We get back to regular programming post-holidays with one of the wines I enjoyed most during our brief hiatus — Anthony Nappa Wines 2010 Spezia ($18) a gewurztraminer for gewurztraminer lovers.

Spezia is Italian for “spice” — and this is a wine that delivers a heaping pile of varietal character.

Bursting with complex aromas of tropical fruit, peach, gingery spice, and rose petal the nose also features a grapefruit-spice-herb note that is reminiscent of some heavily-hopped India Pale Ales I’ve enjoyed.

Though hefty at 14.6% abv, the dry, mouth-filling palate wears that alcohol well, offering a melange of tropical fruits — pineapple, mango and papaya — with notes of fig, spicy candied ginger, and more of that floral-herbal quality. Ripe, but focused, there is great balance here with subtle varietal bitterness and beautifully incorporated acidity.

I enjoyed a couple glasses of this the day after Christmas at my sister in-law’s house along side a maple-glazed ham. It was one of the best pairings of my holiday season.

Producer: Anthony Nappa Wines
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 14.6%   
Price: $18

(4 out of 5 | Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)

(*Ratings Guide)