The 2012 VINTJS Gewurztraminer is a Trader Joe’s $5.99 exclusive wine sourced from vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA located inside the larger Central Coast AVA of California. The VINTJS Gewurztraminer was produced and bottled by Castoro Cellars, a family owned winery making Estate grown wines in Paso Robles. Produced and bottled only indicates that Castoro fermented and aged the wine, it does not say if the grapes were Estate grown or not. In a side note, Castoro Cellars has planted their own cork trees and in 20 years will have their own cork to harvest. Gewurztraminer is a grape that is best known from the Alsace region in France, this area, over the years has switched back and forth from being under German and French control and the winemaking reflects both countries. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is a Del Monte canned peach juice yellow. The nose is strong and slightly candied, there is a mix of peach, dried apricot, pear, gum drop candy, pineapple and tangerine. The nose would lead you to believe this would be a sweet Gewurztraminer, but it is dry upfront with a bit of sugar on the mid palate. It tastes of orange blossom honey (without the honey sweetness) apricot, grapefruit, citrus hard candy and Anjou pear. The mid palate adds peach pie filling, exotic spice and lime. The acidity is subdued and the finish has bold flavors and slowly faded away.
The 2012 VINTJS Paso Robles Gewurztraminer makes a bold flavor statement, I am not sure that all the flavors complement each other. I think there is a bit of a battle going on in my glass, but I am OK with that, I like a $5.99 wine that has personality. Often the rap on inexpensive wine is that it tastes “correct” but does not go any further than that, it drinks fine, but is kind of boring. The VINTJS Gewurztraminer is in no way boring, a huge aromatic nose, layers of interesting if not exactly delicious flavors and a split personality were it is both dry and sort of sweet. And it is less than 6 bucks.