It was all going so well, I had all of the pieces of the puzzle, sourced from all of the right places, the finished product was sure to be a fine one, all you had to do was put them all together. I stood there with my brother ‘ Doctor Who’ (DW), we were in the process of making the replacement to my recently stolen fixie, dubbed ‘White Lightning’, only problem was it was just not going together, everything looked great on the ground, but all it was doing was starting to look like a wounded Voltron character, the car Voltron, not the crazy one made of lions, which in my mind was completely unrealistic. Things are always tricky when you don’t understand all of the components, or for that matter have bought them of numerous eBay sites, exploiting the what was then weak American dollar. There was no doubt that littered on DW’s living room floor was quite a pretty spectacle of bicycle componentry, but all in all a conceptually non-working product.
Now this for me is how most large scale wineries marketing departments must feel about Gewurztraminer; on paper it has every piece of the puzzle, it is for my money one, if not the most versatile wine in a sommeliers arsenal. You can hold it up your sleeve, and devastate a degustation, or be liege your friend’s dinner party. She is your trump card, the slightly akward girl at high school you wished you talked to more, who rocks up at the ten year reunion fresh from the runway in Milan. You can not for the Life of Brian give the stuff away, trust me, I tried. The masses just have not quite switched on to this variety, it has everything you should want, and yet don’t take. I feel it suffers from Viognier Syndrome (VS), she is phonetically challenging, and thus sits in most restaurant fridges on the account of embarrassment. Maybe it is need of a rebrand, the German Translation contextually meaning “perfumed”. This was the first French wine I ever tasted at a Negociants Tasting back in South Perth, I had up till that point not seen anything like it, and she still gives me goose bumps.
Hugel 2008 Gewurztraminer
“Boom” that is about the first thing that will hit you when you put your nose in the glass of this wine, if you ever have someone tell you that white wine doesn’t have enough body for them, Fed Ex them a bottle of this to rectify the issue. Some may find her characters a bit much, but I enjoy them, Gewurztraminer and her southern Rhône cousin Marsanne, for me are the white wines for red wine drinkers. Once they warm up in the glass they will assault your senses, your nose, and your palate, will experience favours enough to make you double take. So lets have a look at this often reclusive wine, “its like an onion.”
The dead giveaway, not that it’s a big leap, for Alsace Gewurztraminer, is that that the second you put your nose into the glass, you are transported to a tropical oasis, complete with an onsite fruit market. It is an amazing feat that such a smell could come out of an appellation with a mean summer temperature of 18°c. It is lychee heaven, with a side of ripe loquats, it is a perfume to rival the real thing, and for me surpasses the original, the lifted notes just keep on coming to an almost confectionary character, a sherbet like experience. I really can’t exaggerate enough that this wine will give you a ‘smelling’ experience that you most likely have not had in your lives, the ethyl compounds in this wine are a gift from mother nature. The palate just continues the onslaught, there is body here beyond belief. This isn’t sweetness, this is fruit weight at her finest, it reaches all across, and the tropical, dense flavours of loquats, paw-paw, lychee, continue in what can only be called a siege upon your senses. The true secret of this wine is its ability to enhance Asian, especially Thai cuisine, I cannot over estimate the extreme amount of chilli this wine can compliment, she wants for coriander, ginger, chilli, anything you can get in the pot, my preference is whole Red Emperor stuffed with all of the above, you will not be disappointed.
Very few times in life do you get to experience something truly out of the box, this wine for me is the Universe’s way of telling us she has more up her sleeve, I know it’s all just chemicals reacting with other enzymes on my tongue, but well, I’m all in, and to be honest there is a little part of me that is happy that everyone else is not.
8.0 / 10 Sipps