La Cave des Vignerons de Pfaffenheim, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Steinert, Alsace, France, 2017
Platinum - Best in Show: Best in Show
The east-facing Grand Cru of Steinert is the steepest vineyard site in the village of Pfaffenheim; the name alludes to the general stoniness of its soils, in fact unusual in Alsace. This 34.9-ha vineyard is a great spot for Gewurztraminer, which loves ample warmth, particularly towards the end of the season. The style here is creamy and understated rather than overtly perfumed and baroque; the palate is gentle, tender and lush (almost 31g/L of residual sugar puts it very definitely into medium dry territory). This seamlessly jointed, haunting and persuasive wine would make an unintimidating introduction to one of the world’s most characterful variety-place combinations; try it as a rich aperitif as well as with roasted fatty meats like duck or goose.