Friday, June 27, 2014

Virtual Wine Tasting: Finger Lakes Gewürztraminer

The Finger Lakes Wine region recently hosted another in a series of live virtual tasting events, with a video feed and participation via Twitter.  A virtual tasting event is a great way to gain exposure to a new wine or winery, and it’s a great way to mingle with like-minded wine folks.  The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance uses the social aspect of virtual tastings to their great advantage.

In May 2014, the FLWA staged a virtual event featuring a large variety of wines, not just one or two.  Participants sipped at home and joined in during a four-hour marathon. (Most virtual tasting events only run an hour or so.)  I was supplied with several white wines to sample, and today I’ll focus on the Dr Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars Gewürztraminer 2013.

The Twitter crowd fell in love with the Rieslings and Canernet Francs, but Gewürztraminer was not forgotten, least of all by @DrFrankWine: "Believe it or not we released that wine only a month ago. Imagine how good it will be with more bottle age!"  Many tweeters thought the Finger Lakes is a great spot for a getaway: "#FLXwine region makes for a perfectly relaxing and delicious vacation."  @MiddleSeatView was afraid the credit card may have been too taxed while there: "I think we may have bought too much wine in the Finger Lakes..."  A picture showing a ten-bottle lineup was attached.

Dr Konstantin Frank's vision helped lift the New York wine industry to a preeminent level, hence his nom de vin as the "Father of Vinifera in the eastern U.S."  He was responsible for the "vinifera revolution" in the Finger Lakes region, insisting that European grape varieties would grow and thrive in the cold climate of upstate New York.  It turned out that it was the rootstock, not the cold climate, that was the problem.  His persistence proved him right, and now northern European varieties are planted all over the area - Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Gruner Veltliner.  Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars now employs a team of winemakers from New York, Virginia, Austria and Germany.  

For the Dr Konstantin Frank Gewürztraminer 2013, the wine saw skin contact for 24 hours, while fermentation was stopped to retain some residual sugar.  This wine is off dry on the IRF scale, with RS at just 0.7% and alcohol balanced at 13.2% abv.  This Gewürztraminer comes bottled under a screw cap and retails for $15 per bottle.

The wine has a golden tint, and slight bubbles clinging to the glass.  Aromas of jasmine, honeysuckle, peach and apricot are abetted by a citrus minerality.  The palate features beautiful fruit - peach, nectarine, apricot, lemon and lime - while minerals play a huge part and acidity is zippy.  It is completely refreshing.   This Gewürztraminer finishes clean and is loaded with citrus minerals. A little savory kick is in there on the finish, too.