ZMOR Winery2005 Dry Gewurtztraminer, Martinelli Vineyard
(Russian River Valley)
With this singular wine, Dan Moore establishes the instant template for what a Russian River Gewurztraminer is all about. Moore, who made dry Gewurztraminer under his Zmoore label between 1985 and 1995, left that varietal behind when he began specializing in Pinot Noir. When he left Arista in Healdsburg, Moore and partner Jeff Morgan decided to resurrect Moore’s old Gewurz project that had made 11 spectacular, bone-dry wines.
“I knew we could get great fruit,” said Moore, who now uses two brilliant Gewurztraminer vineyards, one at the Lee Martinelli winery and another off Slusser Road. “We’d been playing with it for a number of years and in 2005 all the right conditions presented themselves,” said Moore, who made 350 cases.
The wine, fermented in older barrels, went through complete malolactic fermentation. “It’s a unique style of Gewurztraminer. We were looking to make an ultra-premium white wine,” and he suggested that those for whom Alsace Gewurztraminer these days is too sweet would appreciate its bone-dry nature.
The malolactic, he believes, gives added depth to the wine. Flavor and aroma-wise, the wine is a gem, with rose oil, dried gardenia, lichee and a depth of flavor rarely seen in such wines. Moore admits it may be a bit pricey, but he said the superb fruit is expensive, and that regular buyers are supportive. “People who understand the ultra-premium segment of the market, and dry Gewurztraminer, understand what this wine is all about. There aren’t many like this. It’s not a mainstream style.”
Reviewed February 9, 2007 by Dan Berger.
Dan Berger has been reviewing wine for 30 years, always seeking character related to varietal type and regional identity. He has never used numbers to rank wine and doesn’t plan to start any time soon. He believes that weight and concentration aren’t the only worthy aspects of wine and is especially smitten by cool-climate and food-friendly wines that offer distinctiveness.