Wine review: Alto Adige Gewürztraminer Elyond DOC

I have left much of the wine writing to S recently but have now found some new inspiration for other drinks than coffee. I recently spent some time in Italy (for business) and managed to sample some interesting wines. First out of the reviews is a Gewürztraminer from the very north of Italy in Alto Adige. The wine is Alto Adige Gewürztraminer Elyond DOC. The winery is the Laimburg Estate Wines located at the foot of the mountain called Monte di Mezzo in the South Tyrol. Wine has been produced and traded for a long time in the area, there are even recent discoveries of grape seeds that are 2400 year old. The current winery has been producing for more than 40 years.

The winery is actually a branch of Laimburg Research Centre of Agriculture and Forestry that works for the advancement of viticulture in South Tyrol. The winery is a half public institution, not sure how that influences their work but I could imagine that the fact Laimburg grows and produces the entire spectrum of South Tyrol’s wine varieties is connected to it. There are numerous wines produced and they are divided into two broad categories. The Estate Wines are vintage wines with a focus on varietal character, matured either solely in stainless steel or partially in large oak barrels. The Manor Selection are wines with distinctive personality: they are mostly aged in oak barrels or are specially selected.

The Alto Adige Gewürztraminer Elyond DOC is not what I would normally go for but I felt a bit adventurous so opted for this powerful white wine. It belongs to the Manor Selection and is high in alcohol content at 15%. The grapes of Gewürztraminer Elyònd come from one hectare of vineyard, situated at 350 meters above sea level, on a limestone soil, gravel and with a mixture of clay located in the town of Sella, Tramin, according to the winery one of the best areas for this varietal. The grapes have been harvested manually followed by aging for 8 months in steel tanks and for 12 months in bottle.

Unfortunately I must say that the alcohol was very present in both the nose and the flavor of it. The color was however nice golden yellow. The nose had hints of dried figs and raisin and there were clear floral notes of rose petals and lavender and a, to me, unpleasant hint of the alcohol strength. The flavor is however unfortunately also influenced by the high alcohol level. There is a lingering acidity and some spices in the flavor. I am not at all a big drinker of Gewürztraminer and this one did not convince me to change my opinion. I would rate it as a 2.5 in quality and the same for value for money (it costs around €12 for a bottle in stores and I had a glass for €5 in a restaurant in Milan).