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A simple, and simply delicious, fruity dry gewurztraminer from one of the best co-ops in Alsace. Its distinctive rose-petal fragrance and hint of spice makes it a great match for delicately spiced dishes.
Product Code: AL13301
View all products by Cave de Turckheim
The Cave de Turckheim co-operative was founded in 1955, and has been a leader in bettering the reputation of Alsace wines. It is now a substantial vineyard owner in the region, with 216 growers cultivating vines principally in Turckheim (a pretty village just north-west of Colmar), but also Wintzenheim, Niedermanschwihr and as far north as Riquewihr.For many people, gewurztraminer represents the quintessential taste of Alsace wine, and Cave de Turckheim grow this with passion and expertise, with its everyday wine, which is sold as an own-brand wine for many companies worldwide, to old-vine and grand cru bottlings, which offer some of the best quality the region has to offer.They also grow several other classic Alsace varieties (many of which they have in common with their German counterparts across the Rhine) such as riesling, sylvaner, muscat, and pinot in all three of its gris, noir and blanc forms. Grapes are grown in diverse soils, including limestone, granite, gravel, marl and sandstone, all of which impart different characters and styles to the overall blend of the wines. Harvesting is both by hand and machine, depending on the character of the vineyard, and where possible, Turckheim practices environmentally friendly vineyard techniques, now including some organic bottlings.
The region of Alsace lies in the rain shadow of the Vosge mountains in north-eastern France, divided from Germany by the mighty Rhine River. With the Vosge peaks protecting it from prevailing, rain laden westerlies it is one of the driest and sunniest parts of France outside of the far south and is a wonderful place to grow grapes.However, the wines of Alsace are sadly still often misunderstood. Their Germanic names, flute-shaped bottles, reminiscent of their Rhine and Mosel counterparts, and diversity of styles have all caused confusion and doubt in the minds of those consumers unfamiliar with them. Furthermore the pursuit of quality through lower yields and later harvests has come with higher levels of sweetness in many wines, though most are dry and eminently suitable for drinking with food.In contrast to many French regions, Alsace labels are relatively easy to read for many a modern wine drinker, showing as they do the grape variety clearly. There are some multi-grape blends too, and give or take some pinot noir production almost all the wines are white. The hierarchy of appellations is simple to understand too, with AC Vin d’Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru and AC Cremant d’Alsace for sparkling wines being all you need to know. Vendange Tardive and Sélection des Grains Nobles are two further designations within those classifications for wines made from later-harvested grapes that are higher in sugar and wines made from grapes affected by botrytis (aka noble rot) respectively. Grand cru wines must be made with grapes from a named vineyard site of that designation harvested at lower yields than those permitted for AC Vin d’Alsace wines. Though they are not all equal in terms of quality and many were granted such status to satisfy local political demands, many of these sites are producing some of the greatest wines of the region. There are about 50 such grand cru sites in Alsace and wines from these sites can only be made from four noble varieties – riesling, muscat, pinot gris and gewurztraminer – though the grand cru vineyards themselves can be planted with any permitted variety. Curiously, though, it is often the producer name and brand that is considered of higher importance than cru, and some producers do not use the name of a grand cru vineyard on the labels of wines made from those sites. Different producers are known for their house styles and it is often this, and the trusted quality of their ‘brands’, that attracts the savvy drinker. The grape varieties are varied. Gewurztraminer is a grape that divides people into those who love it and those who hate it. Highly aromatic, with scents of lychee, rose petals and spice (gewürz is the German word for spice), sometimes very dry and sometimes richly sweet, gewurztraminer from Alsace can accommodate many difficult food pairings. They include Thai and other aromatic Asian foods, ginger-infused foods, and washed rind cheeses such as Munster.Muscat, so often made to be sweet in other regions, is nearly always bone dry in Alsace. Perfumed and grapy, muscat makes an excellent aperitif and partner to asparagus. Pinot blanc is an excellent everyday wine, not so aromatic, clean and round and often blended with auxerrois with which it share a similarly clean scent and flavour profile. Pinot gris produces full, rich wines, less spicy than gewurztraminer and capable of long ageing. It can be a superb match for food, particularly roast goose, smoked fish, Oriental dishes and a varied cheeseboard. Sylvaner is now an endangered species, being superseded by other varieties. It makes lively, refreshing whites with good acidity that in the best examples can age surprisingly gracefully. It is often drunk with food in Alsace restaurants, particularly onion tart, ham, bacon and pork.Riesling is, for many cognoscenti, the region’s greatest wine. Here it produces dry, fuller-bodied styles with more rounded acidity. Like its lighter, often sweeter German counterparts, it develops great complexity with age, taking on its distinctive petrol aroma. The red pinot noir grape ripens easily in Alsace and more and more wines are being made, with more substance, colour and aroma than their historical forbears. Some from the best producers are showing the ability to age well.Please see our How to Buy Alsace Guide in the Wine World & News section of our website for a more detailed feature on the Alsace region.
