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Online Alsace Guide

by Tom Stevenson

Gewürztraminer

Although some producers had problems with this variety in 2002, many did not. Generally, Alsace Gewürztraminer requires 3-4 years in bottle to build up the spiciness of its terpene-laden aromas, but this process is evolving much earlier in the 2002s. This is strange for a year in which the wines possess significantly higher acidity than normal, as one would expect this to retard development, not speed it up.

95/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Wintzenheim 2002 Zind-Humbrecht (€26)
A deeper, more golden colour than many of the 2002 Gewürztraminers that are much lighter and much sweeter (and thus probably chaptalised), with an outstanding varietal aroma; big, rich, overripe fruit, and an alcohol-phenolic balance that should assure long life. [I was astonished later to discover this wine had a natural alcoholic strength of 15.9%! This is a blend made from younger vines from the Hengst vineyards and a very old vineyard located in Wintzenheim, on a gravely soil similar to the Herrenweg.]
See all Zind-Humbrecht Wintzenheim stockists on wine-searcher.com.

93/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer VT 1990 Beyer Leon (€17)
Mature Gewürztraminer is rarely commercially available, particularly when it has aged so gracefully, with the potential to improve further over the next 5-10 years.
See all Beyer Gewürztraminer VT stockists on wine-searcher.com.

92/100

Alsace Grand Cru Kanzlerberg Gewürztraminer VT 2001 Freyburger Louis Et Fils Sarl (€24)
Soil: argilo-marneux-gyp. Huge, rich, and intensely sweet. Not sugary, but so dominated by sweetness that I doubt it will start to show its true spice-laden colours for at least a decade.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Trimbach
How does a standard Gewürztraminer achieve a much higher score. Firstly because it is world class in quality, and secondly, paradoxically, because the Gewürztraminer in 2002 was not good enough to provide either a Reserve or the top-of-the-range Seigneurs de Ribeauvillé, those two wines were effectively blended into the basic Gewürztraminer, making it not very basic at all!

91/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Vieilles Vignes 2002 Humbrecht Georges Et Claude (€6.70)
It's extraordinary how such beautifully broad spice aromas can develop in a wine with such exceptionally high acidity. Semi-sweet fruit balanced by a lovely, drying, alcohol-phenolic finish. Amazing quality-price ratio.

Alsace Grand Cru Pfingstberg Gewürztraminer 2002 Schmitt Francois (€7.70)
Soil: marno-calcaro-gréseux. From the information supplied this is not a VT [from the price I later found on the crib sheet, I sincerely doubt that it can be], but if a non-VT Gewürztraminer is going to be sweet, then this is how to do it, with a wonderfully elegant balance of richness and fruit. Amazing quality-price ratio.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Stoffel Antoine (€6.10)
Nice broad spices considering the exceptional acidity. Great concentration. Dry (despite 10g/l residual sugar). Another incredible bargain wine.

Alsace Grand Cru Pfersigberg Gewürztraminer 2002 Sorg Bruno (€12)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Fresh, elegant fruit. Lovely acidity. Will age graceful, with fruit dominating palate, and spice slowly building on finish.

90/100

Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Gewürztraminer 2002 Boesch Leon-Domaine (€14.20)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Deeper in colour, richer and sweeter than wine number 247 [which turned out to be Allimant-Laugner's 2002 Gewürztraminer], despite both claiming to have the same residual sugar (24g/l). Lovely spicy-phenolics building on finish.
See all Boesch Zinnkoepfle stockists on wine-searcher.com.

Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg Gewürztraminer 1990 Hertz Albert
Soil: marno-calcaire. This wine illustrates how low-acid, high-pH Gewürztraminer ages gracefully, with the alcohol and phenolics replacing acidity's role in providing length.

Alsace Grand Cru Altenberg De Bergheim Gewürztraminer 2002 Lorentz Gustave (€17.60)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Classy aromatics. Will attain great spice, despite well above average acidity.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Mader Jean-Luc (€6.50)
At the moment there's a hole in the mid-palate and a cliff on the finish, but the great potential spice in the aroma, and persistent aftertaste (despite lacking an initial finish) are guarantee enough for me. This is going to be a great wine.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 1997 Meyer Pierre Et Fils (€9.10)
A rich and very sweet wine balanced by alcohol, phenolics, and powerful apricot-spice bottle aromas that are only just starting to build.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Cuvée Anne SGN 2000 Schlumberger (€55.85)
Succulent crystallised fruit aromas, with spice already building on the palate. Sweet to very sweet.

