A bottle of Biggio-Hamina Andreas Vineyard Gewüztraminer, of course! I am not terribly used to seeing colourless Burgundy bottles, even less so seeing them filled with bright pink wine – but I will try anything once, twice if I like it!
The winemaker, the lovely Todd Hamina, told me that ‘this is an orange wine, but it is pink so there you go!’ Not sure what an orange wine is? Let me get you a definition for that:
Orange wine may refer to one of four very different types of wine.
- Fruit wine made from orange juice rather than grape juice.
- Sweet white wine macerated with orange peel.
- A style of wine (usually dry wine) made from white wine grape varieties that have spent some maceration time in contact with the grape skins, giving the wine an orange color.
- A wine produced in the Orange wine region of New South Wales, Australia.
Thank you Mr Wikipedia!
Toddy’s Gewürztraminer is obviously the third type listed there, but as Gewürztraminer has darker skin than most white grape varieties it produces a pink orange wine – simple! On with the note!
If I had not read the grape variety on the label I would have swore blind from the nose it was a Muscat rosé a petite grains wine! It smells so deliciously fresh and grapey – none of that strange Gewüztraminer ‘spice’ just fruit and flowers exhibiting themselves with wanton libidinousness. It simply smells a thousand times more delectable than the most sophisticated date you can imagine.
I fully believe Toddy’s claimed 13% alcohol stated on the label. This a parsec away from the disgusting 16% monsters that swine like Zind-Humbrecht produce. And their wines are not such a pretty colour! I say “Pooh!” to you, Olivier Humbrecht, “Pooh to you with knobs on!”
Ok, I am not going to claim that this is the most wildly complex and profound wine to have passed under the Elitistreview set of noses, but it smells wonderfully delicious, totally harmonious and I think there is a shade of complexity to keep the analytical parts of your brain working whilst you mentally undress the nose of this wine.
The palate has the same Muscatty fruit, but it is not as voluptuously intense as it is on the nose. That does not deminish its charm.
What I must admit to being surprised by a little is the astringency of the palate. Ok, it is not Chateau Pradeaux 2001, but it is distinctly tannic. Rather appealingly tannic given its good fruit level.
And, praise be, I have tasted a Gewüztraminer with an adequate level of acidity! Shocking for a Gewüztraminer not to be a blowsy, dumpy, petulant schoolgirl, eh?
With the acidity and tannin this palate has a good structure to support the perfumed fruit and it makes for an engagingly refreshing drinking experience.
I can see that not everyone would enjoy a pink, tannic, acidic, harmoniously alcoholic, Muscat-scented Gewüztraminer, but they would be wrong; this is a very good wine by any measure.
If I had a bottle left I would keep it for that brilliant masculine moveable feast ‘Nipple day’. This is the first day of the year when young ladies find it warm enough not to wear a bra, whilst it still being cold enough for observant men to register said ladies are not wearing a bra. Such a brilliant holiday screams for quality wine and I think this would suit most pertly.