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edited by Sue Courtney

Wine Reviews - Gewurztraminer
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 23 May 2018

Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my Gewurztraminer notes, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.

[2017] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013] [2012] [2011] [2010] [2009 - 2005] [2004 vintage and older] [index]

2017 Vintage [top] [index]

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Gewurztraminer 2017 (sc) Straw gold in hue with a delicate yet fragrant perfume of lilac and strudel spices with hints of musk and vanilla poached pear. Bright and spicy to the fairly dry taste with delicate tropical fruit and mandarin and just a smidgen of honey that enhances the texture. A subtle Alsace-like style that’s not too OTT. Gold Easter Show. 13% alc. $22.99. 14Mar2018.

2016 Vintage [top] [index]

Emperical Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2016 (sc) Made from grapes grown at Charcoal Gully in the Lowburn subregion, this light golden wine has a fine elegant bouquet of violet, spun sugar and spice and it’s warm in the mouth with a silky flow. It seems fairly dry with a primary flavour of ripe musky grapes and the merest suggestion of lychee with a lovely spicy lift and violets again together with liquid orange blossom honey on the fine lingering finish. Understated with a nod to Alsace.13.5% alc. $39.99. 28Feb2018.

Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2016 (sc) The bouquet is like a delicately scented cottage garden and there's just a touch of spun sugar sweetness in the palate with candied citrus, orange blossom water and myriads of zesty tingles, then revealing more classical rose petal and Turkish delight flavours with a little bit of heat as it lingers. Gold AirNZ. 14% alc. $19.99. 15Nov2017.
Light lemon hued with a delicate bouquet that hints of lemon Turkish delight and the haunting scent of ‘Sweetie Pie’ dianthus – quite delicate for the variety which makes it even more beguiling. A little spritzy on first tasting perhaps from the touches of ginger and white pepper, then becoming smooth with a lightly oily texture. It evokes a memory of Grandmother's cold cream (Ponds classic) with a concentration of Asian fruits, hints of citrus and spices and mouthfilling expansion to the finish. 14% alc. $20.99. 23Nov2016.

Main Divide North Canterbury Gewurztraminer 2016 (sc) Glossy gold coloured with aromas of pink smoker lollies, crystallised violets and candy floss, and warm spicy flavours with a touch of sweetness. A beautifully expressive gewurztraminer that’s been fermented in barrel with luscious lychee fruit, ginger marmalade, geranium flowers and touches of liquorice staples and aniseed. 14% alc. $17.99. 13Sep2017.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Gewurztraminer 2016 (sc) Golden in colour with a savouriness (possibly from the oak) infusing the fragrant bouquet and soft in the opulent and powerful palate. A big-boned, indulgent, ripe heady wine with touches of botrytis adding a honey / hokey pokey intrigue and fruit flavours reminiscent of apricot, spiced pear and glace peaches with a lingering soft ginger-like zing. 14.5% alc. $27.99. 13Sep2017.

Spy Valley Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2016 (sc) Light gold hued with a heady fragrance of violets, lychee, Turkish Delight and rose oil and off dry to the tingly taste with sweet ripe grape and lychee flavours, white pepper and musky spices with a powerful, toasty, smoker lolly finish that’s soft and seamless. Begs to be accompanied with Thai or and Indian curry. Trophy Easter Show. 14% alc. $19.99. 14Mar2018.

2015 Vintage [top] [index]

Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015 (c) The bouquet enchants with scents of lemon Turkish delight and lemon verbena and it is off dry in the palate with lovely viscosity to the flow, subtle tropical fruit and tingles of ginger and white pepper. Lovely concentration and persistence and very very impressive. 13% alc. $27.99. 1Mar2017.

Lawson Dry Hills The Pioneer Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015 (sc) Unmistakably gewurz with its powerful musk, spice, rose oil and lychee aromas that follow through to the juicy, flavoursome taste together with hints of orange pomander. Off dry, heading towards luscious but never cloying, just beautifully balanced with seamless flow. 14.5% alc. $29.99. 14Jun2017.

Spy Valley Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015 (sc) Light golden hued with powerfully fragrant rose musk and Turkish delight following through to the strong flavoured zingy spice taste that’s on the sweeter side of off dry with a bit of sweet/sour tension mid palate and a powerful finish. Thai food will make this wine sing. 14% alc. $19.99. 7Jun2017.

Whitehaven Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015 (sc) Light gold. Smoker lollies and candied violets wrapped in musky spices fill the bouquet. This wine is dry yet there is a purple confectionary note in the palate together with Moroccan spices and a tantalising touch of white pepper. Mouthfilling and textural with seamless flow and an almost eternal finish that tapers off so elegantly. Full of flavour but not OTT at all. Gold Royal Easter Show. 14% alc. $19.99. 9Mar2016.
This radiates an attractive rose musk and Turkish Delight bouquet and the taste is distinctly Gewurztraminer through and through. It's just off dry with a lightly viscous texture and an incredibly long ‘hot smoker lolly’ finish. Descriptors offered up from fellow tasters on the night include lychees, muscat grapes, rose Turkish delight, Parma violets, orange water, apricots, spice and honey. Yep, absolutely. Gold NZIWS. Gold AirNZ. 13.5 % alc. $19.99. 25Jan2017.

