Elena Walch, Gewürztraminer Alto Adige DOC 2017 (about $19)

Italian Wine for november, 2018

The craggy terrain of Italy’s German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) region is the source of some of Italy’s best white wines. Despite its northerly Alpine environment, the region receives ample summer sunshine and the lofty mountains serve to buffer the region from cold northerly winds. The resulting warm summer days and cool nights provide near-ideal growing conditions for cool-climate varieties like Gewürztraminer.

Although non-native, Gewürztraminer is considered a traditional variety of the Alto Adige region and is the region’s third most widely-planted variety. Given its favorable climatic conditions the Gewürztraminers produced here tend to be richly-textured and bright with crisp acidity.

The Elena Walch winery is located in Tramin in the province of Balzano in Alto Adige. An architect by trade, Elena Walch married into one of the region’s foremost wine families and shepherded it through a dramatic period of innovation and revitalization that propelled it into the top ranks of Alto Adige producers. While the 150-acre estate is not formally certified organic, it has implemented a set of informal eco-friendly, consciousness-raising viticultural practices.

The winery today is firmly in family hands with Elena’s two daughters, Julia and Karoline Walch, being groomed to assume overall winemaking and management responsibilities.

Elena Walch’sElena Walch’s 2017 Gewürztraminer Alto Adige DOC 2017 Gewürztraminer is made entirely of estate-grown Gewürztraminer. The newly-harvested grapes undergo six-hour maceration on the skins, then are gently pressed and fermented in steel tanks at controlled temperatures. Finally, the wine is aged on the lees for several months in stainless steel containers.

The wine displays the crisp, racy and aromatic personality typically associated with cool-climate, high elevation varieties like Gewürztraminer. It has an intense straw-yellow color with some subtle gold reflections and intensely aromatic aromas of cinnamon and other spices with floral overtones. The mouthfeel is excellent with energetic and crisp flavors, balanced acidity and more texture than perhaps anticipated. Fruity notes of ripe apple, dried apricot and lychee nuts are accompanied by some spicy nuances that give lift to the zesty finish.

This wine can be served as a full-flavored aperitivo or as a companion to a full range of spicy Thai or Indian curry offerings as well shellfish, grilled fish or flavored cheeses. The aromatic profile and balanced acidity of this Gewürztraminer make it a formidable white wine choice for Thanksgiving Day.


©Richard Marcis
November 7, 2018

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