Import Selection: Gewurztraminer, 1985, A. Gaschy

WOW! That was the second word we exclaimed after tasting this wine. We couldn’t get the first one out be­cause we were struck speechless by the richness.

Okay, so I love great gewurztra­miner. But, this isn’t just great, it is phenomenal! More on that later. First, though, I really love the story of gewurztraminer.

Gewurztraminer is a direct de­scendant of the oldest grape known to man, the muscat. It was first culti­vated and made into wine in the Cradle of Civilization around Phoenicia about 4,000 B.C. (6,000 years ago!)

This grape was taken west into It­aly, Greece, across the Alps by the Romans, and finally to its finest area, Alsace. The name could have come from the Italian villages of Tremino or Trentino, but no one is quite sure.

As it was being cultivated in Al­sace in the 16th Century, vintners noticed something curious. Some of the grapes had a different, slightly reddish tinge to them. When these grapes were separately vinified, the wine had a spicier character than the regular type. A vigorous grafting process was begun. The German word for spicy is “gewurz” so the new grape became Gewurztraminer or “spicy-traminer.”

The Alsace region of France has been overrun by invading or liberat­ing armies several times in the last 100 years… however the vintners keep making consistently good wine despite their upheavals.

The house of Gaschy was founded in 1619 by Mathias Custer. One of the cellars he built then is still in use today and houses a few barrels which are over 300 years old! The vine­yards are situated in the center of Al­sace near Equisheim and Wettol­sheim. The vineyard sites are con­sidered the finest in the area.

Unlike most gewurztraminer, our selection is aged in oak barrels for 3­4 months. This adds a measure of complexity and that toasty, rich character which sets it above rest.

Toasty, vanilla nose with hints of tropical fruit and cloves. The taste is an explosion of same with added spi­ciness and richness. Mouth-gripping acids finish off this real mouthful. Serve chilled with rich sauced shell­fish dishes such as lobster thermidor. Also good with barbecued halibut fixed with an oriental sweet sauce.

 

Cellaring Notes: Will hold for a couple or more years, but it’s all right there, right now!

SPECIAL NOTE: Because of the richness, this wine is exhibiting bi­tartrate crystals on the bottom of the cork or at the bottom of the bottle. This is perfectly natural and does not affect the wine in any way.

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