Site Designed by Clifty Webworks © 1996, 1997, 1998
Probably the varietal with the most easily recognizable flavor, a sometimes pungent taste (gewürz = "spicy"). This white wine is made from distinctive small grapes. It can be excellent dry, sweet or as a late-harvest dessert wine.
Wines reviewed to date:
- Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Bottled, 1993
- Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley, 1993
- Field Stone Sonoma County, 1992
- Gundlach Bundschu Rhinefarm Vineyards Sonoma Valley Estate Bottled, 1993
- Napa Ridge Central Coast, 1992
Return to Main Page
DOUBLE BLIND TASTING on 5/20/95 -- 5 gewurztraminers
1. Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley, 1993. Price: $7. Alcohol: 12%. Res. Sugar: not given ("off-dry").
- SD: Pale yellow in appearance. Tingly, spritzy. Crisp fragrant scent when spilled. Tasty, spicy, impish, playful -- a good wine for wine snob adjectives. RANK: 2. GUESS: Alexander Valley.
- BW: Has an attractive pale yellow/green color, good amount of fizz, goes down easy. This is great stuff, or maybe I'm just really thirsty. Nice flowery nose. RANK: 2. GUESS: Alexander Valley.
- PB: The pale color matches only the pale flavor in vying for my lack of attention. Nice little schpritz, though. I will not be afraid of this wine even on a dark night in a thunderstorm. Might find it refreshing though. Nice aroma. Bland. RANK: 4. GUESS: Chateau Ste Michelle.
- JG: Blah blah blah. Inoffensive. Anemic yellow color. Weanie scent. Drink with white bread or taste lost. "Agricultural excellence" - some farmer made this. RANK: 4. GUESS: Alexander Valley.
- ME: Translucent, sort of hazy, like an isoprene smog above the Smokey Mountains. A tang, with a hint of spice but with too much lingering -- like a train passing dysfunction junction, it goes on and on. Or is it the cheese? I don't like it a lot. RANK: 3. GUESS: Gundlach Bundschu.
2. Field Stone Sonoma County, 1992. Price: $~9?. Alcohol: 12%. Res. Sugar: 0.6
- SD: Darker yellow-golden. Appley fragrance. Gee! (or is that "G"?) -- Gewurz Grapes, Grapefruit, Good on first sip. On repeated tastings, it is flatter, less lively than #1. Drier? RANK: 4. GUESS: Chateau Ste Michelle.
- BW: #2 is flatter, not very fragrant. Attractive color, a bit deeper than #1. This wine is almost buttery, which seems a little strange in a gewurz. Chardonnay style? RANK: 3. GUESS: Gundlach Bundschu.
- PB: Not a lot of nose. Crisp and dry. But this wine a first taste seems unremarkable. Tart -- unfortunately not like the woman, more like the green apple. Good dry style. RANK: 3. GUESS: Gundlach Bundschu.
- JG: Lingering off-taste. Should be smelled, not sipped. Slightly thick. Nice color. No medals for this one. RANK: 5 (lowest). GUESS: Chateau Ste Michelle.
- ME: Less fragrant than #1. Relatively sweet with a nasty aftertaste - like a Merlot and bubble gum mixed up with Mumms [?]. If I was forced to drink this I'd make up an excuse to vomit every few minutes. RANK: 2. GUESS: Chateau Ste Michelle.
3. Napa Ridge Central Coast, 1992. Price: $6. Alcohol: 12.1%. Res. Sugar: not given.
4. Gundlach Bundschu Rhinefarm Vineyards Sonoma Valley Estate Bottled, 1993. Price: $8. Alcohol: 12.8%. Res. Sugar: not given.
- SD: Nice golden yellow, no bubbles. Very little bouquet: ozone? sheet metal? Sweet, honey flavored. Very smooth, more like a chardonnay style than a gewurz. But not like a chardonnay -- too sweet and cloying. This is not what I want from a gewurztraminer. However, an excellent taste for a cough medicine. RANK: 5 (lowest). GUESS: Napa Ridge.
- BW: I find this wine adequate but not great. Too flat, too quiet, too well-behaved. On second thought, this is way too sweet. RANK: 5 (lowest). GUESS: Napa Ridge.
- PB: This tastes more like grape juice. I expect this to be served at the symphony intermission. Yuch. RANK: 5 (lowest). GUESS: Napa Ridge.
- JG: A honey of a wine... who needs dessert? Fine finish. Deodorized. Yeah, shugga. RANK: 3. GUESS: Field Stone.
- ME: Aroma at last! Sweet but no lingerie - lingering. Smooth, smooth. Tastes like one of only 15,600! Is it clover, honey? RANK: 5 (lowest). GUESS: Alexander Valley.
- SD: Pale. Actual [sic], this one has a slight sour smell, but with cloves, dandelions. No schpritz, but a sharp spicy edge I like... dry, good grip, a no-nonsense wine. Proves a dry gewurz can be done. RANK: 1 (fave). GUESS: Field Stone.
- BW: Wow! This is a big step up! Bright, perky. Pineapple nose and flavor. Could be fizzier. RANK: 1 (fave). GUESS: Field Stone.
- PB: Dry styled wine. A "nosey" wine: interrogates your senses. "Honey"" it asks, "roll in the hay? (clover?)" Best dry style. RANK: 1 (fave). GUESS: Field Stone.
- JG: Now this is a scent - zing city. tart but tasty. Splash it on! RANK: 1 (fave). GUESS: Napa Ridge.
- ME: An aroma that reaches into the nasal passages and tugs on the hairs (ouch!), but with class! A lovely taste, slightly smokey! This I could drink. This I am drinking. RANK: 1 (fave). GUESS: Field Stone.
5. Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Bottled, 1993. Price: $8. Alcohol: 11.5%. Res. Sugar: 1.20
- SD: Golden mouthwash bubbly appearance. Scent: Cloves, prime rib... evidence of either fragrant complexity or else the advanced stages of intoxication. Taste: A good, solid gewurz. Too bad I'm gewurzed out after five samples! VERY close to #1 in ranking, even though everyone else disagrees. How to choose between the two? I'll go with #1, since it spills so well. RANK: 3. GUESS: Gundlach Bundschu.
- BW: Pot roast in the nose. Nice fizziness, too sweet. Similar to #3. RANK: 4. GUESS: Chateau Ste Michelle.
- PB: Golden color. Ambrosia. Well balanced, unlike me after this Gewurz-run. Good sweet style. RANK: 2. GUESS: Alexander Valley.
- JG: Eau de dirty socks not worn very long. A real wine? I don't know any more. RANK: 2. GUESS: Gundlach Bundschu.
- ME: An aroma of socks after a soccer game. Sweet but not like #3. Smooth but basically characterless. RANK: 4. GUESS: Napa Ridge.
Overall Comments: Gundlach Bundschu is the clear winner here, as it was everybody's favorite (though none of the judges guessed its identity -- most thought it was the Field Stone). Most of the panel found the Napa Ridge too sickeningly sweet: it was the least favorite of everyone except JG, who ranked it in the middle. There was no clear consensus among the other wines: both Chateau Ste Michelle and Alexander Valley had the same distribution of scores (two second-to-best, two second-to-worst, and one right in the middle).
PB noted two styles of gewurztraminer: a dry (Gundlach Bundschu and Field Stone) and a sweet (Alexander Valley and Napa Ridge) [Chateau Ste Michelle was not classified in his notes except as simply "bland".]
Guessing was all over the board. PB correctly identified 3 of the wines. SD and BW only guessed one wine accurately (Napa Ridge); the other judges failed to score even a single correct hit.
top of page