Although its name can be intimidating to those who are new to wine, Gewurztraminer is a wonderful and exciting variety that I recommend you try. But first, let’s deal with this name. It looks long and complicated, but it’s not when you break it down. Let’s start with the first half of the name, Gewürz, pronounced geh-VERTS. You can actually get by with knowing just that. Walk into any wine shop and ask for some geh-VERTS and they’ll know what you mean. The literal translation of Gewürz is “spice,” but in this case it means “perfumed.” The second half of the name is traminer, pronounced trah-mee-ner, which is a grape variety.
When you put it all together you get geh-VERTS-trah-mee-ner and it basically means “perfumed traminer.” In the past, the French have used some other names for this wine which basically translate the same way: Traminer Parfumé, Traminer Musqué and Traminer Aromatique.
You may find yourself wondering now, “why is this called perfumed?” Well, it is one of the most aromatic wines around with rich floral fragrances. It is so distinct, that it is often one of the first varieties of wine that drinkers are able to recognize.
While I and many other wine lovers think it’s a wonderful variety, Gewürztraminer is still not prolific on the shelves or in the vineyards. It’s most prevalent in Alsatian and German wines. Some of the best I’ve tasted have come from Alsace, where Gewürztraminer is the second most planted variety. And that’s where this one from Lucien Albrecht hails.
It has the classic floral nose you would expect from a Gewurz, but it’s delicate. There is also a touch of petrol aroma, which is not uncommon in Alsatian Gewurz. The palate is really peachy—as in peach flavors, not “peachy-keen.” There are some melon and lychee flavors too. It’s off-dry, but not overtly sweet. And the acidity is good, which helps prevent the sweetness from being too much. Overall, it’s good. It’s not quite as intense as I typically expect from Alsace, but it’s still a nice wine — especially for the price (You won’t find a lot of Alsatian Gewurz for less).
Wine: Lucien Albrecht Gewürztraminer Reserve
Find Lucien Albrecht Gewürztraminer Reserve with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.