TN: Cork Pfalz

[Rhône in winter]Delas Frères 1999 Côtes-du-Rhône “Saint-Esprit” (Rhône Valley) – Mildly corked. A shame, too, as there’s a nice wine lurking in there. (7/06)

Mostly syrah, with some grenache. And ruined by a substandard closure. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Maisons Marques & Domaines. Web:

[Pfalz]Vier Jahreszeiten 2004 Dürkheimer Feuerberg Gewürztraminer Kabinett Trocken 055 05 (Pfalz) – Restrained lychee skin, rose petal, and macadamia nut oil with good acidity and the impression (but not the actuality) of sweetness. A light, summery, quaffing-type gewürztraminer…something that’s a lot rarer than one might think. (7/06)

Rightly or wrongly, the Pfalz is often compared to Alsace…so it’s no real surprise that gewürztraminer would do well here. The trick with gewürztraminer is to get it ripe enough to bring out the striking aromatics, but not so ripe that it becomes heavy, alcoholic, and acid-deficient. In these specific pursuits, the Pfalz frequently can and does do as well or better than Alsace. And while the latter remains the premier gewürztraminer region of the world (with Gisborne in New Zealand a possible second), the Pfalz presents a worthy alternative take on this most individualistic of grapes. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Boston Wine. Web:

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