Virgin HQ Friday Wines

After a long week here at Virgin Wines HQ, we like to finish it all off with a little treat. This is where “Friday Wines” come in, or as they are commonly known around the office “Frines”. Our Wine Buyer Dave Roberts opens up a few cheeky bottles for us all to try, and then pops around an email so we know what we’re drinking. Tasting measures only, although what constitutes a tasting measure varies depending on how thirsty you are.

This week it’s all about White Wine and we had a chance to see the same grape type perform differently when cultivated in different climates.

We’re going to look at Gewurztraminer If you can’t look away and spell it, you can’t drink it. Well that’s the rule here at VW HQ but we’ll let you off on that one.

None of the following are from what’s widely recognised as the real home of this fragrant grape, Alsace, but it will show you how much there is to enjoy within a single grape variety.

First up…

Vina Leyda Gewurztraminer Reserva 2010

Vina Leyda Gewurztraminer Reserva 2010

Leyda is one of Chile’s most exciting regions, especially for white varietals. Why? It has incredibly close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which tempers the climate. The vineyards are cooled further by daily occurring ocean mists. They shroud the vineyards in cloud keeping the intense sun at bay for long periods of the day. The resulting wines have some of the most vibrant aromatics the wine world has to offer, especially beneficial when working with Gewurz.

Dave Roberts (Wine Buyer) tasting note – look for rose petal (Turkish Delight/Lokum) hints of apricot and peach and just a little citrus. The palate is super fresh, light and crisp. Very moreish!

Belmonte Gewurztraminer 2009

Belmonte Gewurztraminer 2009

We’ve championed the wines from the Forrest Estate for a decade – they make wines exclusively for us. They genuinely don’t do that for many other businesses. They’re vineyards are smack bang next door to Cloudy Bay and I’m still amazed at how much cheaper they are. They make a minute quantity of Gewurz each vintage and we snaffle a little portion they make available to us. Look for the stylistic difference to the offering from Vina Leyda – a little more sweetness.

Dave Roberts (Wine Buyer) tasting note – plenty of stone fruit, a little lychee and some delicate floral notes. The palate is soft, round and mouth coating leading onto a rich yet clean finish.

100ft Somontano Gewurztraminer 2011

Irius 100ft Somonatano Gewurztraminer 2011

I talk about the oceanic influence when I looked at Leyda’s Gewurz and in the vineyards of the Iris Winery something similar occurs. It’s not a body of water that tempers here – it’s altitude. Lowering daytime temperatures, keeping the natural freshness in the grapes, with that freshness is at the very core of the finished wine.

Dave Roberts (Wine Buyer) tasting note – lightly honeyed fruit and again you’ll find rose petal and a touch of spice that you can’t quite nail down to a specific! The palate is light and vibrant with an excellent depth of fruit. I really like this stuff!

The best food to enjoy with almost all  Gewurztraminers  is Asian cuisine. Bring on the Thai green curry!

The idea this afternoon is to look at the differences within the wines and there should be enough for everyone to try all three to compare.


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