Friday, September 28, 2007

A German Riesling and an Alsace Gewurtz

My in-laws are visiting, so that means a few more empties in the recycling bin. Fortunately, it means the serious overstock situation in my cellar is being reduced at a healthy rate (you can cancel the flight, Edward). Tonight we worked through some cool-climate whites, enjoying the endless summer here in Montreal and clearing the cellar floor of a few more bottles.

Germany seems to be taking a new stab at lower-priced dry whites, so I bought the 2005 Essence Riesling by S. A. Prüm to see what a well-know German maker could do at this price point. A white (Qualitätswein) from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, it was a pretty pale gold in the glass. Honey and lemon on the nose, with classic tar/fuel notes, there was no mistaking the varietal. Dry, but not bone dry, on the palate it was rich with honey, very smooth and very well balanced. Simple, but this went down oh so easily. A great recommendation from the staff at the downtown SAQ shop on Metcalfe, a great pairing, and a Great Value! Screw top.
11.5% alcohol
Score: 16.5/20
Price: $15.45 (SAQ)

We followed this crowd-pleasing white with an Alsace Gewurtz. I love Alsace whites - gewurtztraminer, riesling, pinot gris, and muscat, dry and off dry, so many great ways to pair these. In addition, these wines feature consistent quality and (generally) reasonable prices. White gold in the glass, the 2004 Lucien Albrecht Gewurtztraminer Bollenberg displayed a powerful and extreme floral nose. Like stepping into a parfumerie, it smelled of rosewater and white flowers, but it was very difficult to discern anythinge else, save some very subtle lychee, quince and melon. On the palate it was dry, nearly off-dry, with thick and rich soapy floral flavours and very little acidity. So smooth, so fragrant, so...effeminate? A beautiful wine, but a difficult pairing. Cork closure.
12.6% alcohol
Score: 17/20
Price: C$25.35 (SAQ)

Overall, the Essence paired very nicely with grilled sausages, but the Albrecht Gewurtz was a better after dinner sipper.

9 comments:

Marcus said...

Well timed post!

I'm planning on serving a Gewurz tonight for work friends (that $20 Pfaffenheim 2005 that was in the SAQ circular) and I was stressing over a pairing. (Bill would be a good resource.) Though I think I'll offer it as we sit down with starters, I'll reserve most of it for dessert and after dinner.

It's definitely more of a ramp-up-to wine for me than an apératif whenever I rarely have gewurz.

Joe said...

I have had the Pfaffenheim, and enjoyed the Dopff & Irion and Hugel as well. I think the Trimbach is the best, but it has been a while...

Edward said...

Red duck curry with lychee would be perfect with the Gewurz!

Head to China town - buy some red curry paste and a roast duck - remove the meat, set aside. Take a spoon of the paste and a cup of coconut milk - cook and add desired vegetables and then add the duck meat and a handful of lychee, leave for a few minutes and then serve. . .

Marcus said...

Pfaffenheim poured nicely throughout fruit and cheese and starters and, best of all, with a fragrant flan-like dessert from Brittany and after dinner.

Hey, you've got a label for Wine Label Week #1? It ended yesterday but you can get it to me now for the wrap up.

Joe said...

Hi Edward. Are you testing the ability of my China town to deliver :)? Sounds great - will try that.
Marcus - glad to hear it re: Pfaffenheim. I just sent you the labels...

Fadi said...

I really liked the Essence Riesling 05! I found it medium dry and I really appreciated the resulting little sweetness in combination with the lemon and spice flavors. Great pick Joe.
Cheers,
Fadi

Joe said...

Hi Fadi - glad you liked it. I just bought the Solitär (another Prum Riesling), I will compare it to the Essence sometime - cheers!

Anonymous said...

You could certainly try the gewurtz with pate, on an onion tart...

Joe said...

Hi Anon - great pairing suggestions. I have been trying to avoid the pate as much as possible - watching my cholesterol...