Could it be lovelier?

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wines of Germany.

I think the answer is no. Generally I love Riesling. It’s a great, almost always, low alcohol wine with plenty of acidity, making it extremely food friendly for all different types of cuisine. With that in mind, we pulled the 2010 Schloss Johannisberger Grunlack Riesling Spatlese from the cellar the other evening to enjoy with a very heavy chicken casserole. The wine has a real cork closure, clocks in a 8.5% alcohol by volume, and looks to retail for around $40.

 

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Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Put the lime in the coconut… Okay, well perhaps not coconut, but lots of lime and something tropical lurk on the nose.

2.) This Riesling will perk up any boring holiday meal.

3.) For everyday eating I’m thinking this would be excellent with the Zuppa Toscana I make.

4.) One should never be intimidated by strange German wine labels because great things often lie within.

On the nose I found lime, honey, spice, sweet tropical notes, and flowers.  In the mouth I got lime, citrus, honey, flowers, honeysuckle, jasmine, and a great mineral streak. Overall the wine had excellent acidity, and as my notes say “was just lovely.”

 

Bring on the Riesling

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wines of Germany.

The weather has turned in my neck of the woods.  Today felt as if we’d jumped to early winter and completely skipped fall.  When the weather cools down and I want white wine, I tend to pull wines with a bit more body and complexity off the shelves versus the summer fare of Sauvignon Blancs.  Tonight I chose the 2009 Knebel Von Den Terrassen Riesling to fit the bill. The wine has a screw cap closure, clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $23.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) A beautiful riesling that had a lot going on for the price point.

2.) I’m thinking ahead to turkey, this would be a definite good choice for the white wine drinkers in T-day crowd.

3.) The 2009 rieslings have overall been lovely in my experience.

4.) I was surprised by how delicate and racy I found this riesling to be.

On the nose I found honey, lemon, pear, white flowers, peach, honeysuckle, and wet stones. In the mouth I got lime, pear, white peach, and a mineral streak.  The wine had excellent acidity with fresh tart, clean fruit flavors. The mineral streak/wet stone added nice complexity to the wine.

 

 

 

2009 Brooks Ara Riesling

For our 7th wine we have another Oregon winery representing with their 2009 Brooks Ara Riesling.  This one retails for $25. This smells almost creamy to me with a little sweetness on the nose, plush peach on the nose. In the mouth I am finding it to be crisper, but definitely with stone fruit and some minerals.

I’d like to drink this on its own.

2009 Amity Estate Dry Riesling

6th wine coming our way during the speed dating round at WBC 12 is the 2009 Amity  Estate Dry Riesling.  Amity is an Oregon vineyard, yay for representing at the speed dating. The wine retails for $20. Very lime-y on the nose with bright tart acidity shining through even on a sniff. Some tropical notes hiding under the initial lime, kumquat and star fruit notes coming through. On the palate it’s crisp with awesome acidity, more lime, and other tart citrus.

Pair with a raw bar.

2008 August Cellars Riesling

The 4th round of speed dating at the WBC 12 is the 2008 August Cellars Riesling, made with fruit from Eastern Washington and retailing for $14. Lime, stone, minerals, spice, and white flowers on the nose. The palate shows residual sugar with tangerine, honey, honeysuckle, and nice acidity.

Drink alone or with a lovely cheese tray.

Riesling from Napa

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

I know what you are thinking. Napa? Riesling? Really? Yes really, and it’s good.  I can’t say that I’ve had a lot of Riesling from Napa.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever previously had any.  The 2010 Cornerstone Stepping Stone Riesling registers at 13.5% alcohol by volume content, has a real cork closure, and retails for $18.  I seem to have misplaced my photos for this bottle.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) A warmer climate riesling, the tropical fruits stood out for me in this offering.

2.) Don’t serve this wine too cold, it will mute the flavors.

3.) I’m universally impressed with the new line of offerings from Cornerstone Cellars.

4.) I would recommend this wine as a great value from Napa.

On the nose I found lemon, stone, honeysuckle, star fruit, and floral notes.  In the mouth I got lemon rind, pineapple, spice, honeysuckle, white flowers, perfume, and wet stone. Overall I found the wine to be tropical without being sweet.