2014 Vintage [top] [index]

Blackenbrook Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) Cream lemon gold with a captivating aromatic bouquet that reminds me of the peppery scent of carnations with a rose oil allure. The taste is fresh with white pepper and ginger on the front palate and a lovely memory trigger that reminds me of my grandmother’s cold cream. There’s a bright acid spine to the wine and the spices become quite toasty with an earthy cumin note adding to the overall allure. Quite dry, yet there is a mouthfilling luscious factor too. 14.5% alc. $21.99. 19Aug2015.

Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) Intensely perfumed and full of flavours of Turkish delight, lychees and tingly toasted aromatic and slightly peppery spices with hints of sugared violets, rose petals and orange oil. It’s mouthfilling, concentrated and powerful with a lightly honeyed texture and a zesty vibrancy with a musky sweetness as the flavours linger. With 30g/l residual sugar, it’s a medium sweet style. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 5Oct2016.
The bouquet of this light lemon gold wine is powerful but not overpowering - it’s like fresh lychee and rambutan, these Chinese fruits also a feature in the smooth flowing palate which is mouthfilling and spicy with touches of ginger and white pepper and a lingering sense of Turkish Delight and spun sugar. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 8Mar2017.
There's a heady allure with gewurztraminer’s classic musky floral and pink smoker lolly scent and the taste is just off dry with upfront spiciness settling nicely to reveal delicate violet pastille and rose water nuances and lingering flavours of lychee. A touch oily in texture with low acidity and gorgeous flow. Lots of awards. 14% alc. $18.99. 23Aug2017.

Greystone Waipara Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) Lemon gold with violets on the nose, it smells tantalising spicy rather than sweet. While the aromas remind me of Grand Cru Alsace, to me the taste is more typically mouthfilling Antipodean. It is a fairly dry wine with a pleasing touch of musky sweetness, pepper-like tingles and a creamy feel to the powerful finish. A tiny bit of botrytis (3%) and partial barrel ferment add to the complexity. This is outstanding gewurztraminer with its quintessential spicy twist, rose musk and violets. 14% alc. $29.99. 4Mar2015.

Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2014 (c) Lemon gold. A powerful heady bouquet with lifted lemon zest, musk and exotic spices, it radiates lusciousness and concentration. Ginger, white pepper and mandarin zest with a powerful honey richness and a warm, opulent finish with a divine silky flow. Long, soft and smooth with lingering spice infused orange honey. 12.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal tasting. 9Sep2015.
A little restrained on the nose tonight – more like an Alsace expression, similarly so in the soft unctuous palate with all the hallmarks that point to Gewurztraminer. Beautifully balanced, not too overpowering, a harmony of musk and exotics spices as it traverses the palate with a heavenly silky mouthfeel and flow, and accents of ginger as the expressive flavours linger. 12.5% alc. $27.99. 18Nov2015.
Moderate gold with a heady bouquet of rose Turkish delight and candied violets - these wonderful floral traits recurring in the palate that has a light honey and nectar viscosity to the texture with aromatic spices and accents of white pepper. Smooth and powerful yet not overpowering – it begs for some duck pate. I love it. So do the judges. Gold Easter Show. Gold NZIWS. Gold & Trophy Marlborough Wine Show. Gold & Trophy AirNZ. 12.5% alc. $27.99. 24Feb2016.

Kahurangi Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) This has a classic rose petal bouquet and it is juicy and spicy in the palate with viscosity to the mouthfeel, lychee-like fruit flavours and a white pepper and ginger-like heat. It’s a soft, low acid style and the sweetness level is off dry. It’s ready to drink and enjoy now and why not at the price. 14% alc. $12.99. 3May2017.

Matawhero Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) A moderately restrained perfume - it's distinctly Gewurztraminer with its gorgeous musky florals, but the aroma caresses rather than punches. There's a lovely touch of sweetness with flavours of orange water & Moroccan spices, a softness to the texture with an oily, almost creamy mouthfeel. A lovely style to drink on its own - it has a smooth, rounded mouthfeel and while powerful, as GW should be, there's a oft honey (Orange honey) notes that tones it right down. Lingering flavours of sugar coated violets and fairyfloss make this such a delight. 12.3% alc. $22.00. 22Jun2015.

Spy Valley Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) Light yellow gold. A delicate scent of pink smoker lollies and rose musk with lemon verbena and lemon balm infused honey, this is on the dry side of medium with beautiful flavours of crystallised violets and sugar-coated rose petal that impart a tantalising floral allure. So elegant and silky in its flow with an exciting orange, ginger and coriander zestiness to the honeyed finish that’s long and intense. Powerful, yet refined, and quite simply stunning. NZIWS Gold. 14.5% alc. $19.99. 30Sep2015.

Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) Tasted alongside Waimea's Classic Riesling and Pinot Gris, this is the palest wine of the trio with a bouquet that is heady and floral – it radiates a musk lolly and orange water sweetness – it smells like my kind of wine. Off dry in the palate with dried / roasted Asian spies bringing it into line. Almost creamy in texture – a concentrated fruit nectar creaminess with ginger adding zing, not overtly floral or fruity – just gorgeously textural - it’s all about the exotic gewurztraminer spices with ginger, orange zest, orange water and preserved lemon rind. Classic. 9.6 g/l rs. 13.5% alc. $23.00. 27Feb2015.

