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February 21, 2014 Wine Pick of the Week

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Lazy Creek Gewurz Picmonkey

2012 Gewürztraminer


Producer: Lazy Creek Vineyards

Appellation: Alexander Valley

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $22


“It has been a while since we tasted a Gewürztraminer and longer still since we tasted a really good one. This Lazy Creek example reminds us how delightful top-quality Caliornia Gewürz can be. This white grape variety can produce wine in styles varying from dry to quite sweet. Grown in many parts of the world, its primary homes are Germany and the Alsace region of France. When applied to Gewürztraminers from other places such as California, the phrase Alsatian style is usually code meaning the drier version. Lazy Creek is located in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County on California's northern coast. It's an idyllic area known for fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, but it also produces equally fine Gewürztraminers.

“Floral and spicy are descriptors often applied to this grape variety. In the 2012 vintage of this wine we found aromas of peach blossom, honeysuckle and roses—perhaps dried roses. In the mouth we sense white peaches or nectarines and maybe just a bit of pineapple or mango. The 'spicy' component is here, but even at the relatively high alcohol level (14.5%), spicy doesn't mean 'hot.' It manifests itself in the seeming presence of clove and cinnamon or nutmeg. Though not an Alsace-grown Gewürztraminer, the Lazy Creek displays in abundance the traditional virtues of the variety.”

Food Affinity: “Chinese and Indian cuisine are frequent suggestions for this variety, but we chose to pair the Lazy Creek Gewürztraminer with our own attempt at Alsatian cooking—a slowly-roasted, herbed pork shoulder. Nutty and smokey-flavored cheeses would be natural, as would many sausage dishes.” 

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