White Varietal: Gewürztraminer
2013 Tabor Winery Vineyards, Adama Gewürztraminer, Galilee( N/A, 12,3%, Kedern Europe )
An off-dry Gewürz from Galilee is not something you come across every day of the week. It’s a spicy, hedonistic wine, with plush, palate-coating flavours of ginger spice and paw paw and enough acidity to balance the residual sugar.
How to choose a white wine: a beginner’s guideby Ron Washam
2007 Hugel Gewurztraminer Vendage Tardive, Alsace( £33.00, 13%, The Wine Society )
There’s no mistaking the grape variety of this late picked Alsace dessert wine. It’s a classic lychee and rose petal style Gewürz, with sweet apricot, pineapple and peach flavours and a hint of exotic spice. Very decadent.
2011 Gut Oggau Emmeran, Burgenland( POA, 13.5%, Dynamic Wines )
This is the only wine in the Gut Oggau range which defines itself by a single grape variety. There’s no mistaking the Gewurztraminer on the nose: delicate rose petal and intense lychee aromas dominate. The limestone soil has given this a satisfying “wet stone” finish. It’s bone dry, with just enough acidity to keep things fresh.
2011 Valle Pradinhos Branco, Transmontano( £10.95, 13.5%, The Wine Society )
It’s remarkable to discover that Rui Cunha’s innovative white blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Malvasia Fina comes from the Upper Douro, a region usually better known for full-throated reds. But there you go. This tastes as good as it looks: spicy and aromatic with a hint of Burgundian style struck match, notes of lime and ginger, plenty of minerality and a long, nuanced finish.
2007 Concha y Toro, Otorio Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Maule Valley( £6.99, 12%, Tesco, www.tesco.com )
It’s comparatively rare to find Sauvignon Blanc made as a sweet wine on its own (as opposed to blended with Semillon), but this value-for-money sticky from Chile suggests that the grape is well suited to these styles. Honey and quince with an undertone of pink grapefruit.
2011 Domaine Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer, Alsace( £14.99 down to £11.24, 13.5%, Waitrose )
Produced close to the village of Kientzheim, this is a very stylish Alsace Gewürz, with none of the oilyness that can affect the variety. Gentle spice, with lovely acidity, rose petal fragrance and a brisk, refreshing, ginger-like finish. Try this with a washed rind cheese.
2011 Oliver Conti Treyu, Empordà( E7, 12.5%, El Celler Petit )
It’s easy to judge the white wines from Oliver Conti too young, even this unoaked cuvée of Macebeu and Gewürztraminer. This combines perfume, spice, fresh acidity and a touch of grapeskin bitterness on the palate, underpinned by some creamy, lees-derived fatness. It’s an unusual wine, with the Gewürz adding some ginger spice to the Macabeu. Try cellaring it.