Optima Gewurztraminer 2015 – 96 Pts.

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It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Mike Duffy’s wines; I recently reviewed his 2012 Cabernet, a fantastic wine that I think competes among the best of that vintage. (You can read that review here: https://itheewine.com/2016/05/03/optima-cabernet-sauvignon-2012-93-pts/)  Recently, I heard a rumor from what I’ll call a credible source that Mike is big fan of Gewürztraminer. Traditionally a German grape, it can be difficult to find, and difficult to turn into wine, so when I heard that Mike had made one, I was certainly interested to see what this master vintner would do with it.

I opened the bottle to share with friends on the front porch yesterday evening. The warm summer breezes and lingering humidity created a near perfect setting for a refreshing white wine, but in all honesty, I had no idea what I was getting into. A light golden hue, the nose offered a floral array of scents ranging from green melons to key lime, mild petrol, minerals, and white flowers. I was so taken in that I sat and smelled for quite some time before ever taking a drink. When I finally did, I was almost overwhelmed by the complexity of the wine’s flavor profile. Layer upon layer came in every sip: pronounced minerals, citrus rind, lime, honeysuckle, clove, lemons, mild spices, and finally more petrol on a decidedly dry finish. I don’t know if I’ve ever given 96 points to a wine before, but I do know that this is the single best Gewürztraminer I have ever had.

Production of this wine was limited to 21 cases, making it an extremely limited release. I believe there may still be a few bottles available in Omaha at The Winery (www.thewineryomaha.com) and you can possibly still obtain it from the Duffy’s (www.optimawinery.com). If you’re at all a fan of this varietal, or just want to try something truly special, this wine is an absolute winner. At a retail price of $29.99 it gets full marks for QPR and 96 points on my scale, making it very highly recommended.

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