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Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Hengst Grand Cru 2005

Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
  • RP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Gewurztraminer Hengst smells of rose petal, brown spices, and hints of celery seed. Silken in texture, rich, spicy and meaty in the mouth, it nevertheless displays underlying chalky, stony notes that seem generally to reflect this site, and finishes with formidable intensity, no heat, and just hint of sweetness. Here is the juiciness and refreshment that keep high alcohol Gewurztraminer from fatiguing.
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Josmeyer
Josmeyer, France - Other regions
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Situated as it is at Wintzenheim, near Colmar, Josmeyer's Domain has the benefit of an exceptional micro-climate and one of the lowest annual rainfalls in the whole of France. The Domain extends to some 28 hectares (28% Riesling, 24% Pinot Blanc & Auxerrois, 21% Pinot Gris, 19% Gewurztraminer et 10% pour les Sylvaner, Muscat & Pinot Noir) and has always been cultivated with respect for nature.

Towards the end of the nineties, the vineyards were turned over to fully organic and bio-dynamic culture. In 2004 Josmeyer received the AB (agriculture biologic) certification. This alternative route, more demanding and expensive than conventional viticulture, allows man to work in harmony with the sky, the earth and the vines. This close relationship between these four elements produces superb grapes which, in their turn, give birth to deep, balanced wines with a unique personality.

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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.

LSB205574_2005 Item# 205574