Van Roekel 2019 Gewürztraminer

Van Roekel 2019 Gewürztraminer

Winery/Vineyard: Maurice Car’rie Winery
Product/Varietal: Gewürztraminer
Vintage: 2019
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: David Raffaele

Rating: 90

How They Describe It

Established in 1986 by Budd and Maurice Van Roekel, Maurice Car’rie Winery is one of the first in the region. Located in beautiful Southern California, dedicated to creating a memorable wine experience. Our winery takes special care to nurture our wines with a unique style. No matter what you prefer, we are sure “You’ll want a second glass”.

Our 2019 Gewürztraminer is fresh, fruity and wonderfully versatile as a food pairer. It boasts exotic floral and spicy aromas, dancing on the mid-palate and showing off the capricious varietal charm without being heavy or ponderous. It showcases a seamless balance between sweetness and acidity, with fresh lychee and roses on the finish. Pairs well with spicy Asian and Indian dishes.

How I Describe It

The 2019 Gewürztraminer is a very pale lemon color. This hints at an early harvest, likely because the grapes ripened quickly in the warm Temecula sun.

Right off the bat, lemon and grapefruit aromas permeate from the glass. Green apple, pear, lychee and pineapple follow, along with a touch of chamomile flower.

While citrus juice is heavy on the nose, the 2019 Gewürztraminer features lemon and grapefruit zest on the palate. Next, Pineapple and lychee — common flavors for Gewürztraminers — arrive alongside tart green apple. Chamomile and wet stone round out the bouquet of flavors.

This is an off-dry wine, meaning there is still enough residual sugar to provide a hint of sweetness, though not enough to be the dominant taste. In addition, Medium-plus acidity and medium alcohol (12.1% ABV) contribute to a medium-plus body (by white wine standards). Flavor intensity is medium, along with a medium finish.

Why Is This Wine Special?

Before diving into the wine’s features, let’s first tackle the wine’s name. In 1989, winemaking couple Gordon “Budd” Van Roekel and Maurice Car’rie Van Roekel created two wineries in Temecula. One was named Van Roekel Vineyard & Winery, and the other Maurice Car’rie Winery.

Budd passed away in 2012 at age 88. The Van Roekel property was sold, and is now Avensole Winery. Budd’s wife, Maurice Car’rie, continued the family legacy, and today, Maurice Car’rie Winery still produces wines under both the Van Roekel label as well as its own namesake.

Now, to the wine. Maurice Car’rie Winery just released their 2019 vintage after selling out of the 2018. Why is this significant? Because the 2018 Gewürztraminer dominated in wine competitions last year. Most notably, the 2018 vintage won Best of Class, Best of Varietal, Best New World White, and GRAND CHAMPION at the 2019 New World International Wine Competition (NWIWC).

The 2019 vintage should also be a strong performer.

It’s impressive because Maurice Car’rie produces such high-quality Gewürztraminer, despite the grape’s native region being so much colder than Temecula. It’s not uncommon for Temecula winemakers to work with cool/cold climate varietals. However, the Alsace region in Germany is even colder than Burgundy or Bordeaux. In the US, Gewürztraminer is primarily grown in similarly cold climates, like Monterey, Washington, and New York. For a Temecula winery to grow Gewürztraminer, and then to outperform cold-climate winemakers, is a feat of skill.

I would also be remiss not to mention Maurice Car’rie’s brie bread. Only found in Temecula at this particular winery, guests at the Maurice Car’rie tasting room can order a full loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread, hollowed out, and filled to the brim with melted brie cheese.

It’s as delicious as it sounds, and pairs perfectly with the Gewürztraminer.

When & How I Would Drink It

This is a superb warm weather drink. When refrigerated overnight, the chill mutes some of the sweetness, heightens the acidity slightly, and brings out more of the citrus flavors. You can taste the sugar more as it approaches room temperature, as well as more of the tropical notes.

Mentioned above, the Van Roekel 2019 Gewürztraminer pairs extremely well with dishes like baked brie or sourdough bread. The saltiness and fat of the food combine with the sugar and acid in the wine to bring out desirable elements. Likewise, East and South Asian dishes pair well for similar reasons. When pairing with protein, look toward poultry, fish, shellfish, and perhaps pork and bacon.

How to Get It

Order Online: (Don’t mind the vintage listed. You’ll receive the 2019.)

Bottle Price: $23.95 (20% discount for wine club members)

Cases Produced: 180


Have you tried the Van Roekel 2019 Gewürztraminer? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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