Oh… Glorious Gewurztraminer. How can you TOP this white??? Chartreuse canary glow on this one, floral subdued on the nose, tropical as well. A gritty green nuance, complex and sharp. Dirty boxes, cut weeds, and just enough buttery angst driving a nutty sort-of almost-petrichor with a touch of lychee and gardenia. NOT over-stuffed or cloyingly fruity–nothing even CLOSE to that–clean and restrained while full-bouqueted , more riesling-like than a lot of gewurtz offerings.
I know Swan is known for his classic old-school Pinots and Syrahs to die for, but there’s a couple things in his roster you can NOT miss–things which come as a surprise sometimes to those vaguely familiar with the brand: Zinfandel and Gewurztraminer. Each will shock you in their purity and dedication to variety.
Oh but tasting it and all the glory of this most-perfect grape is there. Papaya and kiwi, with generous spiced, dark applesauce aplomb. An almost-amaretto bristle inter-twines the alcohol, accentuating the lightness but granting an elegance and seriousness. The sharp core of acid and bitter curl the tongue but do not carry very far into the finish, where it all thins out perfectly with good tannin matching the well-dressed fruit.
Like every good Alsatian wine, you have to look for things the 99 will overlook in a chilled white wine. “Yeah, that’s good.” But the 1% sees the little touches of beauty in the fruit/acid/mineral trinity. They’re all here in this one, and the thick body enveloping your tongue is proof–even at sub-13.
2017 JOSEPH SWAN VINEYARDS Gewurztraminer Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Sonoma Co. 12.7