Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2012 Gewurztraminer

Posted October 9, 2013 by Lenn Thompson in Regions


A lot of wine drinkers buy they same — often big-production, commercial — wines because they want to know what they are going to get. They find comfort in knowing the wine buy is going to taste good to them every time they buy it.

Cool-climate regions like the Finger Lakes don’t always offer that invariability. Cloudy, cool summers, poorly timed rain and potentially harmful frost are realities. Some years they all happen. Year-to-year consistency is difficult under these conditions… but it’s not impossible.

Take Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2012 Gewurztraminer $18) — one of the most consistently delicious wines in the Finger Lakes. Does it taste exactly the same every single vintage? No. So in that sense, it doesn’t offer the same type of consistency some need in wine, but it is consistently well made, balanced and tasty.

The nose on the 2012 is spicy, with layers of dried ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, sprinkled over a tropical fruit salad of pineapple, mango and papaya. Sure, there are the expected floral/rose petal notes, but they are supportive rather than dominant here.

Mouth-filling with just a touch of heat on the finish, the palate is a bit more one-dimensional — buy only slightly so. The balance is good, but I find myself wanting just a bit more acidity to clean up the end of what is a long finish. This is a wine tells the story of a long, warm season without being over the top, disjointed or clumsy.

Producer: Sheldrake Point Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 13.4%
TA: 6.4 g/l
RS: 5 g/l
pH: 3.78
Price: $18*


(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)


    J R Biddle

    This June was our first in-depth exloration of Finger Lakes wines; we spent 8 days tasting from 16 wineries I’d pre-identified. We just returned from a 7 day revisit/retaste plus tasting from 4 additional wineries. Gewurztraminer ( a personal favorite) was my “test case” for how serious a winery was in honoring a particular variety. Although only about half of the 20 wineries produced Gewurzt, and I wound up purchasing from only 4 producers–Sheldrake was one. I found that too many of the others just created a semi-generic wine that would offend no one–except someone who knew and loved Gewurzt; that’s not being true to the essence of Gewurzt. I concur with Lenn’s review.


      Where will you review these? I just returned from a wine trip and would to compare my thoughts with yours.

        J R Biddle

        Sorry, I don’t plan to post my reviews–they were for our buying decisions only. On the first trip, we visited almost all the wineries before going back to purchase anything. We kept “good-enough-notes” for our purposes (purchased 9 cases). On the second trip, we focused on fewer wineries, but with more tastings (purchased 8 cases). In general, I thought too many producers were offering too many different wines; in our opinion, this led to many generic wines that were without flaws but also without distinctiveness. We experienced too many taste-the-same wines–but of course, it’s hard to please the casual sipper as well as the serious taster. Nonetheless, we obviously found enough “distinctive” wines to fill the SUV both trips!

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