By Lenn Thompson, Editor and Publisher

Rednewt_sawmill_gewurztWhen I heard that Red Newt Wine Cellars was releasing two single-vineyard Gewurztraminers, I was intrigued. Did the two vineyards really warrant separate bottlings, or was it a marketing ploy along the lines of "reserve" labels?

And when I heard they were price at $36 and $42, I'll admit that I even thought to myself "Have they lost their minds?"

Now that I've tasted them, I can say definitively that yes, the two vineyards (in 2007 anyway) led to distinct wines worthy of single-vineyard labeling.

Are the prices exorbitant? That's really up to you, but I can tell you this: these are expressive, distinctive wines that deserve your attention and show what is possible in the Finger Lakes with the 'other' aromatic white grape. You know, the one that isn't riesling.

The nose on this Red Newt Cellars 2007 Sawmill Creek Vineyards Gewurztraminer ($36), made with fruit from Jim Hazlitt's Sawmill Creek Vineyard, is an attractive melange of juicy ripe pears, dried orange peel, kiwi and white flowers with subtle spice and lychee notes in the background.

Elegant, mouthwatering pear and kiwi fruit flavors dominate the medium-bodied palate, with candied ginger, spice and floral notes bringing nuance. This wine's balance, brought about by tongue-tingling acidity, and it's long orange-peel inflected finish are what really helps it stand out.

Check back next week for my review of Red Newt Cellars' 2007 Curry Creek Vineyards Gewurztraminer.

Producer: Red Newt Cellars
AVA: Finger Lakes
Price: $36
Rating: 40
(4 out of 5 | Delicious, Distinctive

(Ratings Guide)