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Memories of Alsace

nigelmuscat.jpgRecently I tasted a bottle of the best Alsatian Gewürztraminer I’ve had in a very, very long time. The only problem is that it was neither Alsatian nor gewürztraminer, but it reminded me in every way of the steely, yet flowery and perfumed racy lush balance that seemed to define gewürztraminer from Alsace. Sadly, as I have often written before, Alsace today all-to-often produces blowsy, over-ripe semi-dessert wines that deaden the palate instead of enlivening a meal.

The lovely wine that so reminded me of what used to be great about Alsatian gewürztraminer was the 2004 Nigel Gelber Muskateller, Kremstal from Austria. Racy, and steely with a refreshingly biting acidity supporting the floral, lychee nut and tropical fruit aromas and a graceful 11.5% alcohol, this is a wine that almost demands a second glass. Grab this for all those pan-Asian meals that used to call for gewürztraminer and you will be far happier. Also, at under $20 a bottle this is a real value and you’ll get a trip down an Alsatian memory lane in the bargain.