edited by Sue Courtney
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Wine of the Week for week ending 18 March 2001
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Marlborough, New Zealand
The last of the Summer Wine
We've been enjoying one of our hottest summers ever, here in Auckland, New Zealand, or so it seems. The weather during the last couple of weeks has just been fantastic, the temperatures averaging in the mid-twenties (Celsius) and the humidity that soared to an uncomfortable high in February back down to a respectable level.
But it is all to end with daylight saving finishing next Saturday night.
So this is the last week of Summer 2001 that we'll be able to come home from work and enjoy a glass of chilled wine in the late afternoon sun, accompanied by the chirping of the cicadas.
It's been a great summer wine-wise with racy Rieslings and superb Sauvignon Blancs - from every region not just Marlborough. But what's enthralled me most about my summer sipping is my discovery of more gorgeous Gewurztraminers coming on to the market.
Gewurztraminer is the variety I fell in love with in my early drinking days - the perfume of the aroma and the intensity of flavour seducing my youthful palate. And these hallmark characters still enthral whenever I taste a good example of this now quite hard to find variety.
Alan McCorkindale has been producing a Gewurztraminer these last few years but in tiny quantities until the 2000 vintage and the release of the Alan McCorkindale Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2000.
This is one of the country's best South Island Gewurz's, endorsed by the gold medal and trophy it won at last year's Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
Pale in colour and with the classic floral perfume that Gewurztraminer is famous for - a rich aroma of rose petals. In fact one of the overseas judges at the Air New Zealand Wine awards commented "- - - over the top with rose petals - - -".
In the palate the flavour is intense and lasts long after the wine has been swallowed. The musk of pink Turkish delight and the pungency of lychee and lemon leaf combine with the spice of white carnations. There's an oiliness to the texture of this vinous liquid that coats every nook and cranny in the mouth and a lovely sweetness to the flavour that lingers.
Nicely balanced and warm with 13.0% alcohol by volume, this is a wine that is delicious served chilled in the heat of the late afternoon.
I love Gewurz with lightly spiced Asian food, especially those with a touch of sweet chilli sauce and coriander in the flavours.
The Alan McCorkindale Gewurztraminer 2000 costs about $24.50 and should be available in fine wine stores in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and perhaps in restaurants. To find out where, contact the winery on 0800 423 532.
The McCorkindale wines are also exported, including to the Netherlands
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