April Wine Letter - Gewürztraminer

The leading South Tyrolean variety with 100 Parker points
Is "Nussbaumer" from Tramin Winery the best Gewürztraminer? The clayey limestone soils of Tramin-Söll are the South Tyrolean "cru" Gewürztraminer - and the central "Nussbaumer" location is their "grand-cru". Actually, a Gewürztraminer "Nussbaumer" from master cellarman Willi Stürz is in need of a gun licence: thanks to its intense aroma (lychee, papaya, mango, cloves and roses)! Whilst drinking this powerhouse of essences, you don't notice its potent alcohol content until it's too late - 2 glasses of "Nussbaumer" are wonderful, a third one is still pleasurable, anything beyond that sends one over the edge, enthuse sommeliers jokingly.
The Tramin winery cooperatives have now tried preserving the freshest aromas in a new Gewürztraminer at the other and more northern end of South Tyrol: in the Ridnaun mine or more precisely in the Poschhaus tunnel, at an altitude of 2000 metres where silver, lead and zinc used to be extracted. A vintage batch of approx. 1200 bottles of the new Gewürzertraminer "Epokale", a medium and certainly good late-harvest white wine (5.6g acidity - 107g residual sugar - 12.5% alc.) from the best locations in Tramin/Söll, the Gewürztraminer-Grand-Cru of South Tyrol, has been stored here since 2010. Astonished visiting experts, master cellarmen and the wine itself journey for a quarter of an hour on the tunnel train and then they have arrived: 4 tunnel kilometres into Schneeberg, 450 metres below the mountain, pitch dark, 90% humidity, a constant temperature of 11° - keeps the new Gewürztraminer from Willi Stürz quite fresh. The huge effort has paid off: Robert Parker, the most influential wine critic in the world, awarded the 2009 "Epokale" 100 points - the first South Tyrolean wine to be awarded this magical top mark! Guests at VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol do not have to make the arduous journey to the Poschhaus tunnel, "Epokale" from Tramin Winery has long since been lined up on the shelves of the well-stocked VINUM Hotel wine shops and awaits inquisitive wine aficionados!
Aspirations for the South Tyrolean Gewürztraminer have also emerged in the other top wineries. Elena Walch with their Vigna "Kastelaz" and the Hofstätter Winery with their Vigna "Kolbenhof", both from the Gewürztraminer village of Tramin, are among the most important ambassadors for this grape variety in the area. With tantalising rose fragrances and opulent, almost baroque fruit notes, Kurtatsch "Brenntal" from the local wine cooperatives has impressively penetrated the phalanx of Tramin.
The favourite Überetsch wines - "Flora" from Girlan Winery, "St. Valentin" from St. Michael Winery, "Lafóa" from Schreckbichl Winery and "Passion" from St. Pauls Winery - inspire us not only with their sumptuous fruit medleys and flower bouquets, they also surprise us with their intriguing salty flavours, echoed on the palate from all the layers of rock from which the vine roots have absorbed nitrogen, minerals and trace elements. The miracle word here is: minerality.
Gewürztraminer also thrives splendidly in the cooler northern parts of South Tyrol, in Eisack Valley. And as the export figures of Neustift Winery show, Gewürztraminer from this monastery winery is coveted even in the white wine region of Germany. One of the few Gewürztraminers able to thrive without lime, grows along the edge of the Eisack Valley. In the northernmost cultivation area of South Tyrol, the harvest must wait until mid-October in order to soak up of the last rays of sunshine. It is exposed to considerable temperature fluctuations, making it appear elegant and slender. In the nose its fragrance shines through on an acidic background, not with intense sweet spicy notes, but rather with peppery ones. A unique pleasure!
The VINUM-Hotel - May Wine Letter:
"Marlinger Weinkuchl" - the smallest and most relaxed wine event in South Tyrol

From the end of May to the middle of June, "Marlinger Weinkuchl" will take place for the fourth time. The village of Marling
stretches across a hill, west of Meran. Located in the immediate vicinity of the spa town, Marling offers the benefits of the city and at the same time the tranquillity of rural surroundings. At "Marlinger Weinkuchl" wine is the focus of the Marling tavern-like kitchens. Traditional-style cooking as well as innovative dishes, with wine as the main ingredient will be on offer. Needless to say, accompanied by specially selected wines. In addition, participating restaurants take turns to hold wine tastings from Marling wineries and vineyard estates. A must for all guests staying at VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol!