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Gewurztraminer Challenge – Saturday March 1st, 2008

July 26, 2008

 

We decided to have our 2nd challenge. If you look back, we tried several Italian reds and were pleasantly surprised. It was amazing to see the quality available in the sub $8 range. After aeration, these reds gave a good showing for themselves.

This challenge is for the white lover. A wine that I certainly love and one I find surprisingly versatile. Gewurztraminer is the wine of choice. From Alsace this wine is luscious, round, spicy and fruity. Food friendly and a wonderful wine on its own.

Test procedure: several potential wines were chosen the day previous and placed in the same shelf of my wine fridge. This allowed a randomness in wine chosen (by our guest  panelists) and avoided any predisposition from myself to choose specific wines in specific order to alter outcomes. Wine glasses were standard white wine glasses…nothing special. 

A control wine was chosen….ie: one which I have known very well and is thought a good sample from the real region. In this case we used Pierre Sparr rather than my ‘ringer’ as two participants do not like my ringer….I just don’t get it but it may be used in part 2. 

Food started with an antipasti platter, then dinner. Dinner consisted of veal rolls stuffed with artichokes braised in red wine and tomato sauce, boiled baby potatoes and a cabbage pie. Dessert was creme brule with blueberries.

Guest testers were Tom and Carolyn. The had just gotten home from skiing after Chicago and seeing the Spice Girls…they claim that they only took their girls and they went to dinner….yeah right!!!! So when they arrived I slapped in a cd of Spice girl music we had downloaded and had Bend it like Beckham on the tv ( sir david and posh make a cameo at the end). Well, Tom disappointed us as he didn’t wear his Posh t-shirt…oh btw we survived all 3 songs. Better music was played thru the night.

Wine #1: Angel’s Gate     It’s from the Bench in Niagara. The winery is simply beautiful. You can see the lake and the vines go down the escarpment. This would imply that the wine has a great chance to be good due to the slopes….like Alsace.

RESULTS: it appears that the nose was well liked by all, but the wine really did not impress. Comments range from: pedestrian to ‘would not buy’.  This is not a good start and I was really disappointed as I always liked this winery.

Wine #2 Niagara Teaching College Well the college is somewhere in Niagara on the Lake, but don’t ask as I got really lost getting there (is that something different LOL!). I was really impressed with the enthusiasm of the students and they were so proud of their work.

RESULTS: The nose was very aromatic. Everyone commented on that. The mouth feel was nicer and it was very fruity slightly light but all liked it. This one is a keeper. The difference between this one and the first was dramatic. This simply is a much better bottle of wine(ok my imput).

Wine #3 Pierre Sparr This is the control wine. From Alsace, it should be the real thing. It is not expensive and I really enjoy this wine. Peppery, fruity, just a good bottle.

RESULTS: All liked it, yet one person preferred the Niagara College wine. 3 of 4 had very positive things to say. Fruit aroma, light taste, tangy, refreshing, mild were the comments. As expected it was well liked. It was assumed to be sweet but it really isn’t. Very well liked.

Wine #4 Mastronardi A favourite of mine. Made down the road across from Colosanti in Ruthven. I find that they make great wine. So the first local wine was making me be very anxious as I wanted it to do well.

RESULTS: All agreed that the nose was wonderful…..floral aromatic …very nice. One noted that it would be great with spicy( food which is what Gewurtz is acclaimed for) so they ‘hit it’. Another noted that it should have been the dinner wine. Light, floral, clear et someone noted Big Bold so there is personal taste. 

Simply a wonderful wine.  

Wine #5 Pelee Island Reserve This is from the good line at Pelee. If you buy Pelee Island I suggest this range as it is much better than the lower lines. 

RESULTS: Well the results by now may be not as good as early ones but this wine was also universally liked. Aromatic perfumey nose, fruit taste. Results were consistent that the taste was very good and fruity. A well liked wine and after the rave comments for the Mastronardi this wine was well liked therefore it is very good. Being available in the licbo is also a plus.

OVERALL: It appears that the favorites were Niagara College and Mastronardi. Terry loved the College, and our guests were more for the Mastonardi.

What can I say……I was disappointed with the Angel’s Gate, really liked the Niagara College and always liked the Mastronardi. Can I pick a winner????? Well, I would happily drink Mastronardi ever day, its that good……but I like Pierre Sparr too and the College and Pelee……I am so conflicted.

So here are my personnel rankings: 

A+   Mastronardi

A Niagara College, Pierre Sparr (an old friend)

A- Pelee Island Reserve

B- Angel’s Gate

Round 2 is forthcoming and I will use my ‘ringer’ with Mastronardi against the Harrow wines with Smith and Wilson and some more Niagaras. We have a standing invite to some friends from down the Arner so they now have to come. 

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