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Joseph Scharsch (France) Alsace Gewurztraminer 2003
I am not adverse to awarding 'Wine of the Week' to a particularly good value, crisp Sauvignon Blanc or buttery Chardonnay, but it is always nice to step outside these comfort zones now and again to celebrate a grape that is less mainstream, and stamps its personality on a wine with much more vigour. Gewürztraminer is undoubtedly such a grape. With its flamboyant aromatics and thick-textured palate, 'Gewürz' is often the easist grape to spot in a blind tasting, and one that splits the jury into lovers and haters. This Alsace example has a peachy, apricotty nose with tell-tale notes of exotic spices, rose petals and lychee. On the palate it is unctuously rich, with an off-dry attack of fruit and a huge, grapefruit pith acidity and surge of alcohol that pushes through to the finish. Ripe, rich and taking no prisoners, this is a cracking wine of its style and ideal with Thai and spicier Chinese food. 9.75, or 9.02 by the case, french-regional-wines.co.uk