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STEPHEN TANZER'S INTERNETIONAL WINE CELLAR


GEWURZTRAMINER SPOREN SGN 2007

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95(+ ?)

Bright gold. Pure, tangy, botrytis-rich aromas of apricot, peach syrup, orange, honey, cured meats and spices, all lifted by a note of lily. A glyceral, honeyed liqueur of gewurztraminer in the mouth, with wonderfully fresh, concentrated, palat e-staining flavors of game, fruit salad and spices. At once lush and almost painfully intense. This has 180 grams of residual sugar yet finishes with a distinctly firm edge, saturating every millimeter of the palate.


GEWURZTRAMINER SPOREN 2007

94(+ ?)
(Meyer's first vintage from a new parcel of degenerating 23- and 35-year-old vines that produced a tiny crop in 2007) Bright yellow. Explosive aromas of passion fruit, fresh apricot, cured meat, lichee and spices. Quite scented and fine in th e mouth, with penetrating, racy acidity giving this wine amazing precision and cut. Wonderfully dense, clean and spicy gewurztraminer with great verve and inner-mouth perfume; like an essence of the grape. The rising, palate-staining finish offers terrific lift. With aeration, this VT-weight wine (13.1% alcohol with 55 g/l r.s.) really shut down in the glass, suggesting it will need several years of aging. A knockout. These vines were picked on October 23, and the one-third portion rich in botrytis was reserved to make an SGN.


GEWURZTRAMINER FURSTENTUM VIEILLES VIGNES 2007

94


Pale golden-yellow. Varietally expressive aromas of overripe peach, smoky cured meats and clove. Fat, silky and wonderfully fine-grained, with lovely ripe acidity giving lift to this magically smooth wine. Very fresh on the back end but without a trace of phenolic bitterness. This offers a similar balance to the old-vines Wineck-Schlossberg but is more expressive and suave in the early going, benefiting from lovely calcaire energy. Another utterly compelling 2007 gewurztraminer.


GEWURZTRAMINER WINECK-SCHLOSSBERG 2007

93


Bright, full yellow. Sexy yellow fruits, honey, cured meat, bergamot and clove on the nose. Fat and silky on entry, then broader and riper than the Sporen but without that wine's cut or acidity. This is from early-picked fruit in a sun-drenched site, and is a classically spicy, granitic expression of the variety, with an almost roasted VT aspect. I suspect that many tasters would describe this as more typical gewurztraminer than the Sporen. Finishes with terrific spicy lift.


RIESLING KAEFFERKOPF 2007

92(+ ?)


Pure but closed nose hints at orange, medicinal herbs, ginger and curry powder. Rich and broad in the mouth, with an almost exotic quality to the flavors of ripe peach and mandarin orange. Really spreads out and stains the palate on the fruity, stony, very long finish, where it leaves behind a trace of sweetness and really vibrates. Like the Wineck-Schlossberg, this lovely grand cru riesling is carrying seven grams of residual sugar. At this point in our tasting, Meyer expressed the opinion that the 2001 vintage produced a more powerful style of wine than did 2007.


GEWURZTRAMINER WINECK-SCHLOSSBERG VIEILLES VIGNES 2007

92(+ ?)


Bright golden-yellow. Carnal, gamey yet very fresh aromas of pineapple, cinnamon and Asian spices. Supersweet and powerful but still tightly wound, with concentrated acidity not yet in perfect harmony with the wine's sweetness. Conveys an impression of tension, but this is much less expressive today than the regular Wineck-Schlossberg, which includes a portion of 15-year-old vines. A rather powerful wine from old vines affected by millerandage This was bottled in May.


RIESLING KAEFFERKOPF 2006

91


(14% alcohol with 18 g/l r.s.) Pale yellow. Pure aromas of pineapple and crushed stone; perfumed but considerably less exotic than the Wineck-Schlossberg. Quite rich but clean in the mouth, with firm mineral-driven acidity giving the wine cut and grip. Perhaps fruitier than usual for this cuvee, but this is still the least vintage-influenced riesling in 2006. The wine's rather masculine, minerally, youthfully aggressive finish will require three or four years of cellaring. But this has excellent potential. Only Meyer's best parcel of Kaefferkopf went into this bottling in 2006.


