By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
The Lenz Winery, located in Peconic on Long Island's North Fork, has built its reputation primarily on the back of its merlot and sparkling wine programs -- and with good reason. Winemaker Eric Fry's merlot, particularly his "Old Vines" bottlings are always standouts. Similarly, his sparkling wines are always among the top in the region.
But for me, one of the real gems of the portfolio is the Gewurztraminer. Fry has a certain affection for the grape, and it shows.
In some ways, Lenz Winery 2007 Gewurztraminer ($20) is like ten pounds of gewurzt in a five-pound bag -- and in this case, I mean that as a good thing. There is a lot of gewurzt going on here.
The nose is super spicy and floral, combining lychee, cinnamon, ground ginger and rose petals with underlying pineapple and melon aromas.
Though bit less floral, the palate is intense, and rich-but-balanced, with ripe fruit flavors of pineapple, lychee and cantelope sprinkled with ginger and brown spices. It's dry, with enough acidity to balance the richness.
Medium-long on the finish, it ends with floral notes and a slightly bitter quality many expect from the variety.