Monday, April 21, 2008

Hungarian g-what-traminer??

A while back, I wrote about the 60 bottles of Moroccan Syrah that I brought in because I had it at a tasting and it was just too yummy to pass up. It was the biggest purchase I had made in the month or so that I had been open and amazingly (well, not so amazingly, I do like to think I know a little bit about what I'm doing) it's almost gone.

At that same tasting, I also tried a Hungarian Gewurztraminer which I liked so much that I bought several cases on pre-order. The wine just arrived, and happily, it's as good as I remember it. Even better really as it's very well suited to warmer weather. Here's the scoop:

Pannonhalmi Apatsagi Tramini 2006 (Pannonhalma, Hungary)

If I'm translating correctly, Pannonhalmi Apatsagi is the producer and Pannonhalma is the region. The grape variety is Tramini, which is what the Hungarians call the Gewurztraminer grape. Gewurztraminer is most famously made in the Alsace region of France, but you'll also find it kicking around areas of Germany, Austria, and apparently, Hungary.

Classic Alsace Gewurztraminer is a highly perfumed mix of floral, spice, and tropical fruit aromas - roses, honeysuckle, sweet spice, and lychees. Relatively low in acidity, the wines are usually fairly full-bodied, almost oily and their intense, spicy flavours make them a nice match to spicy Asian food.

This Hungarian version, however, is not exactly classic. It's super dry, almost racy, with bright limes, minerals, some floral notes, sweet nutmeg spice. When we tasted it in-store, Ross picked up lemon grass, but Ross is a chef, so we expect him to find very specific ingredients in his wine. Least classic of all - there's not a lychee to be found. This, combined with the raciness of the wine, will probably disappoint those who like a classic, fat, round Gewurz (never fear, we do have a very nice Trimbach version in stock), but for those who shy away from the grape, this is a version to try and possibly love. And it couldn't be more perfect for hot summer days.

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