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Pronounced guh-VOORTS-truh-MEE-nur, this grape takes its name from the German word for spicy “Gewurtz” and the village of “Tramin” in Italy’s Tryol.
While often a polarizing wine worldwide, I have found Virginia Gewürztraminer to be fairly well accepted as an option for the “ABC” (Anything But Chardonnay) Club.
Afton’s 2011 Gewürztraminer has a light straw appearance in the glass that only hints at the layers of complexity just below the surface. The perfumed nose features white grapefruit, lilacs and honeysuckle.
The slightly acidic attack has a very nice spicy bite with undertones of all spice. The midpalate is a cascading tropical waterfall of flavors including pineapple, mango, ripe cantaloupe and honeydew melon. The spice on the finish lingers along with lemon zest and an undercurrent of pineapple upside down cake.
Great on its own as an unusual aperitif, this wine would pair well with spicy grilled shrimp, seared tuna or angel hair pasta with sautéed vegetables. The layered aspect of the midpalate would also stand up well to cream based seafood dishes with medium spice.
I tend to like the vibrancy of a young Gewürztraminer. While with additional bottle aging I anticipate the finish profile will extend, I tend to like the way the 2011 is drinking now.