've seen their bottles [admittedly not the Gewürztraminer] at Whole Foods):

Abbazia di Novacella/Stiftskellerei Neustift
Kellerei/Cantina Terlan
Kellerei/Cantina Tramin
Schreckbichl/Colterenzio
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Re: WTN: 2007 Strewn Gewurztraminer (Niagara Peninsula VQA)

Postby MichaelB » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:21 pm

I looked on Wine Searcher too and only found deTarzcal Moscato Giallo (which I’ve tasted—it’s not as good as Lageder Vogelmaier MG). The Gewuertz has a stick-on label ID-ing Small Vineyards LLC in Seattle as the importer, but SV no longer handles it. I looked in my cellar records and found I’d bought a case about a year ago from Garagiste.
This asparagus season has cut my supply down to a couple of bottles, so I’m hurting, too. Sorry to give you a bum steer to a wine unavailable in the USA.

Keith, I have the same problem with Kellerei Tramin—I’ve enjoyed its Lagrein but can’t locate any GW for sale in USA. Guess I’ll just have to go to the Sudtirol this summer!
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