The two wines I chose, one a Gewurztraminer and the other a Viognier, didn't turn out to be as good as expected. After posting my notes I'll conclude with a question regarding Gewurztraminer.
Asif Viognier 2009 - From a Israeli producer, sourcing his grapes from the Negev dessert. On its own it tasted a bit off, but it was better when accompanying a mixed salad of arugula and strawberry. I should drink up whatever I have left of this vintage. Always preferring the '08 to the '09, it now seems to me that the '08 is also holding up better than the '09. 13% AbV C+
Asif Viognier 2008 - On its own, this wine offers a pleasant mix of flavors, ranging from apricot to ginger, alongside an oily texture with substantial weight, but when paired with spicy and fatty food its lack of acidity spoiled the union. This is not to say that its lack of acidity is a flaw. It is not, because Viognier typically is low in acidity, but the pairing wasn't a match made in heaven. 14.5% AbV and off dry with about 0.7% residual sugar. B
Tzora Shoresh Blanc 2009 - Made mostly of Gewurztraminer and rounded out with 15% Chardonnay, grown in the Israeli Judean hills. The nose is dusty and reminiscent of grapefruit, while the palate has more of a tropical profile, particularly pineapple. The wine is completely dry, with a streak of bitterness running through it. Until I find counter examples, I'm buying into the opinion that Gewurztraminer needs some residual sugar to offset the unwanted bitterness that pervades the palate. 13% AbV. C+
The conclusion of the previous tasting note is a good segue into my question. Do others agree with my finding, admittedly based on a very small sample, that Gewurztraminer is best when it is off-dry, possessing at least some residual sugar? To me it seems like the palate is usually a letdown following the intense aromatics, and with some sugar the palate follows more harmoniously, resulting in a palate that is more inline with the aromatics. By the way, the Israeli producer is much more successful when producing dessert wines from their Gewurztraminer than when producing dry wines, so much so, that they've decided to stop producing the dry Gewurtz, using the grapes exclusively for the dessert wines. Personally, when drinking the dessert version, I find it difficult to believe that the dry version is made of grapes from the same plot.