Posts Tagged ‘gewürztraminer’

Cloudy Bay 2005 Gewürztraminer

Saturday, 11 December, 2010

Cloudy Bay 2005 GewürztraminerI haven’t done a wine post for a while, mostly because I’ve been a bit lazy. But I had to get my act together for this one. Having had so much fun with the Stonecroft Gewürztraminer from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand, I thought I’d try this one from the famous Cloudy Bay winery in NZ’s Marlborough region.

We took this bottle to our favourite Thai restaurant, knowing that the spiciness of the wine would suit the food. I had a spicy duck stir fry, which was dressed with a touch of Thai red curry and coconut cream, and M. had a vege stir fry with cashew nuts (her favourite). The food was excellent as usual, and complemented the wine nicely.

Firstly, this is a very different beast to the Stonecroft. It has that lemon-lime citrusy aroma, with a hint of jasmine, and maybe orange blossom this time. The taste is immediately sharper, with the spice hitting up front, over layers of honeydew melon and lychees. There’s some slightly chalky minerality mixed in, and a merest hint of fermentation fizz. And there’s a hint of sweetness, and an orange marmalade bitterness at the back end, mixed with black pepper spiciness. Again, there’s heaps going on, and it makes for an incredibly complex range of sensations.

Interestingly, M. didn’t like this one much, despite really enjoying the Stonecroft version. I could tell they were very different, and I have to agree the Stonecroft is more to my liking, but I enjoyed the complexity and flavours in this one too. I guess I’ll stick with Cloudy Bay for top-notch Sauvignon blanc, but go further afield for Gewürz.

Wine three-for-one

Sunday, 25 July, 2010

De Bortoli "Sacred Hill" 2009 Traminer RieslingGramp's 2006 Botrytis SemillonDisaster Bay Hot Chili WineA triple wine post this time. Although purists would not regard the first offering as a “wine” – it’s made not from grapes, but from hot chilli peppers. That’s right, 100% chilli juice, pressed and fermented into a liqueur style drink, by Disaster Bay Chillies. I found this in a wine shop in Katoomba and the owner let me have a taste – wowee. It’s sweet and delicious, developing into a hot red chilli flavour that last and lasts and lasts. You don’t want a lot at once, but you do want more later on. I instantly bought a bottle and took it to a games night with some friends to share it around. Their opinion was mixed, with some not enjoying it, and others really liking it. I’m in the latter camp. The bottle says it lasts for months in the fridge, which is a good thing, because you don’t want more than half a shot glass at a time. But when it runs out, I’ll be buying another somewhere.

Next cab off the rank is Gramp’s botrytis semillon dessert wine. We’ve actually run out of sweet wines in our modest “cellar” (a box in the garage), so wanted to pick up something to go with cheese and crackers. This boasted some medals and wasn’t expensive, so we plumped for it. It’s thick and syrupy, and very sweet, without that hint of acidity to balance it out. The flavour is what I’ve begun to think of as typical for botrytis wines, of orange marmalade, but again without any of the subtle nuances of other flavours in there to give it complexity. M. didn’t like it much, but I thought it was passable with the cheese.

Today’s final offering is De Bortoli “Sacred Hill” 2009 Traminer Riseling, a blend of gewürztraminer and riesling to make a semi-sweet and spicy style of white wine. We found this in a bottle shop for a paltry $8.99 and I figured, “What the heck?” We had this over two nights, first with fish, then with Indian curries. I thought it was fine with both, showing the pickly spiciness of the previous gewürztraminer we tried. M. didn’t like it as much, stating it lacked the lemony citric notes that balanced the Stonecroft, and was a shade sweeter. True, it was as she described, but frankly I was hard pressed to notice the difference myself from memory. I think I’d need a side-by-side tasting to tell them apart. At any rate, I enjoyed this, and for the price I wouldn’t be shy of picking up more of this one.

Stonecroft 2006 Hawkes Bay Gewürztraminer

Friday, 11 June, 2010

Stonecroft 2006 Hawkes Bay Gewürztraminer
I’ve never had a Gewürztraminer before, so I was keen to see what this was like. It’s from Stonecroft in Hawkes Bay on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. A note by the bottles when we bought it said that it was good with fatty fish. So we booked a table at Garfish tonight and had a nice relaxing Friday evening dinner. M. and I both chose the grilled salmon with chips, after a starter of buttery garlic bread. So lots of oily food!

From the first sniff I could tell this was a very different type of wine to anything I’d had before. It was citrusy, with strong lemon-lime notes. There was also something else very distinctive present, but it took me halfway through dinner to start identifying the other components. After the first glass I finally nailed part of it down as floral aroma, something like a cross between jasmine and rose. And there was also a hint of musk as well… sweet and a tiny bit cloying. A very interesting mix of smells.

In the mouth, the initial burst was a slightly sweet lemon-lime flavour, matching the aroma. There was some fermentation prickle. After sitting in the mouth a bit the flavour mellowed out into something very mild and almost creamy, with those hints of floral aroma. Like Turkish delight, now I come to think of it – yes, that was definitely it. It wasn’t anywhere near that sweet – it was just a touch of sweetness that made it very different from a dry, tart wine like a sauvignon blanc. And then the most astonishing thing happened. The creamy texture starting developing a distinct spiciness – cloves perhaps, and then peppery flavours. Subtle at first, but on swallowing there was a mild peppery sensation all the way down the throat.

It was really complex, with lots going on, and very interesting and enjoyable. I feared M. might not like it, but she really got into it, and said it was great. It complemented the fish and chips beautifully.

Even liking it so much, there’s no way the two of us can finish off an entire bottle of wine over dinner. I have no idea what other people do in this situation. (Tell me!) We take our vacuum sealing pump to the restaurant (it fits into the wine chiller bag with a bottle) and seal it up once we know we’re not pouring any more, then take the remainder home again. It’s a little conspicuous pumping air out of a wine bottle at the table, but nobody’s ever looked twice at us doing it, yet.

Anyway, this wine was a fantastic experience. I’ve just now looked up some more information on Gewürztraminer, and see that it’s known for a bouquet of lychees – which, now that I think about it, matches very well to the lemon-lime thing I was trying to put a better name to. Lychee – I must remember that. Furthermore, Stonecroft’s tasting notes on its 2009 Gewürztraminer says that it has notes of – wait for it – jasmine and rose petals! I’m now feeling very pleased with myself and my slowly developing wine tasting skills.