White Springs Estate Farm Winery2006 Gewurtztraminer
At White Springs Farm, Gewürztraminer is the reddest of the white wines. Winemaker Derek Wilbur ferments the pinkish grape on the skins - red wine style - to extract phenols that contribute to structure, mouth feel and taste. Wilbur says he wants a more tannic finish to match the aromatics of the wine, while anticipating a hint of sweetness from the alcohol.
With a rich nose of creamy orange blossom, guava, and vanilla, this wine becomes more austere with a slightly tart finish and a grip of acids on the way down. This wine is Gewürztraminer in the nose, but more Sauvignon Blanc in the mouth with a piney, resinous character and an underlying pungency, traits attributable to phenolics extracted from the skins.
For the 30 productive acres, this was the first year of a full crop for the young vines, which were planted in 2000, and set back by harsh winters of 2004 and 2005. Perhaps the most tender of white vinifera varieties, Gewürztraminer on the tasting sheet signals a seriousness among producers. Yields are highly variable, ranging from 1 ton per acre to 6 tons. They are so cold tender, that some producers pull the canes to the ground in the fall and bury them to protect them from deep freezes. As part of the same class of aromatic vinifera grapes as Riesling and Viognier, Gewürztraminer excels in the Finger Lakes, in favorable years.
“Gewürztraminer is not the variety you grow to make the mortgage payment,” Wilbur says. White Springs doesn’t bury vines, but the vineyard, about half a mile on the west side from Seneca Lake, benefits from exceptional air drainage and sandy soil.
Reviewed December 14, 2007 by David Falchek.
David Falchek writes a weekly wine column for several newspapers in Pennsylvania, including the Scranton Times-Tribune. He also contributes regularly to trade publications such as Vineyard & Winery Management and Beverage Media. David has judged regional, national, and international wine competitions where he likes to think he lauds outstanding Seyval or Foch just as readily as Cabernet or Riesling.