89/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer SGN 1994 Ginglinger Paul (€60)
Apricot-skin aromas, very sweet and liquorous, amazingly youthful for a 9 year old wine.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Les Folastries 2002 Josmeyer & Fils Sa (€14.10)
Great potential spice, exceptional acidity. Alcohol and phenolics provide a searing sensation to its off-dry finish.
See all Josmeyer Folastries stockists on wine-searcher.com.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Ginglinger Jean (€7.80)
Best truly dry 2002 Gewürztraminer tasted. Spice already apparent, perfumed spice aftertaste. Distinctly dry. Tingly phenolics on the finish.

88/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Allimant-Laugner (€5.70)
An elegantly rich, medium-sweet style with lovely, fresh fruit and attractive spice development on nose and palate.
See all Allimant-Laugner stockists on wine-searcher.com.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Cuvée Ste Gertrude 2002 Buecher-Fix (€6.40)
Nice gold colour. Very sweet, it tastes beyond VT and beyond its claimed 30g/l. The apricot-skin character indicates potential spice, but will take time to build-up these bottle-aromas.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Cave Vinicole-Wolfberger (€5.60)
Ripe banana aromas tell me that this wine will develop big, broad spicy bottle-aromas, but it needs ageing at least 4 years.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Cuvée Ste Marguerite 2002 Cave Vinicole Jean Geiler (€8.50)
This surpasses many a VT, and will need at least 4-5 years for the spice to penetrate the richness of fruit. Very sweet (48g/l).

Alsace Gewürztraminer SGN 1997 Zink Pierre Paul (€25.30)
Phenolics and alcohol provide classic length, and balance the sweetness. Spices building nicely.

87/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Fronholz 2002 Beck Francis (€6.20)
A beautifully light rendition, with an elegant richness of fruit and spice just beginning to build.

Alsace Grand Cru Kitterle Gewürztraminer 2002 Dirler-Cade (€14.50)
Soil: gréseux-volcanique. Classic combination of alcohol, phenolics and varietal power. Sweet.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Clos Du Letzenberg 2002 Domaine Du Manoir-Thomann Marina (€7)
1st bottle: corked. 2nd bottle: clean, with lovely broad spice aromas beginning to emerge on both nose and palate. Rich and creamy.

Alsace Grand Cru Gloeckelberg Gewürztraminer 1997 Koehly Charles Et Fils (€12)
Soil: granite-argilifié. Big spicy aroma, with Gewürztraminer fruit maturing nicely. Good finish.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Cuvée St Hubert 2002 Kuehn (€7.50)
Light in colour and extraordinarily sweet for 25g/l residual sugar, but rich rather than sugary.

Alsace Grand Cru Pfersigberg Gewürztraminer VT 1997 Kuentz-Bas (€27)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Very rich and intensely sweet, yet elegantly balanced, and still needs time to show true spicy potential.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Kaefferkopf Cuvée Catherine 2000 Schaetzel Martin (€13.50)
Very sweet, with apricot-lychee fruit. Probably another 5 years before the true spicy potential of this wine is revealed.

86/100

Alsace Grand Cru Florimont Gewürztraminer 2002 Bohn Francois (€10.50)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Lovely broad spice. Touch of green fruit (it's not a green year!), but not too much, and unimportant at this stage, as it is mingling with cinnamon on finish. Good acidity. Medium-sweet at least.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Fronenberg 1995 Hertz Victor (€20)
Big, toasty-spicy aromas on nose, but still needs a year or two to integrate with alcohol on the finish.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Réserve 2002 Jux (€5.90)
Relatively dry for a Gewürztraminer, with broad spices starting to peep through.

ALSACE GRAND CRU MANDELBERG Gewürztraminer 2002 MAULER JEAN-PAUL (€8.50)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Elegantly rich, with precocious spice and promises of more to come. Fresh. Sweet.

85/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Kopfacker 2002 Ginglinger Jean (€21)
Enormous sweetness, the equivalent of top-end VT, or lower-end SGN, although not submitted as such. The fruit has a green edge, which is out of place in such a sweet wine. If the grapes had been more selectively picked or better sorted at the harvest, this could have scored in the 90s.

Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Gewürztraminer L'esprit SGN 2000 Haag Jean-Marie (€60)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Broad spice aromas, creamy-viscous fruit. Very sweet.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Klee Freres
Grape-skin aromas, very rich and very young.

Alsace Gewürztraminer SGN 1989 Lorentz Gustave (€43.15)
This mature SGN is sweet, but not intensely sweet. Indeed, it is dry by Gewürztraminer SGN standards today, although par for the course in 1989.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Kaefferkopf 2002 Schoech Maurice Et Fils (€9)
Hint of geraniums, deliciously sweet, high acids.

84/100

Alsace Grand Cru Kirchberg De Barr Gewürztraminer Clos Gaensbroennel 2002 Hering Domaine (€13)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Sweet broad spice aromas and exotic fruits on palate.

