Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rheingau Riesling, Bitte

I picked this bottle up at a weinschenk in Hamburg during my European vacation last year. My girlfriend and I were roaming the city of her ancestors, drinking beer and taking pictures when I stumbled across a tiny wine shop bursting with rieslings from Germany's Rheingau and Mosel regions. I bought this bottle for about 8 Euros. Now I wish I would’ve bought a half-case.

I had planned on drinking this wine later in the trip when we spent several days in the Mosel Valley, but I had more wine than I knew what to do with, so I ended up bringing it back to the states with a bunch of other hand-picked German rieslings. Last night my girlfriend and I put together a German meal of paprika-spiced pork chops, cauliflower and potato mash and pickled red cabbage. With a meal like this, riesling is a no-brainer.

The aromas are the epitome of freshness: lots of white flowers, lemon zest, minerals. The intensity of the aromas is impressive.

On the palate, this wine is full of tangy acid, which is matched by lots of fresh fruit. The wine has a plump feel, especially on the finish, but the acid is ever-present, keeping it balanced. It starts off with fresh lime and ruby red grapefruit flavors, and transitions to nectarine and fresh apricot. The fruit is absolutely delicious. And this wine is “trocken,” meaning it’s a dry wine, so the fruit doesn’t taste sweet or goopy.

This is what I look for in the 2009 vintage, that pure fruit, but also some brisk acid and minerality to give it that firm backbone. The finish tingles with Meyer lemon and minerals.

German rieslings. This is why I love them. And the pairing worked out perfectly.


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