It’s time for Steinwein!


It’s sadly more than ten years since I visited the Franken region in Germany. This has however not kept me away from the wines of Franconia, au contraire, I am very fond of the great Silvaner wines emerging from the region, not to mention the just as spectacular Spätburgunder wines.

However, Franconia is so much more than Silvaner and Spätburgunder. Of course you will find the Riesling as well but i am still to be convinced about its greatness here. Not to be forgotten are the Muskateller, Rieslaner and of course, the Gewurztraminer.

The renowned producer of Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist has fashioned a most aromatic and minerally 2008 Gewurztraminer from the site of Würzburger Stein – the vineyard that for decades was synonymous with Franconian wine and also explains the term “steinwein”.

This is what Gewurztraminer is all about! Yes it is floral and perfumed in its aroma but also shows freshness, restrained tropical notes and a mineral touch I can’t remember having experienced before in a Gewurztraminer wine!

There’s a slight sweetness to it in the taste but the vibrant acidity and the mineral , reminding me of the flint in Pouilly-Fumé, adds structure, freshness and gives the wine a complexity not always found in these floral wines.

Just as lovely with food as it is delicate just sipping. The production of Gewurztraminer is not one of considerable quantities in Franconia and can therefore be tough sometimes to hunt down. The Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist has its own web shop though where you will find the 2009 at the moment. Something’s telling me this will be even better! At EUR 14,40 it is one of the summers must wines!

N.B. A producer which decides to use stelvin on a quality wine like this, knowing it it supposed to be drunk young, deserves some credits. Bravo!

(2008 Würzburger Stein Gewurztraminer Spätlese Trocken, Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist, 91 points)

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