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Wine of the Week for week ending 7 Oct 2007
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Kemblefield The Distinction Gewurztraminer 2006
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

With the New Zealand International Wine Show awards dinner last night, and with the Trophy sponsor for the Gewurztraminer class, it seems appropriate that the winner be this week's Wine of the Week. There were five gold medal wines in contention for the Trophy, and I would have been happy if any of them had won, but I'm pretty sure that the eventual winner is the one I actually voted for in the secret trophy judging. The name at the top of the page says it all - Kemblefield 'The Distinction' Gewurztraminer 2006 from Hawkes Bay.

This is a beautifully scented wine with violets, ginger flower and tangelo zest the foreplay to the delicious taste. Sweet - but not sweet, because with just 7 grams per litre of residual sugar, it was judged in the dry class. It seems very subtle in its attack but before you know it the flavours have totally invaded the palate. Delicately oily in texture with lovely flow, it's vibrant, tangy and spicy with hints of liquorice, anise, white pepper and ginger. It's juicy with it's tangelo-like citrussy undercurrent and although powerful and long, there's an aura of delicacy to the intriguingly winsome finish with rose-flavoured Turkish Delight the last flavour memory.

Kemblefield used to be one of my favourite Gewurztraminer producers, but for some reason I've found the gewurz's a little disappointing the last few years. I'm pleased to see it's back, in a most distinctive way.

Sealed with a screwcap, the wine has 13.5% alcohol and costs around $19 to $21 a bottle.

John Kemble - the Kemble part of the Kemble / Field partnership, was at the awards to accept the Trophy. It looks like I presented it with my eyes shut, but Neil took the photo just as I blinked.

Congratulations to John and the Kemblefield team.

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© Sue Courtney
30 Sep 2007

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