As in much of Europe, a complicated growing season, with early heavy rains and mildew pressure. Flowering was cool, damp and protracted followed at last by hot dry, even drought conditions for some, in August. Thankfully a little rain in the second half of September revived the vineyards just in time for the harvest. Careful picking was required and the very dry conditions did have a major impact in some vineyards with up to 20% of production lost. A healthy crop, but one with little noble rot. 2016 is a good year for the later ripening varieties: pinot gris, gewurztraminer and riesling, and overall better than 2014. Volumes also look pretty good, which is much needed after three short harvests.
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"Having read other reviews I feel a bit churlish for saying I did not really enjoy: not enough body and not enough complexity of flavour to make this stand out in any way."
Mr Dan Cook (06-Oct-2016)
Mr Mark Holland (11-Aug-2016)
"This 2014 vintage is a leap in improvement and a quality wine at a relatively modest price. I drank it with Cajun chicken, and then with lemon drizzle cake, and it worked equally well with both, which is an indication of it flexibility. A really good buy if you like this style of wine."
Mr Mark Jones (09-Jul-2016)
"This is a wine from one of the local co-operatives and one I keep going back to as for a base level Gewurz it presses all the right buttons. I love Gewurztraminer, but the higher up the pecking order one goes the less food friendly it gets. At Grand Cru level it is best on its own or with a range of cheeses, but certainly not with anything savoury no matter what those who love Asian dishes may say. This entry level example though is a different ball game altogether. It has a sound structure, good balance, reasonable concentration plus some exotic, spicy fruit flavours that don't overpower the food. It is also one of the drier examples around as well as being excellent value. Highly recommended."
Mr Nigel Skelsey (29-Mar-2016)
"I keep going back to this wine. We try other things for a while, but always return to this affordable pleasure. It is excellent before a meal and holds its own with spicy food. I hope it is not a crime to serve it with a Chinese take-away. My three daughters, all under 21, also enjoy a glass, so its is not beyond a 'modern' palate."
Mr Andrew Thompson (29-Jul-2015)
"This Gewurtz was part of my first order from The Wine Society. I served it as an aperitif to a friend visiting from New Zealand. I had remembered that he is a Gewurtz enthusiast and I am pleased to report that it was very well received and we all enjoyed it. I think this is excellent value at £8.95. It was not too dry and at 13% not too big. Much appreciated and thank you."
Dr Stuart Gould (31-May-2015)
"I love Gewurztraminer, but the higher up the pecking order one goes the less food friendly it gets. At Grand Cru level it is best on its own or with a range of cheeses, but certainly not with anything savoury no matter what those who love Asian dishes may say. This entry level example though is a different ball game altogether. It has a sound structure, good balance, reasonable concentration plus some exotic, spicy fruit flavours that don't overpower the food. It is also one of the drier examples around as well as being excellent value. Highly recommended."
Mr Nigel Skelsey (18-Nov-2014)
"I love Gewurztraminer and this entry level example is very good indeed. Good structure, balance and concentration plus plenty of exotic fruit flavours. Excellent value."
Mr Nigel Skelsey (23-Sep-2014)
"This Gewurtz has become a staple white in our house as my wife hates mouth-puckering acidity and this is full and smooth and rich. It feels a bit sweeter than 2 on The Wine Soc scale but that may just be because it is full in the mouth and rich with no rough edges. I love its versatility - it's great with a mild curry and tuna and chicken in cream sauce and smoked salmon and can also work as an accompaniment to red meats for those who don't drink red wine. It is also great with blue cheese - well, almost any cheese, actually. You have to love the gewurtz grape, of course, but this is a lovely example that doesn't melt your credit cards."
