Alsatian Spring: Six Delicious White Wines for the Season

The seconds are literally counting down to spring as I write this. . .tick, tick, tick. Washington is sitting on the edge of its seat, waiting for the new season to usher in warm breezes and sunny weather.

Washingtonians have been dreaming of the day when the weather will break, allowing for the leisurely enjoyment of a delicious glass of white wine. Spring always makes me think of fragrant and luscious white wines. Specifically, Gewürztraminer and Riesling from the Alsace region of France come to mind. Below are my annual Wines for Spring recommendations, featuring the off-dry to dry Alsatian Gewürztraminer and Riesling.

Enjoy a glass and toast the end of Washington’s “Winter of Discontent” – whenever that happy day arrives. Cheers!

Hugel & Fils Gewürztraminer

2010 $22

This white wine from Alsace, France, will display a slight green tinge in the glass. Only in Alsace will you experience the true heights and expressiveness of this grape varietal. This Gewürztraminer is a fine entry-level example of a spicy, dry and well-balanced wine of the region.

Hugel & Fils Gewürztraminer

2010 $25

Look for pale yellow colors with flecks of green once you pour this in your glass. This wine, from older vines than the first Gewürztraminer on the list, is made under stricter standards. Consequently, it shows more elegance and finesse. Upon tasting, you might experience flavors that remind you of orange peel and mango. It is highly aromatic with lots of floral scents emanating from your glass. See if you can catch hints of rose and orange blooms. Though it is a dry wine, its lushness and acidity make it refreshing. Drink this wine young or let it sit for a year or two. Drink it alone, as an aperitif or (if you wish to pair it with food) with lobster tail or tandoori chicken. varietal. This Gewürztraminer is a fine entry-level example of a spicy, dry and well-balanced wine of the region.

Domaines Schlumberger Gewürztraminer Kessler Grand Cru 2008 $30

Domaines Schlumberger has been family-owned and family-run since 1810. Biodynamic and sustainable farming practices have been employed in this premier cru. One thing you will definitely notice is this dry wine’s body, meaning its weight in your mouth. It has more substance then most of the wines listed here and could never be called thin. The richness of the fruit balances well with its acidity.

Domaines Schlumberger Gewürztraminer Kessler Grand Cru

2008 $28

Minerals and citrus fruit flavors abound in this Riesling. This wine is a beautiful golden color. It is dry, but expresses nice fruit flavors. Drink now and through 2015.

Domaine Weinbach Gewürztraminer Cuvée

2011 $45

Thoughts of spice, apricots, banana and candied orange rind come to mind when tasting this off-dry Gewürztraminer. Aromas of lychee and caramel will draw you into your glass. You might experience a slight oily or petrol impression, but these are classic notes in Alsatian wine, adding to its complexity. This wine can be drunk now or held for up to five years in your cellar.

Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frederic Emile

2009 $62

No list of Alsatian Riesling recommendations would be complete without a mention of wines from one of the most prestigious houses: the family-owned Trimbach. While known for Rieslings (there are four), the house also produces Gewürztraminer. The Rieslings are classically dry with apricot, pineapple and mineral flavors. I recommend any of the bottlings. Explore, but do try the Cuvée Frederic Emile. It is an elegant, expressive, steely Riesling, a wonderful example of what the house –and region – produces.

Shari Sheffield is a wine, food and lifestyle writer as well as a Wine Educator and speaker. She can be reached at shari@sharisheffield.com or via her website: www.sharisheffield.com.

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Sat, 25 Oct 2014 18:06:34 -0400

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