2013 Trius Showcase “Outlier” Gewürztraminer, Carlton Vineyard, Four Mile Creek VQA, Ontario, Canada – $25 from winery
There was a time when one would find Gewürztraminer on the by-the-glass lists or most decent establishments, but as a straw poll held by Ian D’Agata at his recent Toronto masterclass showed, not one Sommelier in the room was carrying a Gewürz as a glass pour, let alone an Ontario one.
I feel that in many ways Ontario Gewürz has fallen out of favour, and I put this down to Ontario Gewürz production really having lost its way over the past decade. Until I tasted this particular bottling from Trius I had all but given up on expecting anything more than a clumsy home-grown caricature of this unique varietal. You may feel that I’m being a little too harsh with my critique here, but think about it, when was the last time that you had one that really took your breath away? I’m guessing… never?
This 2013 vintage is actually only the second time that Winemaker Craig McDonald has bottled this as a single varietal. The fruit had previously made its way into Trius White before McDonald decided to harness its true potential. The wine is named “The Outlier” due to the tiny white block of Gewürz’s positioning within his largest red site, the Carlton vineyard in Four Mile Creek. It’s a hot gravelly site that allows for maximum ripeness levels, especially when the fruit is allowed a little additional hang time. This late harvest combined with insanely low yields, a touch of cold soak skin contact, whole bunch pressing, some concrete egg cold ferment, and then seven months ageing in neutral French cooperage leads to something extremely special.
The resultant wine is a real treat, exhibiting considerably more delicacy and complexity than the previous vintage, which was a touch too hot and unctuous for my palate. That’s not to say that its predecessor was in any manner a bad wine, it’s just that I would have had trouble drinking more than one glass of the stuff.
This, on the other hand, is both fresh and lively, as well as exhibiting considerable richness and depth of flavour. Perfectly balanced with just a touch of pleasant bitterness adding to the multi-layered, spicy and generously textured palate. The nose is exotically perfumed without being in any way cloying, with roses, clementine, and turkish delight aromatics flowing freely from the glass.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that was some damn good Gewurz.