Browse Tag


Last in the grave

P. Blanck 1997 Gewurztraminer Furstentum “Sélection de Grains Nobles” (Alsace) – 375 ml. Cruising along, essentially untouched by time. Quite sweet, extremely flavorful (roses and rambutan syrup), not all that complex, with fair structure and plenty of cream. Maturity, and its concomitant complexity, are a long, long way down the road. (8/11)


Navarro 2006 Dry Gewürztraminer (Anderson Valley) – Some peach, some almond, some lychee bark, some structure. Some, some, some. That, to me, is the story of so many of Navarro’s wines…which I always like, but rarely think are what they could be. (6/11)

Spicy ’49er

Trimbach 2006 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Without knowing actual data, this wine has often struck me as one of the more syrupy Trimbach négociant gewurztraminers, full of density (probably both sugar and alcohol) without the necessary accompanying structure. I know acidity is a lot to expect from a gewurztraminer, but Trimbach can usually provide some. Here, they didn’t, and worse the counterpoint flavor intensities are not what I prefer either. It’s just kind of a fluffy wine, and that is a surprise, chez Trimbach. (9/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Just a touch past its peak, getting a little sticky rather than porcine (these grapes were never high enough quality to achieve the latter), but still delivering a lot of correct gewurztraminerishness in as dry a package as can be found outside frigid vintages anymore. (7/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Solid yet fraying. Peach, apricot, cashew, adhesion, but the acidity that binds it all together is separating from the whole. (7/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – A solid performance, just a bit more porcine than most recent bottles (which have leaned on their peach and nut characters), and that’s to the good. (8/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Hinting at bacon (more of a glazed bacon than something purely porcine or smoky), but still relying principally and very nearly solely on a white apricot sort of fruit (or perhaps white peach…really, it doesn’t matter) for what depth it retains. (9/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Solid in form, liquid in function, showing stone fruit with a touch of cashew oil, and a little bit of dilution on the finish. This story is coming to an end…not immediately, but not too many more years hence, either. (9/11)

Alten states

Blanck 2002 Gewurztraminer Altenbourg (Alsace) – Best bottle in a while, fulsome and rich. Copper-jacketed spiced peach, granulated crystal, swirly without being discombobulated. Fun stuff. (6/11)

Blanck 2002 Gewurztraminer Altenbourg (Alsace) – A slightly shrunken cork that feeds down into the bottle in reaction to the screw, which I interpret as the potential for advanced aging. And indeed, this is more golden and advanced than other recent bottles, yet all to the better…which gives me great hope for the remaining case or so in the cellar (this was an inventory closeout at giveaway prices a few years ago). Lushly lycheed, sticky without being overbearing or overtly sweet (though it isn’t dry, mind), spicy and fulsome. Really delicious, and absolutely the best bottle yet of what was a fair quantity. I expect proper aging will yield equal pleasures with more interesting structure. (6/11)

Blanck 2002 Gewurztraminer Altenbourg (Alsace) – Back to the indifferent sort of “should I come out? should I keep sleeping?” sticky peach character this exhibited from about year three (from release) though last year or so, which is a retreat from the more interesting…albeit variable…dalliances with maturity and/or damage that recent bottles have provided. The presence of the wine has increased on a fairly steady incline, however, and I’m still optimistic about the prospects. Not for greatness, which this wine will never achieve (it lacks the structure), but for additive complexity. (10/11)

Alten brown

Blanck 2002 Gewurztraminer Altenbourg (Alsace) – Hollowing, which is worrisome as I own a fair amount of this (still). On the other hand, this has been all over the map for years, so who knows what the next bottle will bring? It’s more peach and cashew than lychee or pork, there’s a steel that’s more present than before, but the center is decidedly not what it was. (5/11)

Tra, tra again

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – This has thinned without really showing much in the way of aging-gewurztraminer development. The result is a lighter, more amenable wine, but also a less interesting one. Other bottles have shown minor development, but I think this vintage’s hold on life is weakening. (5/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Bigger and juicier than the previous bottle, though it still lacks gewurztraminerish intensity. Fruit remains in the pear/peach range rather than anything more exotic or lurid. Good, but only just. (5/11)


Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Really faded. I don’t think it’s just age, I suspect at least partial cork failure, because other recent bottles have been much more flavorful. (5/11)

Can’t see the Folas for the tries

Josmeyer 2008 Gewurztraminer “Les Folastries” (Alsace) – Off-dry, with its minerality delivered in a waterfall of crystallization. Sweet lychee verging into peach, but with a clementine counterpoint, even a little mirabelle as it lingers. There’s power here without overt weight, and also without relying too heavily on the common crutch of sugar. Extremely nice. (2/11)


Dry River 2008 Gewürztraminer (Martinborough) – Sneaky. Starts off very shy, then gradually opens; the ideal temperature, at least from a “cold” opening, is somewhere a little higher-temp than might be ideal for most gewürztraminer. Is what appears to be a lowish alcohol vs. the gewürztraminer norm a factor? It might be. The aromatic range includes rambutan and some stone fruit, nut oils, and roses, but everything is nicely restrained…even delicate…in comparison to the weighty power of which the grape is capable. Off-dry, but just that; this is in no way overtly sticky. Finishes long and a little tingly, with the promise of minerality to come. As the gewürztraminers of Alsace get heavier and sweeter, this is a nice respite. (2/11)

Don’t tell me ‘cuz it wurtz

Trimbach 2002 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Faded. Acid-washed jeans taken one too many washings into decrepitude. The memories of pork jerky, of cashew, and of stone fruit skins are there, but everything’s drying out with great rapidity. (2/11)

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Weakening, but still representative of both grape and producer. Sticky cashew more than peach or apricot, dried lychee more than wet, some spice, some minerality, enough acidity. Other bottles from the same vintage, tasted over the past few months, have been healthier, so there might be cork variation exhibited in this one. (2/11)