Whitehaven Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2014 (sc) With the opulent aroma of exotic spices, rose water, candied violets, lychees and Moroccan boudoirs how could this stunner be anything other than Gewurztraminer? It is rich and concentrated with moderate sweetness yet has a delicacy that stops it from being overpowering. Silky with a rounded mouthfeel, wonderful aromatic lift and a soft finish, with its spice and musk characters it is a classic expression of the variety. 13% alc. $19.99. 18Nov2015.

2013 Vintage [top] [index]

Aronui Single Vineyard Nelson Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) There's a candyfloss overlay to the scent and the spun sugar sweetness from the 16 g/l residual sugar is immediately obvious in the palate. A medium, rather than full bodied style, typically varietal yet in a restrained way, with violet-infused water and candied fennel on the finish. Too sweet for my spiced pork, kumara and orange casserole, but surprisingly excellent with tasty cheddar. 13.5% alc. $17. 27May2014.

Brancott Letter Series 'P' Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) The classical aromas and flavours of violets and rose musk make it so easy to pick the variety. Joined by just a light hand of Moroccan spices in the palate the flavours are not overpowering and the texture is almost luscious. Just off dry in sweetness level, with lingering flavours of pink musk (smoker) lollies, Gewurz fans will love this aromatic stunner. 14% alc. $19.99. 7Jan2015.
This pale lemon-hued wine smells pretty and sweet, like candied violets with rose petals, lychees and a delicate hint of spice. The palate is smooth, rich and oily with hints of lemongrass, Moroccan spices and ginger infusing the almost luscious musky flavours. An outstanding example from Marlborough, it has a heady warmth and a powerful and tasty finish. 14% alc. $19.99. 4Mar2015.

Cicada Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) A moderately restrained bouquet of candyfloss and violets leads into a deliciously seductive and luscious palate yet it has elegance and restraint with flavours of ginger, exotic spices, orange blossom, candied lemon zest and delectable musk and crystallised violets on the impressively long finish. Made by Riverby Wines. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 24Sep2014.

Crossroads Milestone Series Hawkes Bay Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Hints of rose petals and violets on the nose, and rather luscious but there are underlying phenolics which indicate the wine still needs time. There's juicy exotic tropical fruit, peppery spices, underlying smoker lollies and a rounded mouthfeel with violets and musk on the lingering finish. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 26Feb2014.
Light lemon gold in hue, this is a heady wine both with its floral perfume and its alcohol warmth in the palate. However the key flavours of rose petals and warm Asian spices are not overpowering and it has a lovely smooth texture and flow with a whisper of sweetness to the finish. Affordable ‘everyday’ gewurz that delivers plenty of varietal expression for the price. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 16Jul2014.
Enchanting and delicate scent of violets and Turkish delight. Just off dry to the taste, it’s spicy and just a little peppery with sugar-coated violets. Gewurztraminer can often be overpowering but this one has delicacy. Tasted on release almost a year ago it was phenolic. It’s settled down and the chilled temperature on the night had it drinking beautifully. Perfect match for Thai flavours. 13.5% alc. $14.99. 21Jan2015.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Light gold. Outstanding varietal fragrance of flower musk, Turkish Delight, orange zest and exotics fruit and toasted spices. Quite powerful in the palate with a warming alcohol wham. Everything on the nose – the Turkish Delight, exotic fruit, spices and zest carries through to the fine textured palate. Distinctly varietal and while luscious it gives a impression on the finish of being dry. Very long finish. Lovely wine. 13.5% alc. $25. 27May2014.

Grove Mill Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) A lovely soft wine with an attractive floral bouquet and classical Turkish Delight, lychee and rose petal flavours with a tickle of ginger and white pepper on the finish. Not too overpowering and tonight it was served lightly chilled – perfect for this moderately dry style. 14% alc. $15.99. 9Apr2014.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Pale gold. Wonderfully aromatic, redolent of old fashioned roses, lychees and Asian spices, unmistakable really, all following through to the concentrated palate where there are tickly spices like ginger and white pepper, violet pastilles, smoker lollies and a long soft finish that's just off dry. 14% alc. $19.99. 4Feb2015.

Lawson's Dry Hills The Pioneer Reserve Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) This light gold wine is intensely fragrant and the soft full taste is packed with flavour. It has a bouquet of lemon verbena and spiced lemon honey notes are a highlight in the rich, almost oily palate with the typical rose petal, orange water, oriental fruit, ginger and Moroccan spices so harmonious as the gorgeous flavours linger. 14.5% alc. $29.99. 10Dec2014.
Surprising, or perhaps not, the nose on this upper echelon wine, although distinctive of its variety, is quite restrained. It’s light lemon gold in hue and there is a complexity to both the bouquet and the warm, luscious taste that has a hot, spicy tickle and flavours of lychees and something like brown-sugar and cinnamon grilled pineapple. Fabulous concentration and length – almost creamy in a way, it is rich and textural with hints of violets on the peppery finish. Delicious. 14.5% alc. $33.99. 4Feb2015.

Main Divide Waipara Valley Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) This is a powerful Gewurztraminer that is the epitome of what wine lovers of this varietal expect. It is a medium gold colour with heady floral and spice aromas and there is a touch of sweetness to the flavour that is reminiscent of sugar coated violets, rose petals, lychees and toasted crushed aromatic spices. A concentrated wine with a long finish and a tingle of ginger as the almost luscious flavours linger. Begging for a Thai curry. 14.5% alc. $16.99. 22Oct2014.

Mills Reef Reserve Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Light citrine with heady evocative scents of crystallised violets and rose balm. Spicy and tingly in the palate with upfront white pepper and ginger zestiness., then rich and textural, almost oily, with a touch of honeycomb in the background that adds to the warm luscious mouthfeel finishing with accents of cinnamon, cumin and coriander - that ginger adding a spark to the bright lemon Turkish Delight finish. A rich, satisfying creamy mouthfeel is left behind. 13% alc. $0.00. 28Aug2015.

Spy Valley Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Gorgeous aromas of exotic spice, lemon grass, rose petals and Turkish Delight and equally gorgeous flavours with a lightly viscous texture and the lemon becoming more honeyed and the flavours more luscious with a fresh spicy infusion and a tingly finish. NZIWS Gold Medal tasting. 14% alc. 8Sep2014.
Striking aromas of exotic spice, lemon grass, rose petals and Turkish Delight and equally striking flavours with a lightly viscous texture. The lemon becomes more honeyed and the flavours more luscious with a fresh spicy brightness keeping the wine in balance and a ginger-like tingle to the finish. 14% alc. $18.99. 24Sep2014.
The colour is star bright white gold and the evocative fragrance is reminiscent of old English roses, carnations and violets. It’s a soft, smooth, low acid wine with juicy tropical fruit, lychees and Asian spice flavours and a touch of sweetness without being too sweet. Tingles of ginger and white pepper emerge as the almost honeyed flavours linger. You won’t be disappointed if you take this along to your favourite BYO Thai restaurant. 14% alc. $18.99. 25Feb2015.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Light lemon gold. Aromas of violet candies and Moroccan spice radiated from the glass. Quite a rich, powerful, oily wine - it’s warm and spicy with a little ginger hear. This is a high-toned style with touches of violets, cumin and lemon peel coming to mind. For me this is a food wine, as it is too powerful to drink on its own. We matched to roasted chicken with range from 14% alc. $0.00. 20Jun2015.

Waimea Estate Nelson Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) This straw gold coloured wine is distinctly Gewurztraminer. It's straw gold coloured with a fragrance of sugar-coated violets and exotic spices, and it's full of flavour in the medium bodied palate. Dry-ish, perhaps just off dry, with pink bubble-gum, sweet citrus, a refreshing zing of ginger, classical musky notes and an appealing infusion of anise on the clean, focussed finish. Exciting wine. 13% alc. $18.99. 19Mar2014.

Whitehaven Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Straw gold in hue, this has a bubble gum scent on opening with musk / Turkish Delight and an overlay of toasted aromatic spices. Off dry with exciting flavours of crystallised violets, orange water and honey with a rich, oily finish and a spicy flourish with touches of ginger adding zesty accents as the exotic tropical fruit flavours of this lively wine linger. 13.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal tasting. 9Sep2015.

Zephyr Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 (sc) Straw gold. Aromatic without being overly pungent, but varietal nevertheless. Quite tight in the palate, a little phenolic right now, it's dry in style, a more savoury than floral wine with carnation-like peppery spice and an oily richness evolving as the wine lingers. 14.5% alc. $23.99. 26Feb2014.
Aromatic with a vibrant and appealing tropical fruit scent. Bright, juicy and tasty with an abundant yellow fruit profile – melon, papaya, pineapple, nectarine and later apricot come to mind. Warm with aromatic spices and a little heady on the finish, a lovely wine but atypical for Gewurztraminer and hard to pinpoint the variety when tasting it blind. 14.5% alc. $23.99. 30Jul2014.
Fragrantly aromatic with a perfume of musk and Turkish Delight, then off dry to the taste with a lightly viscous texture and flavours of smoker lollies, ginger and lemon meringue pie decorated with crystallised violets, and while the acidity is soft, there is a spicy zing to the finish from the aromatic spices. 14.5% alc. $18.99. 16Mar2016.

2012 Vintage [top] [index]

Dry River Martinborough Lovat Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2012 (c) Powerful with a luscious aura and distinctly exotic spice and floral infused aroma, that's so tantalising and appealing. The taste is initially characterised by earthy exotic spices mingling with tantalising dried orange zest and dried flower petals. The viscosity and headiness is seductive and the finish is zesty and exciting. 14.5% alc. $60.00. 15Nov2013.

Ellero Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2012 (sc) The bouquet is delicate and shy but the taste is tending towards luscious even though the label says it lacks residual sugars. The perceived sweetness is harmoniously balanced by Moroccan-like spices in the wine. Concentrated and mouthfilling, with typical Central Otago restraint for this varietal, with hints of rose musk and tangelo zest joining the spice and a long lingering finish that is super dry. Matched to prawns and pumpkin fritters seasoned with coriander, cumin and fennel - the whole combo with yoghurt and lemon oil just divine. 13.9% alc. $27.00. 25Nov2013.

Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2012 (c) Light gold with a bouquet of Moroccan spices and cottage garden flowers, this spicy almost peppery wine has a luscious factor with subtle lychee flavours that are balanced and refined. Gold Medal. 13.5% alc. $32.99. 28Aug2013.
Lustrous pale gold. Violets on the nose with lemon Turkish Delight and exotic but subtle spice. The bouquet is gorgeously aromatic but for Gewurz a little 'shy', but in the mouth this wine has so much power and flavour. It's dry in style with a touch of clove, cinnamon, carnation-like pepper, violets, rose petals and great mouthfeel and texture. 13.5% alc. Diam. $26.99. 2Oct2013.

Lawson Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2012 (sc) Light yellow gold with an enchanting scent of musky florals, Moroccan spices and Turkish Delight. Vibrant and tingly in the palate with zingy ginger-like spices that dance around the mouth in harmony with the earthiness of cumin, the juiciness of orange and a suggestion of violets. Moderately dry with just a touch of sweetness to give the wonderfully long finish impeccable balance. 14% alc. $22.99. 25Jun2014.

Lawson's Dry Hills The Pioneer Gewurztraminer 2012 (sc) A full bodied wine with a bountiful fragrance of Moroccan spices, exotic Asian fruits and candied violets and a mouthcoating texture, it initially seems quite dry and a little restrained for New Zealand Gewurz, but it is gently sweet and definitely has underlying concentration and power. Full of those lovely rose petals, spices and exotic fruits with a touch of honey, a tingle of zest and lingering musk, this is made from possibly Marlborough's oldest GW vines. 14.5 % alc. $29.99. 29May2013.
Gosh, this light yellow gold coloured wine smells gorgeous. The bouquet radiates flowers, spices and zest and it’s beautifully restrained in the palate An off dry to medium style with plump stonefruit and pears macerated in rosewater and honey then adorned with exotic spices and a sprinkle of white pepper. Rich, ripe, concentrated and textural with a touch of oak just noticeable in the background, this is definitely not your everyday Kiwi gewurz, it is in fact very much like Alsace Grand Cru in style. 14.5% alc. $33.99. 16Jul2014.

Main Divide Waipara Valley Gewurztraminer 2012 (sc) Honey, Moroccan spices, rose petals and violets on the nose with the violets a keynote in the almost luscious palate together with lychee, orange water, a zing of ginger tickling the tongue and an intriguing musky savouriness lingering on the full-bodied finish. A rich, complex and delicious example. 14% alc. $16.99. 6Aug2014.

Seifried Nelson Winemakers Collection Gewurztraminer 2012 (sc) Light gold coloured with a heady floral, musky, spicy bouquet and it a full-bodied, powerful, rich, oily, unctuous palate with carnation-like peppery notes and aniseed coming through. More spice and vinosity than fruit, although there is a definite orange blossom note and a citrussy zing. 13% alc. $22.99. 19Mar2014.

Te Mania Nelson Gewurztraminer 2012 (sc) Although the scent is delicate, there is no doubt as to the variety. It's fairly dry and not too overpowering to drink on its own. It's spicy and gently spritzy with fruit flavours of apples and pears and delicately floral, becoming more powerful as the wine traverses the palate with the quintessential spicy musky characters of Gewurz a lasting memory. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 8Jul2013.

West Brook Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2012 (sc) Light gold in hue. Heady and floral on the nose with a perfume of crystallised violets and rose musk. The mouthfeel is soft and rounded and the fruit, that’s reminiscent of lychees in syrup, is a powerful feature with zingy accents of white pepper and ginger. There’s obvious sweetness but the well-balanced candied orange and grapefruit acidity gives the finish an impression of being much drier. Tasting blind there is no doubt at all what the variety is. 13.5% alc. $16.99. 13May2015.

2011 Vintage [top] [index]

Brancott Estate Letter Series 'P' Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Glossy straw green gold colour. The aroma of Moroccan spices and candied violets is classically varietal without being too overpowering. 'P' has its heritage in Gisborne where it was characteristically a heady, opulent style but I think Marlborough adds more zingy freshness and bright fruit characters to balance the sweetness more harmoniously. There's loads of ginger with rose petals and an exciting carnation pepper character, orange water, star anise, Dutch biscuit spices and a dry finish. A lovely wine with a silky texture. 14% alc. $25.99. 15May2013.

Dry River Martinborough Lovat Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2011 (c) There’s a touch more zest to the fragrance, but it seems a little more waxy too. That contrast (yin & yang) carries through to the palate. Honeyed and a little earthy with Moroccan spices and dried orange zest, it's very tingly as it lingers then spiced orange honey emerges on the bright lasting finish. Great expansion and length. Some lovely nuances of violet too. 14% alc. $50.00. 15Nov2013.

Eureka Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Classically varietal with a bouquet of musky rose petals, Asian spices, smoker lollies and freshly squeezed tangelo following through with lovely intensity and focus in the palate. Fairly dry, with a soft oily texture and a concentrated finish where’s there's a very appealing tingle of ginger and five spice. With a portion aged in Acacia barrels and wild yeast adding complexity, this is a truly delicious wine and a phenomenal match to a fresh Golden Queen peach and Thai Basil salad. 14.5% alc. $25.00. 25Feb2012.

