2013 Sperling Vineyards Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley VQA, British Columbia – Vintages PanAm release $21.95 750ml (13.3% Alcohol)
Although there was once a time when I was irresistibly drawn to its unarguably exotic pleasures like a drunken moth to a flame, it’s rarely that a Gewurztraminer takes my fancy these days (with the odd exception). With this in mind, just the other day was utterly enchanted by the Sperling Vineyards 2013 bottling.
And enchanting is certainly the word here.
Capturing everything I adore about the grape without dipping into the clumsy caricature that so many producers feel exemplifies the varietal, the Sperling Gewurz is sourced from 25 year old vines from Winemaker Ann Sperling’s family hillside vineyard in the Okanagan.
Unfortunately this will be the very last vintage from these plantings as devastating hail in 2013 damaged the vines to such a degree that they never recovered. Sperling chose to pull out the Gewurz vines and, after giving the soil a chance to rejuvenate with the help of a cover crop, will be replanting the plot with Chardonnay.
In the glass the wine serves up a nuanced bouquet of agave, lime leaf, talcum powder, and rosewater. The palate leads with a firm but pleasing acid character, that serves to keep the wine delightfully fresh and vibrant, masking the 13.3% alcohol somewhat, and leading one to believe that it’s substantially lower than it actually is. On the palate this wine dances like a principal ballerina; (malic) strength coupled with an exquisite (mineral) poise and (fruit) grace give it an admirable equilibrium. Delicious.
(Four and a half apples out of a possible Five apples)
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that wine was a breath of fresh air!