Mr Timothy P Stockil (01-Aug-2014)
"This is our preferred choice to accompany a Chinese takeaway. Glorious nose. Always a joy. Sufficiently flavoursome to keep pace with the monosodium glutomate! At £8.95 it isn't cheap but I haven't found anything anywhere that beats this wine for taste at this price. Have been enjoying drinking this wine for years. Is it me or is the wine now being made sweeter? It's probably me."
Mr Bernard J Barton (20-Apr-2014)
"Had been persuaded by friends to try Gewurztraminer, so started with this one and drank it with smoked salmon on Rye bread. Found it nothing like as dry (off dry?) as I should have liked, although it is classified as only 2 on your dry-sweet scale. I'd put it at 3 at least, if not 4. I'll maybe try the Trimbach2011 before deciding Gewurz is not for me.
Mr John Bagley (19-Apr-2014)
"Very nice example. Bouquet in particular is strong and perfumed without being overpowering. Clean fruity taste with a lovely long finish. Will be ordering again I suspect."
Mr Tim Hodgson (27-Jan-2014)
"I was underwhelmed by this bottle. It lacks the fragrance one would expect from a Gewürztraminer. It feels fat and heavy in the mouth. The main saving grace is the initial honeyed rose petal flavours, which gives way to a slightly astringent finish.
The Wine Society has much more to offer in this price bracket."
Mr James Nattrass (05-Sep-2013)
"I love the Alsace Gewürztraminer but not this one, over sweet and one dimentional with not a trace of lychee or the flower petal taste I expect. Disappointing, not recommended, far better around for similar price!"
Mr Terence Eastham (15-Mar-2013)
"As lovers of Indian and far-eastern cooking, we find that this gewurztraminer is a brilliant accompaniment to Indian and Thai food."
Mr Bryan Michie (03-Oct-2012)
"Thank you for your email. I feel minimally qualified to offer a comment on this wine but I very much enjoy this inexpensive, basic Alsace gewurzt. In my experience it is an excellent partner for smoked salmon, especially if the latter is London cured and I have also often enjoyed it with pissaladiere. I hope this helps.
"It's good without food. However I bought it to accompany the Friday curry - it does this very well."
Mr Roger Slaney (20-Jan-2012)
"For us, even more perfumed and intense, on both nose and palate, than the 2008. Whatever, this seems to us one of the best WS wines in its price range and fully a match for corresponding Chileans or other New Worlds, also very good, of the same or slightly higher price."
Mr John L Moles (14-Jan-2011)
"With lychees on the nose, this is a full-bodied, musky, floral, semi-sweet Gewurztraminer with a deep passion fruit note on the palate, and plenty of depth and character. Less aromatic than other examples of the grape that I've tried. A delightful accompaniment to spicy cured meats, garlicky pasta and Christmas mince pies."
Mr William Davies (15-Dec-2010)
"Just finished case of the 2008 version. No dud bottles. This wine holds very well when opened (over an hour) and keeps well too. Relatively youthful freshness gave way to quite some richness. Very versatile also. If you like Gewurz, this is excellent. One wouldn't want to drink Gewurz every day, but it's such a good grape."
Mr John L Moles (10-Sep-2010)
"Lovely! Incredible value anyway and especially at the offer price."
Mr John L Moles (11-Jun-2010)
"This and the Concha y Toro also showed extremely well at the Twickenham tasting. The Alsace was indeed a little sweeter ( or the Chilean drier , depending from where you start ) , but I thought had more depth. Excellent value for money."
Philip A Cambray (10-Feb-2010)
"This wine was paired against the Concha y Toro, Gewurz 2008 (£7.75), in the Newcastle 'If you like that, try this' tasting. I was with a work colleague. I thought the Alsace wonderful: terrific fresh, flowery, rose petal, lychee nose, followed by exuberant fresh fruit and excellent length. He preferred the Chilean, finding the Alsace 'too sweet' (one knows what he means: fresh, fruity dry wines can 'taste' sweet) and too elderflowery. If one likes Gewurz., both these wines are very worthy. I continue to think the Alsace version outstanding."
Mr John L Moles (29-Jan-2010)
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The Society's wine buyers work very closely with our suppliers to determine how best to seal our wines. We list below those closures currently in use with a brief description of each.
A technical cork made up of the remnants from the production of natural corks which are ground down into particles and cleaned and then combined using a food-grade polyurethane glue. A cheaper closure which The Society's buyers discourage suppliers from using.