83/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Kaefferkopf 1997 Adam J-B (€18)
The spicy aromas are powerful, but not classic, having been narrowed/tightened by relatively low pH.

82/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Altenbourg Cuvée Laurence 2002 Domaine Weinbach-Faller (€40)
Apricot-skins on nose and very sweet (53g/l) crystallised fruit on palate. Hints of marmalade.

80/100

Alsace Grand Cru Mambourg Gewürztraminer 2002 Sparr Pierre Et Ses Fils (€12)
Beautifully fresh on the nose, but distinct hints of malolactic on palate. Sweet. Alcohol showing on finish.

Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Gewürztraminer 2002 Bursin Agathe (€12.20)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Very fresh, and certainly as sweet as its 27g/l of residual sugar suggests, but light in colour and weight for this level of sweetness, and lacking the power of overripe grapes. Otherwise, technically sound.

alsace Gewürztraminer kritt 2002 schwartz j.l. (€7.20)
Another very fresh wine that is as sweet as its 25g/l of residual sugar suggests, but light in colour and weight for this level of sweetness, and lacking the power of overripe grapes. Otherwise, technically sound.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Vieilles Vignes 2002 Sipp-Mack (€9.20)
Lacks the concentration, complexity and finesse expected from truly old vines.

79/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Brobecker (€6.20)
Similar in richness and style to 252 [Jean-Paul Mauler's 2002 Grand Cru Mandelberg], but without the precocious spice, or as much freshness and finesse.

78/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Cuvée Bacchus 2002 Cave Vinicole Pfaffenheim-Gueberschwihr (€7.15)
Perhaps the spice will evolve to fill the gap between alcohol and sweetness, but at the moment it appears not to have sufficient concentration.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Altengarten 2001 Hausherr Hubert Et Heidi (€8)
1st bottle: colour lacks spark, nose maderised. 2nd bottle: not maderised, but difficult to see what the fuss is about for a wine that has been submitted under the category for "Anything unique, unusual or different. Must be stunning!" Err ... no, it's not stunning. It's a dry Gewürztraminer of acceptable, but not exceptional, quality.

Alsace Grand Cru Wineck-Schlossberg Gewürztraminer 1998 Klur Clement (€13.60)
Soil: granitique. Sweet, starting to build spicy bottle-aromas, but finish cloys.

75/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer SGN 1998 Boesch Leon-Domaine (€47)
Deep old-gold colour, full botrytised nose, with soft, creamy fruit on the palate, and some spices emerging on the aftertaste. Quite viscous and a bit cloying.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Affenberg 2002 Heywang Jean Et Hubert (€6)
Dour spice.

Alsace Gewürztraminer SGN 1998 Baumann-Zirgel (€29)
Old-gold colour, and quite viscous, very rich, not enough acidity. Intensely sweet. Cloying.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Clos Château Isenbourg 2002 Chateaux & Terroirs (€12.85)
Not bad, but not special.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Lieu-Dit Letzenberg 2002 Schoech Albert (€6.10)
Very rich, but could have more freshness and zip.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Sipp Louis (€6.60)
Light, fresh, and nowhere near as sweet as its 21g/l of residual sugar would suggest, but at this level, it lacks weight and substance.

74/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Scherb Louis Et Fils (€5.60)
Lacking in weight for this level of sugar.

70/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer 1999 Auther-Domaine
Off-dry, acidity balance askew.

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Cave Vinicole De Ribeauville Et Environs (€6.49)
Not enough concentration for the alcohol and sweetness.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Les Sorcières 2002 Dopff-Irion (€10.55)
Too sweet for its weight, with no overripe fruit character to justify the sweetness.

Alsace Grand Cru Gloeckelberg Gewürztraminer VT 2001 Freyburger Louis Et Fils Sarl (€24)
Soil: granite-argilifié. Intensely sweet, but sugary on finish, and lacks definition both in colour and on nose.

60/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer 2002 Weber Odile Et Danielle (€7.30)
What on earth is malolactic doing on a Gewürztraminer? Particularly this level.

50/100

Alsace Grand Cru Furstentum Gewürztraminer VT 1997 Blanck Andre Et Fils (€15.30)
Soil: calcaire. Deep colour, with mature fruit on the nose and rich, sugary-sweetness on the palate, this wine is near its peak, but has not developed spice or mellowed in sweetness.

Alsace Gewürztraminer Jubilee 2002 Hugel Et Fils (€19.44)
Lacks freshness and finesse.

25/100

Alsace Gewürztraminer Sigille Confrérie St-Etienne 1996 Bernhard Jean-Marc & Frederic (€6.40)
Canned peas.

Alsace Gewürztraminer "O" Collection Personelle 1997 Wantz Charles (€13.40)
Falling apart.


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