2011 Gewurztraminer Cuvee Theo Weinbach

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Average critic rating : 90.0 points



An effusive nose of mint, rose petal, clove and lychee marks the Weinbach 2011 Gewurztraminer Cuvee Theo, and these components reunite on a faintly soapy palate whose subtle sweetness is supportive. Hints of toasted nut piquancy serve for some satisfying counterpoint in a quite succulently sustained, brown spice-tinged finish that breaks free of the aforementioned hint of soapiness. I would expect satisfaction through 2020. (As was the case with the corresponding 2010, I did not have an opportunity to taste the 2011 Reserve Personnelle bottling of Gewurztraminer.) ||The sudden death at age 47 of Laurence Faller this June represents a terrible loss to Alsace viticulture and to wine lovers worldwide, not to mention a tragic blow to her young family and to Collette and Catherine Faller, who along with Catherine's son Theo (hands-on vineyard manager since 2003) will continue to run Domaine Weinbach. Laurence had taken a virtual leave of absence from her family's estate in 2010 to devote her attention to raising her two small children, but the biodynamic viticultural approaches and style of vinification that she developed remained as guiding principles, and she had returned to full-time work at her family's estate in 2013. Picking for Riesling did not begin here in 2010 until after mid-October, and even then, ripeness was possible only thanks to extremely low yields, which were also the reason that harvesting was finished already on October 28. The last time that harvest here started so late was in underripe (and unlamented) 1984, but on that occasion, picking did not conclude until the 25th of November! The generosity in both style and yield of 2011 was welcome here as elsewhere after the challenges and small crop of 2010; and in characteristic Weinbach form, the Fallers managed to convey considerable stylistic clarity and precision to the resultant wines, just as they imparted richness to wines of 2010. The harvest of 2011 did not begin until mid-September, and Riesling was only brought in beginning the end of that month. It's worth noting, incidentally, that quite a few of the Weinbach 2010s have dropped significant amounts of tartrate crystals, not something that would have adversely affected the balance of these universally high-acid wines - if anything, the opposite - but something that will inevitably end up shimmering in some of your guests' glasses. As usual, alongside the principle offerings from two vintages I was brought up-to-date by the Fallers on their nobly sweet wines from a preceding vintage, in this case 2009. eRobertParker.com.August, 2014


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