Miguel Torres Santa Digna Gewurztraminer Central Valley 2005

Miguel Torres Santa Digna Gewurztraminer 2005
Miguel Torres Santa Digna Gewürztraminer 2005

I’ll cut to the chase: this is the best Chilean white wine I have ever tasted

A friend recently opened a random bottle of white wine which happened to be a Chilean Gewürz*, not the most common combination.  On closer inspection of the label it was a ten year old Chilean Gewurz*!  Fearing something old, possibly oxidised or just out of condition, a few sips revealed something wonderful: a well made, maturing, but far-from-over-the-hill, delicious white wine.

One of my mantras on wine is that most of us drink wine too young – particularly white wine – and this wine only serves to reinforce it.

Miguel Torres Chile is an offshoot from the Spanish Torres family who have been producing wine since the 19th Century.  From the website:

Miguel A. Torres decided to begin the Chilean project on the advice of Alejandro Parot, a Chilean friend and classmate from his studies in Dijon (France).

Winemaking is ultra-clean and intended to have minimal impact on the finished wine:

  • No skin contact
  • No oak ageing
  • Bottled five months after picking

Notes on the latest vintage state that it is “an ideal match for shellfish (particularly oysters) and most fish dishes”.  Without doing extensive vertical tastings I can’t argue against that, but I actually think the 2005 is far more versatile than the above suggests – quite possibly as a result of bottle ageing.

There’s texture and much more body than expected for a white.  Acidity is still present but perfectly counterbalanced by the modest residual sugar (7.5g/L).  The exotic tropical fruits of youth are now a little more subtle but still present and correct.

For Alsace fans such as myself, this wine was a revelation.  Tasted blind, I wouldn’t have been shocked to hear it was from a big name Grand Cru producer such as Zind-Humbrecht.

I now need to work out how to collect more vintages of it…

*Note: in Germany Gewürztraminer has an umlaut, in Alsace they leave it off.  I’ve tried to randomly represent both parties in this article.  I’d like to think of myself as an equal opportunities speller.

7 thoughts on “Miguel Torres Santa Digna Gewurztraminer Central Valley 2005”

  1. I normally do not enjoy white wines, that was until last spring out east on Long Island at one of the local winerys. They had a wine tasting and had their Gewurztraminer, I was immediatley impressed by the smoothness and sublte flavors, it was a shock to me how much I enjoyed it. I just wish I remembered which winery it was, because I haven’t been able to figure it out since. Nor have I been able to find one I’m confident in purchasing. ~Paula

  2. Isn’t it good when a wine takes you by surprise? And yes I agree about age often improving wines though I doubt I’d have had the courage with a Chilean gewurz. Good read again, thank you

    1. The person who bought it isn’t a wine enthusiast (as far as I know) so probably didn’t realise what a “risk” was being taken. Sometimes “ignorance” (in the French sense of the word) really is bliss!

  3. Never had this wine, and now I’m intrigued (2011 vintage is scarcely available in US). I think you are absolutely right about lots of white wines consumed way too young. I had a number of simple, inexpensive white wines which were tart and acidic when young, and became a revelation after 10 years of aging. I would guess that this wine when young was exactly that, considering oysters to be a pairing suggestion. The only challenge is that you can’t really find these type of wines well aged, unless you buy them yourself, store them and patiently wait for the transformation to take place…

    1. I agree that storing yourself is the only real way to find out…but if storage space is at a premium (which it is for me) then it’s hard to justify keeping inexpensive wines over the stuff which costs more but you know is good.

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