Tuesday, May 17, 2011

White Wines from Alsace and Germany

My girlfriend's family traces its heritage back to Alsace. She's also lived in Germany for a while, as have I. So, when her parents were in town, it was a given: I'd throw a little wine party with wines from Alsace and Germany. They've all traveled extensively through Germany and Alsace together, and have even visited the tiny village their family came from. They've also toured Germany's Mosel Valley, one of my favorite regions in the world. They're not huge wine fans, so I took this as an opportunity to put on an educational tasting. It was a great idea for wine beginners, as it really helped a lot of people realize what they like and don't like in white wine.

Opening Whites

2009 Williamsburg Winery Governor's White - USA, Virginia
opening white. the nose has the sweet aromas of a hybrid grape lilke vidal blanc or something. melons and white peach. good acid to balance out the sweet white peach and green grape flavors. i poured this because the tasting was planned for people who didn't have much experience with wine, and this proved to be a crowd-pleaser. (81 pts.)

2010 Quinta da Aveleda Alvarinho Vinho Regional Minho - Portugal, Minho, Vinho Regional Minho
this wine smells like honeydew melon covered in dried hay. the palate is zingy. tastes exactly like a grapefruit rind, with even some of that bitterness. i was surprised, but a lot of people like this wine for its acid and freshness. it's good, but just not enough weight for me. (85 pts.)

Gewurztraminers from Alsace

2007 Trimbach Gewurztraminer - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
what an incredibly aromatic wine. to me, it smells exactly like those orange circus peanut candies, which i love. there's this white clover flower aroma as well. the palate is plump, almost fat, and rich with green apple and white peach fruit. it doesn't come off as sweet and there's just enough acid to keep it balanced. creamy finish. this wine was well-liked by the crowd. (88 pts.)

2009 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
the crowd liked the 07 trimback better, but still enjoyed this one. lemon lime and white pepper on the nose. the palate is creamy and full. i got a distinct mango flavor on this, and a hint of some spice and oyster shell. (87 pts.)

2007 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Steingrubler - France, Alsace, Wettolsheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
this was something of a controversial wine at the tasting. although, not for me. i thought it was just gorgeous. the nose is epic: white flowers, fresh ginger, lavender. rich and wonderfully balanced on the palate. i got a distinct orange peel and whipped honey flavor this time. a rush of minerals and ginger on the finish. for a lot of people, this combination of flavors might be confusing, because some of the tasters weren't as excited about this one. (92 pts.)

German Rieslings

2007 Weingut Reuscher-Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
this wine went quickly at the tasting. a lighter style with yellow apples and honey on the nose. i got brisk iced tea, honey and yellow apples on the palate. light on its feet, but by no means boring. (88 pts.)

2007 Georg Mosbacher Forster Elster Riesling Kabinett trocken - Germany, Pfalz

for the people who didn't like residual sugar or rich fruit, this was the wine of the night. smells like oyster shells, lemons and slate. this bottle had the most acid of the tasting. It almost feels spicy on the palate from the acid. (88 pts.)

2008 Jakoby-Mathy Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
light golden color with thick legs. the nose is really aromatic: white peach, sugar cane and a kind of orange marmalade as well. the palate has great depth and balance. the orange rind and lemon-lime flavors are balanced with a streak of zesty acid that lingers on the finish. (90 pts.)

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