Greystone Waipara Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) There's orange blossom and Moroccan spice o the nose then in the palate it seems on the dry side of medium but it has a luscious factor too. It has orange honey with a bit of bitter marmalade, dry roasted Moroccan spices and a rich, full finish. Lovely, well balanced sweetness, those orange and spice notes just so appealing and the mouthfeel and texture too. Matched to pork cutlet done two ways. Marinated with orange and coriander gets three ticks but in the other marinade the sesame oil was overpowering. 14% alc. $29.95. 6Dec2013.

Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2011 (D) The heady bouquet is so distinctive of the variety and the textures and flavours are smooth, soft and silky with a deep musky savoury backbone, rose petals, orange water and a gentle spice infusion. Showing a little more restraint than we would expect from this producer, it's like a bud that’s about to unfurl. Excellent. 13% alc. $29.99. 22Feb2012.
Light gold with an intensely heady and aromatic bouquet of Asian spices and rose musk and a smooth texture – almost heading towards oily. It tastes off dry to medium sweet with five spice characters, a zing of white pepper, orange water, lychees and spiced baked apples, then candied violets and rose petals on the powerfully long finish. Needs to be lightly chilled. 13% alc. Cork. 29.99. 26Jun2013.

Old Coach Road Nelson Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Lemon coloured hue, intensely varietal bouquet of Turkish delight, rose petal and lemon oil, but strangely a little fizzy / spritzy to the taste with ginger and lemon and bubble gum esters. A medium sweet wine with loads of tropical fruit flavours and served very well chilled it will be a fun wine for summer. 13% alc. $15.50 23Aug2012.

Rockburn Spitfire Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Light lemon hued with a pretty floral and lemon cream biscuit scent, this is a powerful, concentrated and rounded, off dry in style, heading towards luscious, with lemon citrus cream, Turkish delight, violets and spice There's also an intriguing earthy character that waxes and wanes and the only negative for me in this wine. The name has nothing to do with the classic single-seater war plane, it is named after the tank the wine had been fermented in. 29 g/l rs. 13.4% alc. $33.00. 23Aug2012.

Seifried Nelson Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Pale straw. Smokers, musk and a sweet suggestion to the bouquet. Plenty of action in the palate, a medium-bodied style, moderate textural complexity, lashings of ginger spiced apple and pear – strudel-like, and I'm thinking gewurztraminer for pinot gris drinkers. More textural when chilled, with pink bubblegum, smoker lollies, flowers, cloves, aromatic spices and orange water at the end. 16 g/l rs. 12.5% alc. $18.00. 23Aug2012.

Spy Valley Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Perfumed and aromatic with a distinctly lemon scented floral bouquet then in the soft-textured palate a lovely touch of aromatic spice and white pepper infuses the musky pear flavours that have a savoury undercurrent. The brightness of orange zest gives a lovely burst of freshness to the finish. A fairly delicate style for this sometimes flamboyant variety but with a finish that lasts and lasts. Delicious. 14% alc. $20.99. 22Feb2012.

Te Mania Nelson Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Although quite quiet aromatically and delicate on first tasting, it has a beautifully varietal bouquet with a layer of honey and expresses the best nuances of the grape. There's a touch of sweetness, honey, candied violets, musk, orange water, Turkish delight and the finish is expansive and strong,. Beautifully balanced throughout it got my top vote both at room temperature and chilled. 14.5% alc. $21.99. 23Aug2012.

Tohu SV Nelson Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Pale coloured, with a gorgeous scent of violets – it’s like sticking your nose into a bouquet because you have to, to get the most of the delicate scent. A soft, gentle wine with just the right amount of sweetness, it slowly seduces with its beautiful flavours – my kind of wine, Flower musk, orange water, heady and long with a spicy infusion that brings everything into balance. 9.7 g/l rs. 14% alc. $19.75 16Dec2011.

Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Ripe fruit aromas and flavours with a spicy complexity. Passionfruit, candied pineapple with hallmark rose petals and lychees and a warm, lifted finish. Full-bodied, mouthfilling and intense, hard for Gewurztraminer lovers to resist. 14.5% alc. $19.99. 19Sep2012.
Unmistakeable as to the variety, it resonates rose petals, five spice and juicy exotic tropical fruit. The perfume is delicate rose petal but the taste is more violet. It's luscious without being too sweet or overpowering. 14.5% alc. $18.99. 6Mar2013.

West Brook Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc)This is classic Gewurztraminer. There's a layer of honey coating the floral bouquet, and the flavours are luscious, exciting and memorable with ginger and exotic spices, violets, stonefruit, lemon verbena and flower nectar and a lovely savouriness underpinning the wine too. Warm and textural, and at times seemingly luscious, yet it finishes moderately dry. 13.2 % alc. $20.99. 27Feb2013.

Yealands Single Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2011 (sc) Aromatic and spicy both o the nose and in the palate with a suggestion of freeze dried pineapple joining the tropical fruit it's just off dry with a light viscosity to the texture and finishing with white pepper, jasmine and cardamom. 14% alc. $24.95. 25Jun2013.

