We love it when The Chairman is in town. There’s quite a bit of history and we talk about old times and times moving forward. He’s a very knowlegeable man when it comes to wine, but he never makes discussing it too involved. A simple and thoughtful comment on how he sees it is enough. There’s nothing to argue about, and you wouldn’t want to in any case. What’s more, he’s a magnaminous soul, allowing each to have a say and opinion, even if they are wrong. But he lets you know, sensitively and concisely, often with just a word, if you are on the wrong track.
We took the spicy route with a comparison of two Marlborough Gewurztraminers. Not the most fashionable grape and from a region better known for other varieties. But these two are among the best, not only for Marlborough, but for New Zealand. I adore the 2013 Te Whare Ra Marlborough Gewurztraminer. It’s all about sheer finesse of richness. Old vines, 34 y.o. endow the wine with a subtly unctuous and seamless texture and great presence and concentration. Yet there’s a power that belies its elegance. SWMBO and I are besotted with this. But The Chairman could see the alcohol and a touch of heat. He’s right of course, but the wine still has us under its spell.
The comparison was the 2013 Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer. It is equally delicious. A more opulent and up-front wine, bolder in spicy and exotic expression. This is the ‘out-there’ style we get knocked-out by. There’s so many wishy-washy examples out there, and this wine reminds you what Gewurztraminer is all about. A little more grainy and textured, the phenolics noticeable. But then the fire and drive a little more harmonious and balanced. The Chairman preferred this, marginally. A draw in the end, and two wines to spice up our evening.