It’s Day 4 of the 12 Days of Wine 2020 and we are onto another style and color of wine!
This time the wine leans orange, due to the skin contact on this white grape!
Bradley Vineyards 2018 Skin contact Gewürztraminer, Elkton
Tyler Bradley makes it by leaving the Gewurtztaminer grapes on their skins for 1 week and aging it in neutral oak. 2018 had them celebrating the 35 leaf in their vineyard. Vineyard years are counting in the number of years the vine has leafed out. So, it’s a growers way of saying the vineyard has been around for 35 years.
What does it taste like?
This wine has a fun floral funk on the nose but is clean on the palate. Dry without being tart, it might make you think of a craft beer. But the first thing you get on the nose is classic Gewurtztraminer with rose and lychee, then there is a bit of earthiness, perhaps like a rose petal past its prime in the process of drying.
In your mouth, there are light tannins from the skin contact and spicy notes like baking spices with a bit of ginger. There are tart-dried apricot and light curry notes.
Puff pastry cups filled with a cream cheese, blue cheese & ricotta spread with 5-spice and honey, with dried apricot drizzled with honey
This is just the right funky, salty-sweet mix to pair with the wine.
I knew I wanted to play with the spice and funkiness of the wine, those notes of five-spice and dried apricot. I mixed blue cheese and ricotta with 5-spice and honey then added a bit of cream cheese to make the mixture a bit sturdier. Now I just needed a vessel. I decided to go with little puff pastry cups. The mixture goes into the prebaked cups and is topped with thinly sliced dried apricot and drizzled with honey.
I loved this pairing not just for the flavors, but also the weight of the bite. The wine and the bite together have a sense of lift of airiness even with these funkier, heavier flavors. It was pretty wonderful!
We visited Bradley Vineyards on a beautiful day in August with a group of wine writers. We gathered on the patio in front of the tasting room overlooking the vineyard while tasting their wines (as well as the wines of River’s Edge). You can read more about our visit here. https://www.crushedgrapechronicles.com/the-hundred-valleys-of-the-umpqua-discovering-the-wineries-of-the-region-day-1/
The vineyard is located in the Elkton AVA of Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. This is in the Southern part of Oregon. The vineyard was planted by John Bradley and his brother Richard. After being growers for a while, John began making some of his own wine. After John passed in 2014, his wine Bonnie continued the business ( I was able to meet her briefly in the tasting room). Their son Tyler came home and now takes care of the vineyard and makes the wines.
This skin contact Gewurtztraminer had me enthralled and I knew we had to share it with you!
This sweet-savory spoonful is perfect to pair with an orange wine like the Skin contact Gewurztraminer we paired it with!
I didn't have pastry cups, so I made my own with a mini muffin tin and regular puff pastry.
- puff pastry sheet
- cream cheese
- blue cheese
- dried apricots
- Defrost your puff pastry according to the package
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Roll out your defrosted pastry dough on a floured surface
- Cut the dough into squares slightly larger than the cups in your muffin tin
- Press the squares into the muffin tins, poke the bottoms with a fork
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes
- If they puff up and fill the center, don't worry, just use the end of a round wooden spoon to tap down the center.
- Mix the 3 parts cream cheese, 2 parts ricotta, and 1 part blue cheese
- Add a dash of five-spice and a squeeze of honey to taste.
- Fill the cups with the mixture
- Top with thinly sliced apricot
- Drizzle with honey
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.