RIESLING WINECK-SCHLOSSBERG 2007

91(+ ?)


(this very sunny site was harvested at 13.8% potential alcohol on September 17 with very ripe skins but good acidity, according to Meyer) Good pale color. Peppery aromatic herbs, raw pineapple, anise and flowers on the perfumed nose. Rich, dense and thick but vibrant, with soft citrus and elderberry flavors lifted by some unabsorbed CO2 Really resounds with minerality, mandarin orange and pepper on the back end. Still youthfully unevolved but sappy on the finish. Today this is the most floral of Meyer's trio of riesling grand crus, finishing with a lime tea note that reminded me of muscat Ottonel. Meyer volunteered that he would love to be able to make this style of wine every year.


PINOT GRIS HINTERBURG DE KATZENTHAL VENDANGES TARDIVES 2007

91


Good bright straw color, a bit deeper than the regular Hinterburg. Aromas of pineapple, curry powder and ginger, with earth and mineral notes and a smoky, toasty element that does not come from oak (the wine was made entirely in stainless steel). Sweet and spicy in the mouth, with enticing sugar/acid snap cutting the wine's glyceral texture and giving the youthful fruit and spice flavors a penetrating character. Firmly built, very young wine that will need a couple years of bottle aging to reveal its personality. Picked later than the regular Hinterburg but with no more botrytis.


RIESLING SCHOENENBOURG 2007

90(+ ?)


(from very clean grapes harvested on October 10, according to Meyer) Pale straw color. Very pure aromas of lemon, curry powder, flowers, spices and fresh herbs, with a whiff of reduction. Lemony and brisk but more intensely flavored than the Pfoeller, with more personality to its flavors of underripe pineapple, ginger and flowers. A saline element contributes to the dusty quality of the long, stony finish. The vines here are only about 15 years old but yield tiny grapes due to a high proportion of millerandage.


PINOT GRIS HINTERBURG DE KATZENTHAL 2007

90(+ ?)


Exotic stone fruits and mango complemented by flint and smoke and a whiff of marmaladey botrytis. Fat and sweet but not at all heavy, thanks to harmonious acids that energize the wine's fruit. This concentrated, very ripe, peachy fruit bomb boasts almost riesling-like energy, like many of my favorite pinot gris examples from this vintage. Meyer suggests serving this with foie gras or alongside a fresh fruit salad.


RIESLING PFOELLER VENDANGE TARDIVE 2007

89


(from fruit picked on October 23, two weeks after the regular Pfoeller) Bright yellow. Fruity but reticent aromas of tangy peach, nectarine, curry powder and pepper; there's something gruner veltliner-like about this. Then quite sweet but penetrating, with firm acids cutting the wine's mid-palate creaminess. Finishes spicy and slightly edgy. Very primary today, but not showing the complexity or distinction for an outstanding rating.


GEWURZTRAMINER KAEFFERKOPF 2007

89(+ ?)


Bright gold-tinged straw. Musky, superripe aromas of pineapple syrup, honey, nutmeg and clove. Tightly wound, intensely spicy and firmly structured, with only moderate sweetness to its crunchy fruit flavors. Finishes firm-edged and strict, with a light tannic impression. Only about 15% botrytis here, noted Meyer. This will need patience. Gewurztraminer for the riesling lover.


GEWURZTRAMINER WINECK-SCHLOSSBERG VENDANGES TARDIVES 2006

89


(from 50-year-old vines planted on a steep, east-facing granite slope on the border with Kaefferkopf) Full yellow-gold. Exotic aromas of orange and medicinal herbs (Benedictine?). Then concentrated, rich and quite sweet (70 g/l r.s.), but with penetrating acidity and a flinty minerality giving the wine almost painful cut today. Complicated by a peppery impression of mountain herbs. Not yet complex but this will be very interesting to follow. Wears its near-14% alcohol gracefully.


RIESLING PFOELLER 2006

89


Very ripe on the nose, but with vibrant, musky citrus and chalk notes. Then tighter-grained in the mouth than the Wineck-Schlossberg, with less evidence of botrytis and a more obvious stony character giving a lighter touch to the wine. Still, there's an essential creaminess to the mid-palate and a hint of exotic fruits. Ripe acidity firms the persistent finish. Just six grams of residual sugar here, according to Meyer.