2010 Vintage [top] [index]

Alan McCorkindale Waipara Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Intensely heady and aromatic with violets and rose petals on the bouquet and rich, intense, mouthfilling, unctuous flavours of Turkish delight, rose water and exotic tropical fruits with Alsace-like concentration. 13.5% alc. $25.99. 26Sep2012.
A powerful wine with a heady rose oil and exotic fruit bouquet and a texture that is so smooth, almost oily, as it crosses the palate. With lychees, rose musk, candied fruits, honey and ginger-like spices there is lots going on and the off dry, almost luscious finish is delectably long. 13.5% alc. $25.99. 27Feb2013.
The bouquet is musky old-fashioned roses with a hint of cinnamon bark and the taste is powerful and vibrant. It's a slightly drier style than most with a little bottle age and the flavours are orange water infused with heated aromatic spices and a lingering taste of lychees. 13.5% alc. $25.99. 4Sep2013.

Coopers Creek Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) With a beguiling perfume like an old fashioned rose garden, it's spicy and intense in the palate with exotic Asian fruits, rose petal sand jasmine, a seamless texture and a dry spicy finish that lingers delightfully. Amazing value for this lovely wine. 13.5% alc. $13.99. 24Aug2011.
Light yellow gold with a fragrant violet and wild rose scent and powerful yet harmonious flavours of ginger, smoker lollies and crushed coriander seed. Smooth almost oily in texture with moderate sweetness. 13.5% alc. $13.99. 14Dec2011.

Distant Land Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Quintessential exotic scents of Turkish Delight and spice and classical varietal flavours of juicy lychees with smoker lollies and a touch of hot spice that leaves a white pepper tingle behind. Quite luscious, yet not overly sweet, it's balanced by musk and orange zest. Absolutely stunning when served chilled and a good match to Chicken with Thai Basil (Gai Pad Gra Pow). 11.2 g/l rs. 13% alc. $19.00. 21Apr2011.
Light in colour with a quintessential Turkish delight and rose petal bouquet and classical varietal flavours of lychees, Turkish Delight, musk, orange zest and five-spice. The texture is silky and mouthcoating and everything compounds in deliciousness and intensity. 13% alc. $19.99.
Very pale gold with a distinctly soapy, musky, rose petal aroma and powerful mouth-coating flavours. Quite spicy and sherbetty with pink smoker lolly flavours and deliciously balanced sweetness, it could almost be described as luscious. 13% alc. $22.99/$19.99. 16Nov2011.

Dry River Martinborough Lovat Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2010 (c) Moderate citrine gold. Beguilingly fragrant, a lovely infusion of exotic spices, spring flowers and nectar. The tastes and mouthfeel is concentrated and smooth, a touch luscious with dried rose petals and honeysuckle in behind then a ginger zestiness pulsating through. Vibrant and exciting with impeccable balance, it has seamless flow. Tasted alongside the other the 2011 and 2012, you can see it has a mellow veneer. 13.5% alc. $50.00. 15Nov2013.

Ellero Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Straw gold. Spice and honey on the nose, warm and heady in the palate with lovely spice poached peach and a long, rounded finish. Seems moderately sweet when tasted at room temperature. Chilling is needed to keep the sweetness in check. Garners more violet and flower musk characters over several hours in the open bottle. 14.3% alc. $27.00. 2Nov2011.

Framingham Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Reminiscent of ginger nuts on the nose, this tastes classically varietal with rose petal, lychee and Turkish Delight and a soft fine mouthfeel. It has a lasting rich weighty impression with a ginger-like spices and a touch of sweetness that imparts a sense of lusciousness without being cloying. 14% alc. $29.99. 22Feb2012.
Powerful aromatics of honey wax, flower musk, tropical fruit and exotic spices, it's seems moderately luscious and heady when you taste it with its powerful floral rose-water nature and a zing of ginger. A very rich, honeyed style, just starting to pick up a mellow edge. Needs food and would be ideal with pumpkin soup in the winter, so why not a spiced pumpkin salad for summer. 14% alc. $26.99. 8Jan2014.

Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (D) Turkish delight, exotic spices and orange blossom fill the bouquet and carry through to the palate of this rich, intense wine. It's honeyed with a very fine texture, similar to but not as sweet as the Albert Mann, just balanced to perfection with a delicious finish that lasts and lasts. Outstanding – perennially one of New Zealand's best. 13.5% alc. $32.99. 23Feb2011.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) This is ripe and sweeter. There's a subtle smoky nuance to the sweet with exotic tropical fruit like babaco and pepino, then gewurz's typical rose petal nuances with delectable sugared violets and spiced citrus coming through. It's silky almost creamy in texture with lingering flavours of peach nectar. 14% alc. $19.99. 28Nov2012.
There's more violet florals both to the aroma and flavour of this silky textured wine, which seems much drier and headier and more white pepper spicy. The tasty lychee, peach and candied lemon flavours are luscious, however, with a juicy mid palate and a long creamy finish. 14% alc. $20.99. 27Feb2013.

