Jul 27 2010
If your experience with Riesling has mainly to do with a certain nun dressed in blau on the bottle’s label, then now is the perfect time to explore the variety and complexity of one of the world’s most underappreciated grapes—through August 1st, it’s “Riesling Week” co-sponsored by the European Union and Wines of Germany.
However, here at Just Grapes, every week is Riesling week, and not just German Riesling. We offer top bottles from five different countries, making Riesling one of the truly “global” grapes worth celebrating all year long, and one of the most versatile wines to pair with food too. Its high acid and clean flavors—floral, spice, fruit, and more—are a perfect match for meats like pork, as well as the incredibly complex ingredient combinations of Asian cuisine.
You can start Riesling Week right by making it a “habit” to go beyond the blau, and expand your palate with some of these favorites:
2008 Maryhill Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington [$8.79]
Aromas of brewer’s yeast, overripe pear, honeycomb, and faint petroleum jelly follow through on a silky entry to a fruity medium body with spicy peach sorbet notes and drying, mineral accent on the finish. Complex and food friendly; try with grilled shrimp.
2007 Rocky Gully Riesling, Frankland River, Western Australia [$12.39]
90 pts – Stephen Tanzer
Pale yellow. Vibrant, sharply focused lemon, lime and quinine aromas like a platonic gin and tonic. Clean, sharply focused and pure, offering energetic citrus and green apple flavors and a late note of anise. Very refreshing Riesling, with excellent finishing lift and length.
2008 Kuentz-Bas, Riesling, Alsace, France [$13.99]
This Alsace Riesling is dry, rich and strong, with nuances of mineral and flowers. It combines delicacy with elegance. A wine with a lot of character. Well-balanced and long in the mouth, it is a gastronomic wine par excellence that displays all its charm and originality when served with fish, seafood and all local dishes that demand a dry and fruity wine.
2001 Riesling Olberg Spatlese, Library Selection, Rheinhessen, Germany [$19.99]
Aromas of candied limes, smoky slate, and white pepper are found in the explosive nose of the 2001 Riesling Spatlese.
2007 Riesling Smaragd “Steinriegl”, Schmelz, Wachau, Austria [$37.59]
94 Pts – Steven Tanzer
Light green-yellow; fresh fruit nuances reminiscent of tropical fruit like maracuja and pineapple, hints of apricot and bloom honey; fine-rayed on the palate, yet very complex and racy, appealing by its lemony touch; highly accessible, and in the end it wins you over with delicate flavors of tangy peaches.