During the recent sale, I picked up two different domestic Gewurztraminers and decided I had an excellent opportunity to taste them side-by-side. I liked them both. Will wonders never cease (as my dear mother used to say)? Here’s the scoop.
The first G wine I tasted was the 2010 Swallow from Oregon at 13% alcohol. Price is $3.99 ($3.19 for the sale). From the web site I can’t tell if they’re still in operation. I bought my bottle at the Kenmore, WA GO, but I believe the Silverdale store also carries it. It was my first visit to the Kenmore store (near my in-laws’ home where I visited on Mother’s Day) and I must say that I was most impressed with their selection and the physical space they’ve provided for their wine display. Kudos to the proprietor and employees.
Now, back to the wine. Brilliant pale golden; distinctly varietal spicy floral and lychee nut aromas; in the mouth it’s leaning toward the sweeter side of the Gewurz spectrum ( what I consider to be the more Americanized style). But it shows fairly intense spiced apple, lychee and slightly piney flavors with a nice touch of bitterness in the seriously long finish. There’s an Alsatian richness to this wine—similar to though not as extracted as a Vendange Tardive style. Overall it has great Gewurz characteristics in the nose and the mouth. I’m liking it and will return for more, but it’s likely too sweet for some of our readers. Should do well with spicy Asian foods. Special Note: Be aware that the 2009 vintage of this wine is also out there in some GO’s. See my take on the ’09 in reply comments below about a brief comparison of the two vintages.
Next is the 2010 Ventana Arroyo Seco, CA Gewurz at 13.7% alc. that I purchased at the Silverdale, WA store. Price is a whopping $10.99 ($8.79 for the sale) and $22.00 at the winery. Back label indicates that it’s “sustainably grown” in Monterey County. My notes: Clear pale straw; nose is slow to release it’s bouquet, then shows green apple and light five spice, straddling the line between Riesling and Gewurz character. In the mouth it’s off-dry and light, but showing some extraction from light skin contact. Flavors are more lemony than most Gewurz with subdued Granny Smith apple. It lacks the intensity of the Swallow, which is strange because when I tasted it at my local GO, it seemed mighty varietal. About an hour’s time brings out it’s best in fragrance and flavors, but it’s a more delicate style. A decent Gewurz, but IMHO it’s way overpriced, even at the sale price with 20% off.
Final results: Thumbs Up for both for different reasons, but I’m only buying more of the Swallow. As it’s back label states, “Distinctive wines at a price you can Swallow.”