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Excuse me, did you say spice?
filed under: Regional Spotlight,

springvalelabel.jpgIf I had a dollar for every time I tried a new Gewurztraminer - the varietal popularly held to be "the spicy white" - and didn't find it even remotely spicy I'd be quite a bit better off than I am now. The fact of the matter is that Gewurz, which literally means "spice" in German, isn't usually all that spicy. It's super aromatic, to be sure: I almost always detect pronounced aromas of lychees, flowers and canned fruit syrup, amongst other things, but rarely the token spice I'm looking for. So imagine my excitement when I came upon what I've affectionately dubbed a Gewurz's Gewurz - one that tastes and smells exactly like the varietal's supposed to! Even better yet: this beauty hails, of all places, from little-known Tasmania.

myshotbot.jpgSpring Vale Vineyards' 2004 Tasmanian Gewurztraminer is off the hook.
The lovely medium-bodied white offers up assertive aromas of - you guessed it - baking spice, but also bright flowers, canned fruit syrup, lychees, anise seed, herbs, peach and orange juice. Those are my tasting notes just about verbatim, so that's pretty much exactly how the wine struck me! That the spice note came first on the nose means that this wine was vibing spice pretty intensely.

The palate was dry with moderate ++ acid and really pretty lemon squirt, apricot and mineral notes. There was also an unexpected creaminess at the conclusion I can only attribute to Gewurz's typically high alcohol, which can create a broad mouthfeel particularly on a wine's finish.

sidebot.jpgReally good wine coming from way down under
But enough of this techno mumbo-jumbo. The wine's combination of dryness and lively acidity (atypical for Gewurz, known for being a dangerously medium-acid (READ: Flabby) grape!) make this a simply fabulous food wine. Again, this is not usually the case for Gewurz, so I was beyond thrilled. With its spicy nose and lively palate this wine is, at long last, the PERFECT wine for Thai food.

Tasmania, situated to the south of the south eastern tip of the Australian continent, is a relatively new and very exciting wine region. While some vineyards were planted there as long as ago as 1823, things didn't really kick into high gear there in terms of wine production until the 1950s. Spring Vale Gewurz is made by the Lyne Family, a long line of farmers on Tasmania's East Coast. Kristen is the only daughter of the patron and patroness Lyne and she makes the wine with some help from her husband. They also make a Pinot Noir (largely held to be the best varietal coming out of Tas), a sparkler, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Meunier.

botnglas.jpgI definitely recommend checking out the Spring Vale site and looking for the wine, which I understand will soon be available stateside for around $30/bottle. Personally, I can't wait!


Tesori Wines (Importer)

Posted by Courtney at