 

 

 

Riesling from the Outback

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR company for the winery.

I don’t drink much Australian Riesling.  Actually, I don’t drink much wine from Australia in general. No particular reason, I should really try to do so more often.  Recently we popped open the 2009 Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Riesling. We drank it on its own, but I’m going to recommend this as a Thanksgiving wine as well, especially if you are looking to par down your wine budget a bit. This bottle will fit the bill well. The Chateau Tanunda Riesling clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, has a screw cap closure, and retails for around $13.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I liked this Riesling as an alternate style to some of the sweeter Rieslings I’ve been drinking lately.

2.) I intend to serve this as one of my white wine options at Thanksgiving this year.

3.) The wine delivered nicely for the price point.

4.) I usually suggest Riesling as a gateway wine for the “I don’t like wine” folks, but I think this one was a bit too dry to fall into that category.

On the nose I got lemon, stone, pear, apple, flowers, spice, and white pepper. The wine smelled light and lively and dry.  In the mouth I found mostly lemon, some round pear and apple edges. The palate was light and refreshing, simpler than the nose. Overall I found it to be dry with good structure.

 

Always Solid

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from F. Wildman Imports

Tonight’s wine was the 2009 Hugel Riesling. It had a Diam closure, clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for somewhere between $15-$19.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) You can always count on Hugel to be a good bet for the money when you are faced with the (often confusing) Riesling wine section of the store. That goes for their Gewurtraminer and Pinot Gris  as well. I’ve purchased it many times.

2.) Riesling is what I consider a “gateway” wine to move folks who have always been only Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay people into different wines.

3.) My mom liked this wine. She doesn’t like wine at all.

4.) We drank it with roast chicken. Sort of like turkey, which is often recommended for a pairing with Riesling. I made a simple roast chicken rubbed with butter and sprinkled with Kosher salt. Yum.

On the nose I got lemon, white pepper, honey, honeysuckle, flowers, and pear. In the mouth I got lemon, pear, honey, and honeysuckle. The citrus and pear flavors dominated the palate whereas the honey/honeysuckle aromas were more prevalent on the nose. With good acidity and clean flavors, the wine made a great match with the roast chicken and mashed potatoes.

 

Riesling on My Mind

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for the Wines of Germany.

Riesling is one of those wines that I really enjoy, but for some reason it rarely crosses me mind to buy when I’m standing in front of the racks in a wine store. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have a very good grasp of German wine producers and I’ve been burned one too many times by insipid Riesling or perhaps it’s just because I don’t think about it often. Which is a shame. Riesling is a versatile wine, pairing with all sorts of different foods and its varying sweetness levels lending well to every course from cheese through dessert.  Tonight we tried out the 2007 Josef Leitz Eins Zwei Dry 3 Riesling Trocken. I see it retailing online for as little as $11, with the current 2008 vintage available as well for around $18. The Riesling clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume and had a screw cap closure.

On the nose I got wet stones, apple, pear, flowers, some herbal notes, and meyer lemon. In the mouth more lemon and meyer lemon, apple, green apple, pear, and herbal notes. Overall I found this Riesling to be crisp and dry with nice acidity. While we drank it on its own, I would certainly serve this with my cheese course, or hand a glass to friends as they arrived to our house. At $11, the value can’t be beat.

A Spring in my Step

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wines of Germany.

Spring is in the air! I thought it might pass us over this year given our never-ending winter, but it appears that we are in the midst of a gorgeous spring! In spring my thoughts turn even more to sprightly white wines. Plenty of bubbly, Riesling, Gruner, and Sauvignon Blanc has been flowing in the Wannabe Wino house. To continue in this trend I dug the 2007 Leitz Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Spätlese Riesling. It had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 8% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $20.

On the nose I found flowers, honey, white peach, nectarine, apricot, and white pepper. I thought it smelled a little on the sweet side with the apricot and the honey. I found the palate to be pretty much identical to the nose with lots of stone fruit and a touch of apple. While it had a trace of a mineral vein running through it, I wished that it had just a little more acidity overall to hold it together.

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