Lawson's Dry Hills Pioneer Series Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Light gold coloured with a beguiling, exotically scented perfume and lovely balanced sweetness to the flavour that's infused with rose water, orange spices, Turkish Delight, ginger and carnation-like nuances. Rich and intense without being overpowering, it has a lovely mouthfeel and a lasting finish. 14.5% alc. $33.99. 9Nov2011.
Bright gold with a powerful bouquet of rose petals and spices and full flavours of warm pepper, ginger, cardamom and other Asian spices. Texturally smooth and rounded with a light viscosity, rose musk, orange water and a touch of apricot. A partially oak-fermented wine and despite the moderate sweetness, it seems to finish dry. 14.5% alc. $33.99. 21Mar2012.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) The first impression is the heady fragrance of highly musk scented rose petals. Then in the mouth a tickle of ginger-like spritz. But it's full-bodied and luscious and as the tickle subsides the mouth-coating texture becomes silky and smooth. Too powerful for the food. Later the sulphides and wild yeasts are quite prominent. Interesting wine. 14% alc. $31.95. 8Jul2013.

Rippon Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2010 (c) Light gold coloured. A little closed on the nose. Initially seems sweetish, and when chilled there's a burnt lemon toffee character to the scent, but the taste seems quite dry. Laden with spice and rose water with a touch of cumin, coriander and grapefruit zest, this wine is also savoury and what I call 'dark' and when it is chilled, the wild yeast character becomes dominant, trying to take over. I wouldn’t recommend chilling. Surprisingly good match to spicy beef rissoles. 14% alc. $33.00. 23Aug2012.

Spy Valley Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) A heady scent of dried petals, essential oils and orange pomander carries through to the soft, oily textured palate. The lovely flavours of spiced oranges and lychees are pricked with ginger and white pepper finishing with a touch of honey. 14% alc. $17.99. 23Feb2011.
Light gold in colour with a fragrant perfume of musk, Turkish delight and Thai Basil, this tastes quite dry when chilled but there's a sliver of sweetness as well. Full of varietal expression with a soft, pleasing, almost oily texture, the captivating flavours are reminiscent of lychees, cardamons, rose musk and candied spiced orange zest. 14% alc. $17.99 4May2011.

Te Whare Ra Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) There's so much more pepper in this rich concentrated mouthful of heady lusciousness, it seems. Earthy spices like cumin and cardamom add an exotic intrigue and classic Turkish Delight and rose petal linger on the rich, juicy finish. 14% alc. $29.99. 22Feb2012.
With distinctive aromas that only Gewürztraminer can deliver, this light golden wine has a bouquet of incense, middle eastern spices and rose petals and sweet musky flavours infused with rose water, praline and ginger, then those evocative exotic spices fill out the finish. Smooth and textural with a light viscosity to the luscious mouthfeel. 14% alc. $33.99. 25Jul2012.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) This has such a heady scent of incense, rose petals and Turkish delight. A powerful tasting wine with a silky smooth texture, hot spices and candied peel and the typical floral and rose petals, it is wild yeast fermented, which adds to the opulent mouthfeel and complexity of this 'just off dry' style. 13.5% alc. $29.99. 14Nov2012.
Crisp and dry, which is unusual for many homegrown Gewurztraminers, this is focussed and pure with no cloying characters at all. Flower musk, violets, lychees, Moroccan spices, sumac and ginger-like heat combine in harmony. Gorgeously silky in texture and for a 4-year-old of this variety, it is looking exceptionally fine. 13.5% alc. $26.99. 27Aug2014.

Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Pale lemon with typical Turkish Delight, lychee and exotic spice scents, served chilled it's spicy and zesty with an unctuous texture but not overly sweet. Turkish Delight and violets fill the palate with a hint of rose water and a clean finish. Perfect with Thai. 14.5% alc. $19.99. 30Nov2011.

West Brook Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Pale in colour, this has Moroccan spices on the nose together with rose essence and lychee. Fairly dry in style, yet rich and spicy with a tickle of ginger that adds a refreshing zing to the lasting finish. 13% alc. 8Nov2010.
A heady perfume of citrus blossom, rose talc and Moroccan spices, this is a medium dry style yet still has that soft acidity and lusciousness with a spicy richness, lychees, sweet citrus and hints of tarragon, while white pepper and ginger add a zing to the finish. 13% alc. $20.99. 23Feb2011.
Pale lemon with heady scents of Turkish delight, rose oil, flowers and spice. It's seems quite luscious with its low acidity and moderate sweetness, there's a lovely slipperiness to the texture and the flavours are packed with lychees, rose musk, violets and a refreshing zing of ginger-like spice. 13% alc. $19.99. 18May2011.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) The bouquet is concentrated with scents of smoker lollies, Moroccan spices, honey and a nuance of natural yeast funk. It's an off dry style to the taste, not cloying, with a touch of spritzy zest to balance the sweetness. Tasted lightly chilled I found violets, Turkish delight, orange water, anise and coriander seeds, a silky texture and a richness to the lasting finish where a touch of honeycomb comes through. With partial natural ferment in old oak and full malo, it's all about layers and texture. 13.5% alc. $29.99. 8Jun2011.

Whitehaven Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (sc) Decadent and lavishly expressive of the variety, this is a moderately dry style with a lemon yellow hue and aromas and flavours of Turkish delight, rose musk and oriental spices. It compounds in richness with a lovely creaminess to the texture and a touch of orange zest lingering. 14.5% alc. $17.99. 31Aug2011.

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Index to Varietal Tastings
Chardonnay Gewurztraminer
Pinot Gris Sauvignon Blanc Other Whites
Bubblies Sweeties Pinks
Cabernet dominant Merlot dominant Pinotage
Pinot Noir Shiraz Other Reds

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