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Dopff & Irion Gewurztraminer 2001

Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Style: rich and flowery (acacia, rose), spicy (pepper, cinnamon), fruity (quince, litchi, grapefruit). Serving Suggestions: Chinese or Thai dishes; blue and strong flavored cheeses (Roquefort, Pont lEvêque, Munster).

    Critical Acclaim

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    Dopff & Irion

    Dopff & Irion

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    Dopff & Irion, Alsace, France
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    René Dopff took over Dopff & Irion in 1945. He broke away from the old winemaking techniques and looked to the terroir rather than to the grape variety. He decided to divide the vineyard at Château de Riquewihr into four estates, which he rechristened with typically French names: Les Murailles, Les Sorcières, Les Maquisards and Les Amandiers. He opted for clearer labeling, abandoning gothic lettering in favor of a more sober script. These wines, made solely from the four noble grape varieties, expressed the very soul of the terroir. From that day on, each estate was dedicated to a particular variety. René Dopff then proceeded to ensure that his wines graced the best tables in France and the world over. He supplied wines to the Palais de l’Elysée, the French President’s residence, and for the launch of the luxury liner, “France”...

    Dopff & Irion is proud of their inheritance and feel it is their duty to ensure that it continues to thrive and prosper. The love of wine, of their vines, and of the region is an invitation to a voyage through history to be shared and savored.

    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 on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory, and this is easy to see both in Alsace’s architecture and wine styles. A long, narrow strip running north to south, Alsace is nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, making it perhaps the driest region of France. The growing season is long and cool, and autumn humidity facilitates the development of noble rot for the production of late-picked sweet wines Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles. Alsace is divided into two halves—the Haut-Rhin and the Bas-Rhin—the former, at higher elevations, is associated with higher quality and makes up the lower portion of the region.

    The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris. Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted here, responsible for about 10% of production and often used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty, and historically has always been bone dry to differentiate it from its German counterparts. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is fresh and floral, developing complex mineral and gunflint 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 is vinified dry, and tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal. There are 51 Grand Cru vineyards in Alsace, and only these four noble varieties are permitted within. While most Alsatian wines are bottled varietally, blends of several (often lesser) varieties are commonly labeled as ‘Edelzwicker.’

    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.

    GVDDOPFIRGEWURZ_2001 Item# 55457