Siegerrebe is a cool climate hybrid wine grape variety of Madeline Angevine and Gewürztraminer. This spicy grape is grown in the colder regions of our state such as the Puget Sound AVA. We can thank Bainbridge Island Vineyard and Winery for bringing this grape to the US, they worked with WSU extension to bring this varietal in to the US. Now Washington state is one of the top four producers of the world of Siegerrebe wines.
Maureen Nolan, NW Wine and Real Estate, who now lives on Bainbridge Island introduced both Bean and I to this amazing Washington wine last fall and I have been meaning to write up the tasting notes for months. But invariably I chill a bottle, open it ….too cold to take the best notes on the aromatics…drink that glass. Then wait for a warmer pour..nope too cold to make sure I can pick up everything on the intense nose of this wine…repeat… and by then I have lost all blog focus and simply want to indulge in the pleasure of the wine.
Last night I was going through this same maneuver but was able to interrupt my wine pleasures long enough to write down my impressions. The intensely aromatic nose on this Siegerrebe has spice and a lot of tropical fruit to it. I get lychee, passionfruit, pineapple, pink grapefruit, apple, honey, clove and a smidgen of freshly cut grass. This Washington white wine has an amazing complexity and affects all parts of the palate. Up front I get apricot, spice and honey. On the finish I get star fruit and pink grapefruit that keeps it bright and refreshing. It is off-dry and has nice acid, so it goes with a huge array of food.
I had it with both Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner and paired it last night with spicy Indian Curry. I love to bring it to our pairing dinners and it was fantastic with our seafood dishes and works great with salads. It was a favorite paired with Emerald City Orzo salad at the launch of our Food and Wine Pairing Network. It is also a wonderful wine to drink on its own, without pairing. I serve it at so many party meals, they call me an ambassador of Siegerrebe!
I have not seen this wine widely available in the local Seattle markets with the exception of the Late Harvest Siegerrebe. I was able to get the Wine Manager at Ballard Market to order me a half a case. The wine is well worth the trip to Bainbridge Island and it costs around 15-20 dollars a bottle. One can also try other Puget ound AVA cold climate wines while visiting Bainbridge Island Winery, such as Ferryboat White, Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir and both their Strawberry and Raspberry wines. This 30-year old winery also is committed to sustainable agriculture that integrates a “green” philosophy to their viticulture methods. 100% of the wines are estate grown. The Siegerrebe alone is worth the trip and I will be headed back this summer.
Siegerrebe may not be widely known, but wine bloggers are working to correct that issue. Eric Hwang, Bricks of Wine, included the Bainbridge Island Vineyards 2008 Sieggerebe as one of his highlights at the Taste of Washington. Maureen Nolan, wrote about her relationship with Siegerrebe. There, I have passed the word on, my job as Siegerrebe Ambassador is done for the day. Now to finish my last glass of this lovely wine!