2016 Domaine Weinbach, Gewürztraminer “Cuvee Theo” Vin d’Alsace, France -photo grapelive

2016 Domaine Weinbach, Gewürztraminer “Cuvee Theo” Vin d’Alsace, France.
One of my favorite Holiday Season wines is Domaine Weinbach’s beautifully golden and exotically spiced Cuvee Theo Gewürztraminer and this 2016 is as good as it gets with ripe flavors and a polished structure, it pairs well with food and weather, holding up to both with grace, but with a real impact in the glass. Weinbach’s version feels dry with minimal residual sugar and good vibrancy, especially this stunning 2016 edition, it has just enough sweetness to curb the phenolic bitter tendencies that overly dry Gewürztraminer can develop and gives a silken opulence that aids mouth feel and makes it awesome with spicy and or boldly flavored cuisine. Domaine Weinbach, owned by the Faller family is one of the great estates of Alsace, and I love all of these wines, they are among the most sought after along with Domaine Marcel Deiss, Trimbach, Albert Mann and newcomer Agathe Bursin, Weinbach produces richly concentrated, fragrant and nuanced offerings, including gorgeous dry Rieslings, Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer, like this Cuvee Theo, as well as a few outstanding last harvest bottlings. This estate has a reputation of quality and I’ve never been disappointed with anything in their range and their top Riesling bottlings have to be some of my favorites and most collectable, especially worth checking out is the fabulous Schlossberg Grand Cru, Cuvee Laurence and Grand Cru Cuvee Ste. Catherine.

The elegant off-dry Gewurztraminer from the oldest vines in the estate vineyard Clos des Capuchins, near the majestic Schlossberg (hill) Grand Cru, and is named “Théo” refering to Catherine Faller’s father, Théo Faller, one of the most respected winemakers in Alsace during his life, before his passing and before his daughter, the late and greatly missed Laurence took this domaine to new heights in the late nineties and early 2000s. Since 2016, Catherine, Collette’s (Theo the elder’s wife) daughter has lead the estate winery with her sons, Eddy and Théo, who are growing quickly into the traditions of Weinbach and the region. As of 2005, the entire property is farmed biodynamically, with the monopole Clos des Capucins vineyard, which is as the winery notes, is composed of sandy silt soil on granite pebbles, that allows this terroir ripen much earlier, producing wines with complex aromatics and a powerful density, which this 2016 Theo shows. This wine, which was fermented and aged in large used oak casks, starts with an incredible perfume of liquid roses, honeysuckle, white violets and cloves as well as baked apricots before opening up to a medium full palate of spiced pear, lemon/lime, peach, crystalized ginger, intense lychee, dried pineapple, spearmint and a hint of wet stones and mineral tones. The lush textural 2016 still has some nice zip and is fairly crisp in detail adding orange peel, anise and nutmeg to the crashing wave of flavors.
($35 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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