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David Schildknecht writes in Wine Advocate: "'You have to forget everything you know about Gewurztraminer and imagine you have never tasted this variety before in your life,' said Humbrecht before pouring me a deeply-colored glass of his 2004 Gewurztraminer Rangen Clos Saint Urbain, another of those that went entirely dry, in this case finishing with 15.6% alcohol. In its outrageous intensity of smoky, peaty, flinty aromas; in its voluminous and saline (oceanic in both senses!), peaty, positively tannic palate; and in a finish of such brute force that not even Humbrecht could resist reaching for volcanic (and not just geological) metaphors, this is (again in his words) 'only for people who can handle so much terroir.' I may have passed that test, but I shall also pass on rating the results, or speculating as to how this utterly distinctive Rangen concentrate might evolve. I suspect (and, dare I say, 'hope'?!) that it is destined to remain unique. Certainly this site is seldom likely to receive as much autumn rain as it did in 2004, but Humbrecht assures me that of all his Rangen vines, this Gewurztraminer was the least affected by botrytis."


Widely grown throughout the wine world, Gewurztraminer is a very versatile varietal, making dry, off-dry, and dessert wines of great character. The grape itself is pale red, though the wines are white (grape juice is usually light colored, even from red-skinned grapes). It’s one of the noble grapes of Alsace (where it is fashioned into all styles and to its best effect), but is also found in the mountains of northern Italy. Gewurztraminer is well-suited to accompany spicy foods, especially Thai and Indian cuisine.

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