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This Week's THURSDAY Tasting

Dry Riesling: Mostly German
July 6, 2017

Dry Riesling has been overtaking the traditional sweeter versions in popularity because it is more compatible with many of the lighter foods that we are eating now, especially in the warmer summer months. Riesling has more spice than Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and an individuality that can be as sculpted by winemaking or terroir as much as Pinot Noir.


I have been a fan of the German versions, largely because they seem to have more finesse, complexity and definition than the grape from other regions. But others have their virtues and so this tasting will include four of my favorite drier Germans plus two others that really appealed to my palate. Most are from the 2015 vintage which was as wonderful in both central Europe and Australia as it was in Germany.

Some of these wines are labeled off-dry, Half dry, or feinherb all of which me that they have a little bit of residual sugar. Even those are drier tto the palate then the average California Chardonnay.

Dr. Ully Stein calls his feinherb Weihwasser, holy water. It is to the palate. It only from steep slopes on the Mosel. It is a triumph of delicacy and finesse, at the same time being thick and rich to the tongue.

Also from the Mosel Robert Eymael's Monchhof estate famous in Germany and abroad. His basic but not so basic wine is richer and fuller in style then the Stein.

Egon Muller makes some of the most sought after and expensive German wines in his Mosel Schatrzhofberg estate. But you and is the winemaker Château Bela in Slovakia. Don't laugh. This is part of Slovakia on the northern bank of the Danube has a centuries long winemaking tradition. You get a taste of the richness his winemaking at a bargain price in this Riesling from an area that is not yet famous.

Don't be put off by the number of syllables in 2012 Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberger Ruwer Riesling Trocken. They tell you that this is a dry wine from the signature vineyard of one of the finest estates in German's Ruwer Valley. Karthauserhof wines are famous for being very acid young, but gloriously complex with age. We'll be tasting this one at the beginning of it's drinking time.

The cooler parts of South Australia make very good Riesling in a more open fruitier style. Dave Powell, the founder Torbreck, one of Australia's iconic wineries of the modern lighter, flowing style. Under his own label, he sources grapes from Eden Valley for a delicious wine with citrus inflected petrol (You'll like it when you've tasted it) than mineral. A great pairing for sweet marinades on the grill.

Incidentally Dave will be in town on August 2 to do taste his new releases with us.            


Dry Riesling

  2015 Stein Weihwasser Feinherb ; Aroma: rich heady slatey, rather firm, succulent stony, very firm, very dense, ; Mouth: fleshy  firm, juicy resilient less concentrated than the two above, clean smooth, lightly mineral, firm, thick to the tongue; Very Good Plus19.99; Mixed Case, 17.99; Case, 16.99

2015 Monchhof Eymael Estate Riesling; Aroma: very rich heady deep, rich and sweet; Mouth: bright finely spritzy, finely delineated acidity, bright juicy, citric, bright fresh, exuberantly juicy; Very Good Plus 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29

2015 Ch. Bela (Egon Muller) Riesling; Aroma: rich very full; rounded, lightly herbal, rich very dense; lower toned; Mouth: sweet acid rather rich, bright fleshy nicely balanced a touch of sweet acid, rather rich, subliminal sugar, a touch of enlivening spritz on the finish, herbal; Very Good Plus 18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14

2015 Peter Lauer Riesling Barrel X; Aroma: bright citric, light fresh , lilting, lime notes, ; Mouth: clean citric rather firm, clean mineral, juicy , very bright forward acid, long; Very Good Plus 22.99; Mixed Case, 20.69; Case, 19.54

2012 Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberger Ruwer Riesling Trocken; Aroma: Semisweet nicely floral a heady undertone; Mouth: Light lithe clean minerality very ripe an almost sweet scent on the finish ; Very Good - Excellent 31.99; Mixed Case, 28.79; Case, 27.19

2015 Powell & Son Riesling; Aroma: light clean fresh, very bright, lighted sweet diesel, lemon lime citrus; Mouth: clean bright   firm, citrus, very lean mouth clinging, rather dense; Very Good Plus 26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94


7-6 Riesling Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $237

Instore only 7-6 Riesling Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $125


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           - Len Rothenberg


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