2006 Michel Leon Gewurztraminer

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Plume Ridge Wine Negotiants

What They Said:

Per Hawks Head Wines “The Laugel family have been producing wine here since 1889 when Alsace was part of Germany. With classic rose petal and lychee aromas this elegant white has good varietal character and lovely complexity. Grapefruit and citrus notes keep it refreshing and the finish is long and balanced with good integrated acidity. This is a lovely example of this Alsace speciality, drinking well now but will keep to 2009. (Drink now to 2011)”

What I Think:

Another Gewurztraminer from the Alsace. As you can see from my write up on the Marcel Hugg. This was even before my recent return visit to Fleur de Lys where I had the Trimbach once again. Amazingly enough, they have this same Trimbach at Trader Joe’s. If you feel like dropping a $20 spot on that one stop reading here.

Now back to this wine. Hard to find a write up here, awfully common for wines for Trader Joe’s wines I find. I was able to track down something from a UK retailer selling this at £8 (about $16) which makes this one at $7 seem quite the steal already. On the nose you get light floral and citrus notes. On the palate the profile is almost custard like and at first I thought it was sweet. Later I realized it was more from a texture perspective than on the palate. The fruit, mostly lemon, faded quickly and led to a nice tight mineral finish. We had this as an aperitif before dinner with cheese and it worked perfectly. Not as good as the Marcel Hugg but good enough to buy until I find something better.

Rating: Buy It

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15 thoughts on “2006 Michel Leon Gewurztraminer

    • I have not. Guessing it is worth a try and would be perfect with Turkey. If you are looking for something that I have tried I could offer up some Rieslings. Let me know if that is of interest…

  1. I did try the 2008 and in my opinion, It would be a great turkey wine. The custard-like finish of the wine would go very nicely with the white meat of the turkey. The wine is nicely balanced and does have citrus notes, and I do taste a hint of sweetness. That hint is not overpowering, like some German Rieslings and Gewurztraminers can be.

    • @Toni Glad you enjoyed this one, planning on buying any more? That is always my ultimate gauge of how much someone liked a bottle. Think it might be time for me to pick up the latest vintage of this bottling and get reacquainted…

  2. Ok, just a little geek note about this wine.
    I tried it at varying temps and found it really opens up at 60 degrees. Any colder and there was a bitter bite. Had several people come back for it during Thanksgiving and over the holidays. It’s really the only “dry” Gewurtz TJ’s carries so far as the domestics are off-dry to sweet.

  3. @Angela Nice! Love the geeking out. It is always a conundrum on the warm to cold scale. Too cold equals shut down and often too warm means no crispness. As mentioned above, perhaps it is time to reacquaint myself with this one. After all I can’t afford to drink Navarro Gewurzt all the time :<)

  4. @georgie Did you know my wife was Swiss? We have raclette parties for her birthday every year. While Alsace is a great region for this pairing, this would be a little too sweet for me with raclette. The Now & Zen would be a better choice as it has a bit more acidity to balance out the cheese. Outside of TJ’s a dry Riesling or Pinot Blanc (potentially from the Alsace) or a Gruner Veltliner from Austria are also excellent choices…

  5. I didn’t know your wife is Swiss! Great birthday tradition, raclette is so delicious and a wonderful time.

    Lately we’ve been drinking Alsatian-style Chateau St Michelle Riesling, and sometimes Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages with raclette. We were given a bottle of Fendant by a visitor but I didn’t get to taste it, lots of diners that night.

    I appreciate your help, we’ll do something else with the Gewurztraminer.

  6. @georgia My father-in-law is from Valais which is the primary canton from which Fendant (which is more generally known as Chasselas) hails. Though they are a perfect match for raclette, a good Swiss wine in the states is hard to come by… As for the Gewurzt, if you like any spicy Asian foods that is a favorite pairing of mine…

  7. Sounds good, Jason. Thanks for your advice.

    My goodness, a trip to see the in-laws is certainly something to look forward to!

    I never find Swiss wines. Once had a mineraly white from Luxembourg that we enjoyed but that was from one of those wine clubs, never saw it again.

    Thanks, again.

  8. @georgia Indeed, my brother-in-laws family actually owns a winery there. Someday soon I hope to visit! Too small to address your thought on never finding Swiss wine. When I ask folks why this is, I often hear that we are smart enough to keep it all for ourselves…

  9. I suppose production must be fairly low, makes sense that there isn’t much leftover to export. Alas, woe is us.

    Never made it back to the store so I’m serving the Alsatian-style riesling tonight and some Belgian pale ale, too. I’ve often thought, while eating raclette, that beer would taste really good with it. Anxious to see how it goes.

    I hope you get the winery visit on your to-do list! I’m a little bit jealous. :)

  10. We just finished another bottle of the 2008 (great bargain buy at TJ’s) and it still impressed for the price.

    I’ve been drinking Gewurtz’s since the mid ’80s and as said before, this one does justice to the grape for the value. It’s a rare domestic Gewurz that’s dry enought for our palate.

    Having enjoyed many of the higher end Alsatians I must say that this one does hold it’s own.

    We will continue to buy and enjoy this wine.



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