A technical cork made from cheaper-grade natural cork where the naturally occurring pores are filled with ground down cork particles and then the whole is sealed with a food-grade wax coating. Generally only used for wines with a short shelf-life.
Diam corks look like agglomerate corks but are far superior and are designed to put an end to cork taint and random oxidation. The production process chops cork into pieces and sorts the superior, highly elastic, suberin component from the less elastic lignin, which is discarded. It mixes the suberin with microscopic spheres of the same substance used for contact lenses, which fills the voids between the cork particles reducing porosity to air and increasing elasticity without introducing humidity. Finally the pieces are mixed with a glue and moulded under pressure. The mechanical properties of the cork are guaranteed for a certain minimum number of years depending on the grade of cork - for example Diam 2 is guaranteed for two years; Diam 3, 5 and 10 are also available.
The Champagne cork is 90% agglomerate made from cork off-cuts which are ground down, cleaned, compressed and then glued together with two disks of good quality natural cork glued onto the end which protrudes into the bottle.
Natural corks harvested from the cork oak (Quercus suber) forests in Spain and Portugal have been the closure of choice for wine for the 300 years. The bark of the cork oak is stripped from mature trees every nine years. The planks are stored and then cleaned and graded before the corks are punched out of the wood. For wines destined for long-ageing, high-grade natural corks are still the closure of choice.
Cost-effective synthetic 'corks' made from food-grade plastic with a silicone coating (similar to that used on natural corks). Generally used for wines for short-term cellaring.
A glass stopper with a plastic 'O' ring which acts as an interface between the top of the bottle and the stopper, held in place by a metal, tamper-proof seal. Relatively expensive as a closure and not widely used. Can be removed by hand.
A short natural or agglomerate cork with a plastic or wooden top to enable the stopper to be removed by hand. Traditionally used for whiskies, sherries, Madeira etc.
Aluminium alloy screwcaps made with an expanded polyethylene wadding for the lining. Screwcaps are also known as ROTEs (roll-on tamper evident) or by the brand name (Stelvin is a popular brand). Widely used in Australia and New Zealand and for wines for short-term cellaring. Becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of allowing differing levels of permeability so mimicking the properties of natural cork offering winemakers more choice depending of the style of wine being made. There is still a lack of sound data regarding the performance of screwcaps for longer-term cellaring.
This is an agglomerate cork with a disk of good-quality natural cork adhered to both ends. A reasonably priced, reliable alternative to natural cork.
This is the metal pilfer-proof cap usually used to seal beer bottles but also used in the production of Champagne and sparkling wine when wines are stored under crown cap before the dosage is added. A few producers use crown caps to seal wine bottles. Open with a standard bottle opener.
Jamie Goode has written an excellent book on the subject of closures for those wishing to find out more (Wine Bottle Closures, Flavour Press).
Alcohol by volume%
Units per standard bottle
The Society includes the alcohol by volume percentage figure for each wine available online, in Lists and offers.
It is generally accepted that alcohol levels in wine have been increasing in the last 20 years. There are many reasons why, but the single most important factor is the vast improvement in vineyard management techniques which have resulted in healthier, riper fruit being harvested. Alcohol is a by-product of the fermentation of sugars in the grapes and the best-quality wines are made from grapes that have reached physiological ripeness (colour, flavour and tannin), and this generally happens after sugar ripeness.
There are several techniques that can be used to reduce alcohol levels but currently most are intrusive and strip flavour as well as alcohol and we don't buy wines made in this way. In actual fact, more than half of our still table wines have an abv of 13% or less. Members looking to choose wines with lower levels of alcohol can now search our range by level of alcohol.
Excellent-quality wine is at the heart of everything we do at The Wine Society and balance is the single most important feature of quality. The interaction of a wine's main components of sugar, acidity, tannin, alcohol and flavour matter more than the actual level of alcohol. A well-made wine of 14.5%, for example, will taste more balanced than an inferior-quality wine with 10% alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol levels are only a guide to a wine's fullness: a 12.5% cabernet sauvignon may feel heavier and more full-bodied in the mouth than, say, a gamay of 13.5%. Members should refer to the wine's tasting note for a description of the style and fullness of the wine.
The Society is committed to promoting the responsible enjoyment of wines and spirits by providing relevant information to our members that allows them to make their own informed choices. An additional figure is beginning to be used on labels: the number of (UK) units of alcohol contained in that bottle. This is simply the alcohol by volume percentage multiplied by the content. Thus a 13% wine in a standard 75cl bottle will have 9.7 units of alcohol. All new labels of Society and Exhibition wines will include this information. drinkaware.co.uk
The Society's buyers provide recommended drink dates for all of our wines to help members decide the right time to pop the cork.
