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May 6, 2009 06:13 PM

Good and dry (but still aromatic) Gewurtz ?

Late evening post-dinner walk. We stop by the Quebec wine monopoly SAQ, one of the inferior outlets that caters to college students that like to get hammered, cheaply. I, the budding wine geek, carry a printout list of my most desired wines, none available. But thank god, I like my Gewurztraminer like a born again that loves their Jesus. I browse. Nothing I know of, or not picked at. Just randomly pick one bottle. OK, not so random. This one has a dent in the row. Someone, before me, picked another bottle. I take it as a good sign (you crazy? considering the frat dudes that are crawling inside?). Wine in question is Gewurztraminer 2007 – Jean-Louis Schoepfer, This wine is... Eeek!

This is perhaps the diluted version of a Gewurtz. The nose is somewhat there with some roses, but prefers to abstain. The mouth is heavy on lemon, but the cute lychee decided to take a leave of absence. Thank god this is a cheapish wine, but still I am out of 21+ Canadian dollars which could have been converted into about two giant chocolate zucchini cakes from the cutest cakemaker that I've known (Cocoa Locale, 2007). I know I can do better than this wine, but I also know that my everyday budget is less than 40 high-markup-Canadian bucks. So what can I do, provided that I can buy them within the frigging monopoly of Quebec?

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  1. For those inclined to advise, here's the SAQ's current Gewürztraminer inventory:

    From that list and at your price point, my first choice would be the 2006 Trimbach (haven't tasted the 2006 but the wine's consistently excellent). The 2005 Albrecht Bollenberg and 2005 Steinert would also attract my attention. The Hugel Jubilee is normally worthy but I've yet to have a 2003 from Alsace I'd buy a second bottle of. In the treat ($40 and change) category, consider Trimbach's 20001 Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre and Beyer's 2000 Comte d'Eguisheim, both serious and powerful, or if in the mood for something a bit more beguiling Zind-Humbrecht's 2005 Herrenweg-Turkheim.

    You should also keep your eyes peeled for the next arrival of Schueller's basic Gewürz: austere, pure, commanding and a steal at c. $25. oenopole brings it in on a private import basis and it sells out in a flash.

    6 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      Wow, that's actually a very serious list. There is a lot of really good stuff on that list.

      Ok, back to reality, it's not priced very friendly. On the lower end of the scale, I've had good luck with Ruhlmann. On the higher end, I'm a big fan of Weinbach, I've had my share of Hugel that I enjoyed and Zing-Humbrecht is it's own modern (and very popular) style that anyone can enjoy.

      You do understand that these tend to improve with a little age somewhat, right?

      1. re: Chris Weber

        <it's not priced very friendly>
        Remember, though, that these are Canadian dollars (C$1 = US$0.80-0.85 these days) and include our 14% sales tax.

        «I'm a big fan of Weinbach»
        Used to be, too, but found myself increasingly put off by the sweetness (not to mention the prices) and so haven't bought any in several years. Do they still show residual sugar?

        1. re: Chris Weber

          "You do understand that these tend to improve with a little age somewhat, right?"

          As a home-office less than 1000 sq feet apartment dweller, I don't get to age much of my wine unfortunately, so I am mostly betting for "ready to drink" category.

          1. re: emerilcantcook

            If your are willing to cross to the other side of the "poutine curtain," I am a big fan of Ontario Gewurztraminers. Generally very generous on the litchi/rose aromas. Some are bone dry, others off-dry. When off-dry, they usually have some nice acidity to balance things out. LCBO web site lists the residual sugar content, but even those with a sugar content of "1" can still seem pretty dry.

            Decent value--11 to 20 bucks a bottle. Selection varies depending on the Vintages releases, but you can have anything shipped from one LCBO location to another at no charge. Some favourites: Lenko, Chateau des Charmes St. David's Bench, Fielding, Angel's Gate, Strewn, Vineland, Cave Spring. Give one a try if you can!

        2. re: carswell

          Not as familiar with the vintages, but ditto on the Hugel Jubilée and the Beyer Eguisheim. The Eguisheim is especially age-worthy. The Jubilée is usually miles ahead of Hugel's regular bottlings.

          Another suggestion, although I've not tried the gewurztraminer: Alois Lageder. One of the best producers in Alto Adige. His single vineyards and estate wines, especially from Lowengang are excellent values. His regular bottlings tend to be simple and enjoyable.

          1. re: mengathon

            The Lageder's varietally correct, especially on the nose. On the palate, it's fresh and elegant but perhaps a little too mild-mannered. A good aperitif Gewürz. Wouldn't consider it as accomplished as their Pinot Blancs and Pinot Gris.

        3. Not bone dry, but my favorite well priced Gewurtz from Alsace is Albert Mann Furstentum (the Steingrubler is also nice).

          For under $20 US, the Cesconi Traminer from Trentino Alto Adige, Italy is *phenominal*

          1. Niersteiner Paterberg Gewurztraminer Spatlese