If you thought gewerztraminer was hard to pronounce, try siegerrebe. Pronounced zee-ga-rey-buh, it literally means ?victory vine? in German. Siegerrebe is the result of cross breeding between Madeleine Angevine and Gewurztraminer in the early 1900s. So, kind of a victory. Today, it is grown throughout Germany, Washington State, and British Columbia. Maybe that’s the real victory.
Siegerrebe is a delicate and aromatic grape best suited to cool climates. Though the grapes are blush colored, the pressed juice runs clear and bright. Bud break comes late and the sweet smelling fruit ripens early, making it vulnerable to birds and pests. Highly aromatic, similar to Muscat and Gewerztraminer, the finished wines tend to be lower in acidity and alcohol and have historically been used in blended white wines. Fortunately, despite this wine not being particularly well known for high quality fruit, there is an emerging trend (perhaps from wine lovers seeking something a bit different) in producing the varietally pure versions.
I remember tasting Siegerrebe for the first time many years ago at Purple Cow in Oregon and being completely dumbfounded by the sweet nose and then the bone dry wine in my mouth. Sadly, I don?t think they are still producing it. Since my visit to the Fraser Valley in British Columbia early this year, Siegerrebe has become a personal favorite of mine.
Siegerrebe might trick you into falling in love with its austere and elegant appearance, but its robust aroma and flavor profile is what will ultimately woo you. It?s these qualities that make it perfect to pair with food. It?s vibrant, clean, off-dry and yet incredibly well balanced. My advice to you?don?t be afraid of wines you can?t pronounce.
2014 Chaberton Siegerrebe:?Aromas of honeysuckle, candied apricots and lychee fruit tickle your sensations. Sipping this wine will reward your mouth with flavors of peaches, mandarin oranges, meyer lemon and a kiss of honey. The tropical flavors reveal hints of residual sugar in perfect balance with the wine?s acid.
Serve it as an apertif or with spicy prawns, thai food or strong cheeses. I paired it with Curried Cauliflower Soup (click for the recipe), which was uplifting and completely satisfying.