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Cave de Ribeauville Gewurztraminer Altenberg Grand Cru 2015

Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
  • WW91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: One can never forget the distinctive character of Gewürztraminer, and the 2015 Cave de Ribeauville Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim is quite fine. TASTING NOTES: This wine is aromatic and delightful. Its aromas and flavors of roses, lychee, and ripe core fruit should pair nicely with a salad of mixed greens, chicken strips, mandarin slices, and a dab of hot chili oil. (Tasted: September 11, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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Cave de Ribeauville

Cave de Ribeauville

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Cave de Ribeauville, Alsace, France

The Cave de Ribeauvillé covers a single vineyard of 580 acres with 8 Grands Crus and many soils of great value. The total surface is managed by a quality chart which guarantees strict control of the yields, sustainable growth of the vineyards or even organic farming, and… manual harvest.

This choice for quality allows sorting of the best grapes that are transported in small elevator-wagons to the presses, without any pumping or handling. The juices then simply flow into the vats by the force of gravity. This method, unique in Alsace, enables all of the aromatic virtues of each varietal to be conserved. The wines express all the richness and diversity of the Alsatian soils. They are pure, straight and frank, with nice freshness and aromatic intensity.

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With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.

The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.

Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.

Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsatian wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.

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Gewurztraminer

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Gewürztraminer is an expressive and aromatically distinctive white grape variety. It is considered a noble variety in the Alsace region of France, and can produce beautiful wines in the mountainous Alto Adige region of north-eastern Italy. With the notable exception of the Anderson Valley, most regions of California are too warm for Gewürztraminer’s low potential acidity, but it has done particularly well in more northerly, cooler regions of North America such as British Columbia, Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, and New York's Finger Lakes.

In the Glass

Gewürztraminer is bold and highly aromatic, with intense flavors of lychee, rose petal, ginger, musk, exotic spice, smoke, pineapple, apricot kernel and peach. Wines range from bone dry to quite sweet and its naturally low acidity is offset by high levels of skin-derived phenolics, which in addition to aromatics, provide weight and a good structural grip.

Perfect Pairings

Gewürztraminer’s natural spiciness makes it a great ally for flavorful cuisine, such as Indian, Middle Eastern, or Moroccan fare. It is also excellent with dense, oily fish like salmon, swordfish and mahi-mahi, and works well with a wide range of meats and charcuterie. Gewürztraminer truly shines with classic Alsatian dishes like choucroute, Quiche Lorraine and anything egg-based.

Sommelier Secret

Because of its floral perfume and tendency towards slight sweetness, Gewürztraminer makes for an excellent gateway wine. For those who have been introduced to wine through Moscato or other sweet wines, Gewürztraminer can serve as the perfect bridge towards an appreciation for dry whites.

PNTPT301015_2015 Item# 512626