It can be difficult to escape riesling  maelstrom in the Finger Lakes. Riesling flies at you from every direction. It’s wonderful, but can be overwhelming too.  And, sometimes other varieties are unfairly under-promoted. That’s the second edge of the double-edged sword of ‘signature varieties.’

Chief among these sometimes-ignored grapes is gewurztraminer, which thrives in the region. Sheldrake Point Vineyards makes some terrific rieslings, but deserves perhaps more attention for consistent excellence with gewurztraminer. It seems that, no matter the growing conditions, winemaker Dave Breeden crafts deliciousness, even if the style changes year to year.

Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2011 Gewurztraminer ($18) is a bit leaner than other vintages, but still stood out on a recent visit with its aromas of mixed flowers, candied ginger, lychee and under-ripe pineapple.

Medium bodied, the fresh, dry (.5% RS) palate shows good balance and just enough intensity. Spring flowers and pineapple dominate the flavor profile, which also shows a bitter citrus edge and spicy ginger. The finish is clean, fresh and lingers.

Producer: Sheldrake Point Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 13%
Price: $18*


(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)