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What our expert thought of Dopff au Moulin, Gewürztraminer




the tasting

The Tasting


A not-quite-medium straw/gold, this is actually quite pale for Gewurz, whose coppery-pink skins often yield deep golden wine.  No extended skin contact here!
 
There’s a lovely, exotic nose of jasmine and rose petals, backed by tropical fruit that’s more papaya than lychee, along with candied pineapple and little hints of Turkish Delight.  It has medium++ intensity, which is not huge by Gewurz standards, and is considerably fresher and more elegant than most.
 
The palate, on the other hand, is huge.  There’s real concentration here, with intense stone fruit and citrus flavours that expand and unfurl in the mouth: apricot, peach and mandarin peel.  Undoubtedly full-bodied, the wine has a texture that is almost oily yet not heavy, thanks to decent acidity and almost complete dryness.  It’s actually just off-dry, but I didn’t notice the touch of sweetness until the finish.
 
There’s plenty of time to notice things on the finish because it seems to go on for minutes, filled with roses, more tropical fruit, warm sweet spices and a slightly savoury, almost bacon fat quality.


Assessment


This wine was a standout at a huge tasting (almost 700 wines) earlier this year.  I was sampling a German Gewurz that was excellent but out of our price range, and when I confessed as much to the producer she very generously said, “then you must try the Dopff”.
 
She was right – it blew me away!  That delightfully elegant nose is actually quite restrained for a Gewürztraminer, so the knockout palate and almost endless finish came as quite a surprise. 
 
But the real surprise is the way Dopff have managed to combine that intensity with elegance, especially in a hot vintage like 2015.  This wine is balanced in a way that’s rare for this grape and is perhaps thanks to the profusion of different sites and soils that their 160+ growers were able to contribute to the blend.
 
13.5% is about the minimum ripeness for Gewurz to develop its sought-after flavours, so harvest dates have clearly been expertly timed to retain adequate acidity while allowing the grapes to ripen just enough.  I especially like the way this wine is almost dry, which makes it much fresher and more food-friendly than most Gewurz.  The faint sweetness on the finish is just enough to balance any bitterness from those mandarin peel flavours.
 
Gewurz can be rather a Marmite grape – you either love it or hate it – but I find that this one is very easy to love!



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear medium- straw/gold, strong slow legs hinting at high alcohol
Nose

Intensity medium++, not huge for Gewurz but elegant & fresh

Aromas floral (jasmine, roses), tropical fruit (candied pineapple, papaya, slight lychee), hint of Turkish Delight

Development youthful
Palate

Sweetness just off-dry, only detectable on finish

Acidity medium(-?), good for grape

Body full, mouthfilling & oily, yet not heavy

Intensity high

Flavours stone fruit (apricot, peach), citrus peel (mandarin)
Finish

Length very long

Flavours as palate, roses, sweet spices, slightly savoury (bacon fat?)
Other notes
Huge palate and finish, yet elegant. Concentration! Unoaked.


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