Gewürztraminer is often the punchline to its own joke. It can be gangling to the point of clownishness — too sweet, too spicy, too floral, too-too. This wine is a gloriously balanced example of what the grape can do.
Ravines grows Gewürztraminer grapes in their estate White Springs Vineyard, on the northwest side of Seneca Lake. Farming is sustainable. The fruit is hand harvested, de-stemmed, crushed, and pressed with some skin contact, then racked into stainless steel for aging. The wine is left with 9 g/L of residual sugar.
It’s pale yellow with an effusive perfume of paper whites, jasmine, rose, and nutmeg — the perfect expression of Gewürz. The palate continues these notes and adds flavors of citrus and ripe peach. The grape’s inherent spiciness kicks in late in a sense of allspice and white pepper. The texture is like fine silk satin.
Pair it with traditional Alsatian foods (tarte flambée, Munster cheese, cured meats). It’s probably one of the most friendly cheese wines, able to pair with almost anything except, to my taste, cheddar.
2018 Ravines Gewürztraminer Finger Lakes
12.5% ABV | $18 (sample)