The concept of 'skin contact white wines' is embraced by a lot of consumers as a 'new' trend that follows along with the naturalist wine movement, walking hand in hand with the more funky wine flavors. Truth be told, skin aging is traditional for many wine regions and varieties, you just notice it with your palate instead of your eyes. The grape skin is where the natural tannins exist, as well as the pigment to color the wine. Chardonnay has no pigment, for example, so you may not notice how many white Burgundy wines have skin contact involved until you taste them. There are also some grapes that have a slight pigment to them, and only when fully ripe, so you find a lot of examples of white wines without any or minimal skin contact. Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer both fall into this category, and while the rusty color wines are enjoying a resurgence, they always existed to an extent in places like Alsace and the cooler alpine regions of Italy. Fresh new eyes on these old styles make for exciting wines like this from store favorite Union Sacre, notoriously tinkering with small batches of California fruit from lesser known vineyards to make some fascinating juice.
Slightly copper colored (in a shiny penny way, not a dirty water way), the aromatic is pretty obviously Gewurztraminer with loads of wildflowers, ginger and spicy tropical fruit. The palate is rich and mouthfilling, but FAR from sweet; the 'sweetest' thing about this wine, in fact, is the 'peek-a-boo' style tattoo label only seen through the back of the clear bottle. Pretty awesome. The actual residual sugar level is quite low, and the skin contact brings out some tannic dustiness and quenching citrus pith to the finish. Very few domestic Gewurztraminers veer as far from the tropical sugar water model as this does, much more emblematic of a Cru Alsatian or a top Alto Adige producer. The nose says to pair with spicy Asian dishes, but the drier palate also gives room to rich or savory pork and poultry as well.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!