Should be drunk over the coming months, certainly within the year.
Now to 2020
Ready to drink now but will keep until 2020.
2020 to 2042
We recommend keeping longer before opening. In 2020 it will be ready to drink but still young and will keep until 2042. It's a matter of personal taste when such wines should be drunk. Many members prefer to try the wines over many years from the opening drink date to the last to watch the wine evolve.
Within one year of purchase
A non-vintage wine that should be drunk within 12 months.
Within two years of purchase
A non-vintage wine that is ready now but will keep for two years.
As a general rule, most everyday white wines are best enjoyed within a year of purchase, and most everyday reds within two years.
Certain fine wines, however, those with the right structure and balance, have the ability to evolve over time and gain complexity and finer nuances of flavour.
Savouring the wonderfully complex and intense bouquet and flavour of a wine drank at its peak is undoubtedly one of life's greatest pleasures. As with people, the ageing process will vary from wine to wine. Over the years the wine's primary aromas of fresh fruit will develop more complicated and persistent secondary and tertiary aromas. The fruity flavours of, for example, a premier cru white Burgundy will, over time, evolve buttery, toasty and yeast aromas, or fine reds may develop coffee, cedar, tobacco, vegetal, or even 'animal' flavours as they age.
There is much pleasure to be had by experimenting with bottles at different stages of maturity; finding out how a wine evolves with age and, perhaps more importantly, establishing your own preference in terms of taste for mature wine are all part of the interest and excitement of cellaring wine.
The drinking window we provide is a guide to when the wines will be at their best. Many will favour the wines in the youthful early stages of their development; others will enjoy the wines at their most mature.
Decanting is a useful way of softening the tannins, rounding out the flavours and releasing the potential of a young wine. To find out more please visit our Serving Wine guide.
The Society's purpose-built, temperature-controlled Members' Reserves offers members access to optimum storage conditions for their wines.
For more help and advice about how best to enjoy your wines contact us via our enquiry form.
Oak plays a very important role in the production of wine throughout the world. However, the level of oak detectible in a wine can vary depending on a number of factors – for example, the age and size of the barrel and the type of oak used, as well as the length of time the wine is aged in wood. Oak also influences the structure and tannins of the final wine. For wines on our website, we use the following classifications:
This suggests that a wine has either seen no oak at all, or may have been produced using very large, old oak barrels, resulting in a wine that has no taste of oak. Expect these wines to be crisp, fruit-forward and aromatic.
Some oak has been used in the production, yet it has not been a defining factor in the style of the wine. In this instance, the oak may have played more of a part in the structure of the wine but there will still be discreet flavours associated with the use of new oak.
Wines that are defined by and known for their use of new oak. This must not be confused with a wine which is 'overly oaky' as that would purely be down to bad winemaking! We buy only wines that, we believe, use oak in a balanced and appealing way, enhancing flavour and complexity, and/or imparting structure.
How detectable oak is depends a good deal on the size of the barrel and how new it is. New oak provides a much more evident flavour and aroma and must be used carefully. The size of the barrel is important, as the smaller the barrel, the more surface area of the wine is in contact with the wood and the more flavour will be drawn out. Often, very large old oak barrels are used, which impart little or no oak flavour to the wine at all. They will still bring an extra dynamic to the final taste of a wine though, when compared to stainless steel or concrete vessels, as oak is porous and therefore lets a small amount of air into the barrel. This controlled oxidation has a positive effect on wines, softening the tannins and developing secondary flavours, all helping to add a complexity which comes with age.
There are many ways that people rate wines, whether it is on the 100 or 20 point scales, 5 stars, 3 glasses or simply thumbs up or down. The pleasure of a bottle of wine is hard to express in figures, but it does help give the memory of that wine a context, and a way of sharing your opinion with others.
In response to members' requests we have added a star rating option to the site so you can mark your favourites, or maybe those occasional less-than-welcome experiences, and make your next order easier.
You can use the 5-star rating tool to record your experiences however you wish, but if you are looking for some guidance we believe that a focus on the 'value' of the wine takes into account the quality but also the pleasure it provided, and whether it is something you would recommend to friends.