RIESLING VIGNOBLE DE KATZENTHAL 2007

88


Good pale yellow. Pure, subdued aromas of pineapple, stone and ginger; more complex than the Riesling Reserve. Then richer and sweeter in the mouth (actually just five grams of r.s.), with ripe peach and white nectarine flavors enlivened by penetrating but harmonious acids. Finishes juicy, dense and pristine, with lingering stone fruit flavors. Meyer told me this was a bit riper than he would have liked, but there's balance and spine here due to the wine's firm acidity.


PINOT GRIS RESERVE 2007

88


Good bright straw color. Bright, expressive aromas of flowers, spices, vanilla and flint. Dense and peachy, with just a hint of sweetness to the intense flavors of stone fruits, orange, smoke, spices and butter. Slightly phenolic and dry-edged on the back end, and still youthfully tight. There was very little botrytis here, noted Meyer, who aged half of this wine in a new foudre.


GEWURZTRAMINER RESERVE 2007

88


(this includes fruit from vines Meyer is now renting in the Riquewihr area) Good pale yellow. Aromas of yellow plum and spices. A supersweet, ripe fruit bomb in the mouth, but with good precision to its creamy, spicy flavors despite an impression of lowish acidity. At once full and fresh, but showing limited complexity today. A tad edgy on the persistent finish. This was picked with potential alcohol of 16.3% and finished with about 40 grams of residual sugar.


RIESLING WINECK-SCHLOSSBERG 2006

88


(from 20-, 30- and 50-year-old vines; the young vines in this grand cru went into the Katzenthal bottling in '06) Bright yellow. Intriguing nose melds orange, nectarine, smoke and flint. Denser and sweeter than the Vignoble de Katzenthal, with a silkier texture and an exotic spice element. Quite creamy and fat in the middle, no doubt due to an element of noble rot ("the grapes turned violet in just three or four days," noted Meyer). Finishes rich and long but with a firm edge.


GEWURZTRAMINER KAEFFERKOPF 2006

88


Expansive nose offers mirabelle, pineapple, flowers and a hint of bitter quinine. Broad, pliant and rich, with sweet pineapple, clove and earth flavors of decent purity. Finishes fat and persistent, with a mineral firmness and a slight hard edge. Richer than the '06 riesling from this site (this is carrying 45 grams of residual sugar) but less pure. Am I underrating this?


PINOT GRIS DORFBURG 2007

87


Pale straw-yellow. Reticent, pure, slightly raw aromas of yellow peach, pepper and ginger. Stony, peppery and moderately ripe, with good power and thrust but a distinctly herbal element. There's moderate residual sugar here, but the overall impression is of skins that could have been riper.


RIESLING PFOELLER 2007

87(+ ?) ?


Pale yellow. Expressive citrus, spice, herb and pepper aromas, with a note of smoky, flinty reduction. Juicy but slightly bitter-edged fruit is currently dominated by strong citrussy acidity, giving this recently bottled wine (all of Meyer's wines were bottled about three weeks before my visit) an extremely dry, strict quality. Almost brutal today. This fruit appears to have been harvested quite early.


MUSCAT VIGNOBLE DE KATZENTHAL  2007

87


Good pale color. Fresh, perfumed aromas of spring flowers, lime and peppermint oil. Juicy and dry, with excellent cut and a light touch. A delicate but concentrated and penetrating wine that really needs a year in bottle to express itself. Production was tiny due to hail.


SYLVANER "F" VIEILLES VIGNES 2007

87


(from Furstentum) Bright straw color. Complex aromas of flowers, herbs, lemon and hazelnut. Quite dry, almost austere, with a penetrating quality to the flavors of white fruits, lemon, lime, flowers, spices and licorice. Finishes dry and a bit edgy, with a riesling-like peppery quality that remains this side of vegetal.


RIESLING VIGNOBLE DE KATZENTHAL 2006

87


( two-thirds from vines on granite, and one-third declassified grand cru) Medium yellow. Aromatic nose of pineapple and crushed stone. Supple and juicy, with good intensity to its peach and pineapple flavors. A granitic flinty quality firms and extends the finish and gives the wine lift. Sweeter fruit here than the basic riesling, which came across as a bit hard-edged in comparison.