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Wine of the Week for week ending 15 August 2004
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William Hill Gewurztraminer 2003
Central Otago, New Zealand

Looking back at my archives it is almost a human pregnancy since I featured a Gewurztraminer as my Wine of the Week. I dont know why as I just love this variety with its exotic fragrance and mouthfilling richness. I guess one of the reasons could be that there are far too many GW's out there that disappoint. There are those that have great aromatics yet fail to deliver in the palate or others that totally miss on the fragrance, which to me is one of the most pleasurable aspects of this spicy grape variety.

I've tasted a few this week including the highly rated Cloudy Bay Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2002, the trophy winning Waipara Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2003 and a Nobilo Icon cleanskin with vintage unknown. All lovely wines, any of which Id be proud to serve at the table.

But it was the William Hill Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2003 from the southern subregion of Alexandra that pushed my g-spot. I tasted this with the Rockburn Gewurztraminer 2003, also from Central Otago, at home with food - a selection of Thai entrees from the takeaway down the road to give the cook a night off.

William Hill Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2003 is sweetly fragrant with spicy and floral scents reminding me of musky English roses, peppery carnations and the daphne that I picked from the garden. The taste continues the typically varietal theme with lychee juice, lemon/mandarin zest and Turkish delight on a warm oily texture. A delicate GW, off dry but with just 6 grams of residual sugar it is definitely the drier side of medium, beautifully balanced throughout with a rich finish and a lingering aftertaste with just a tickle of ginger.

Lovely to drink on its own as an aperitif or to match as I did to a selection of Thai cuisine or perhaps some creamy blue which then imparts a nutty flavour to the wine.

It carries 12.5% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a screwcap. Expect to pay about $23 for this wine.

Gewurztraminer accounted for 0.7% of the country's harvest in 2003, with Central Otago accounting for just 5% of that 0.7%. The amount is tiny so when you find a good one you have to take note.

Find out more about the William Hill from their website

© Sue Courtney
8 August 2004

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