This was a tasting to explore the range in styles of Rieslings from around the world. Because they have a large range of style they pair so well with a more diverse variety of foods than any other wine in the world. As Randy Kemner of the Wine Country said, “Riesling is foods most versatile partner, performing miracles with ham, sausages, quiche, omelets, asparagus, artichokes, turkey, pork, chicken and even some red meat. It is the preferred wine the varied cuisines of Asia (Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese), and it can provide relief from mildly spicy foods. No other wine can cover this much ground.”
We tasted the wines in order from least residual sugar to the most. Unlike other tastings we have had this was not blind. Rieslings are categorized as dry (0-4 g/L), off-dry (4-12 g/L), medium (12-45 g/L), sweet (45+ g/L).
2013 Long Shadows Poet’s Leap Riesling, Off Dry, Columbia Valley, Wash 12.9% RS 1.29g/L 8.0g/l acid, ph 3.08, $20
2013 Pewsey Vale Riesling, Eden Valley, Dry, Australia 12.5% RS 1.9g/L , 6.4g/l/ acid, ph 3.01, $14 ,
2012 Brooks Riesling Willamette Valley, Oregon 11.5% RS: 2.5G/L, TA: 7.5 G/L ph: 3.08 $20
2011 Winzer Krems Riesling Pfaffenberg Kremstal DAC, Austria Reserve 13.9% RS 4.8g/L , 5.2g/l acid $25
2013 Claiborne Churchill Dry Riesling, Edna Valley, California 13.2% RS 5.5g/L ph 3.12 $18
2012 Gold Seal Vineyards, Finger Lakes, New York, 12.1% RS 5g/L, TA 7.0g/L$15
2013 Dr. Loosen&Chat.Michelle Eroica, Columbia Valley, Wash 12% RS 15.5g/L, ph 3.02 TA 7.9g/L, $22
2013 Dr Heidemanns Dry Riesling, Bergweiler, Mosel Germany, 11.0% $15
2010 Anne de K Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru, Alsace, France, 12.5% $20
Kevin’s ratings and tasting notes:
1 Dr Heidemanns – fresh rain, hint of petrol and green apples on nose. Complex on palate, citrus and lots of minerals on finish. 94
2 Pewsey Vale – limestone, lime zest on nose with a hint of petrol. Palate has mouth watering acidity with grapefruit and chalky minerals. 93
3 Anne de K Schlossbery Grand Cru – Dried apricot and ripe pineapple on nose. Balance of acidity and sugar, Kiwi on the palate. 92
Others of note:
Winzer Krems – Subtle nose of lemon, spice and citrus blossoms. Palate has peach skin on a long, lingering finish.
Finger Lakes – honeysuckle, mineral and orange blossom on the nose. Lime with hints of minerals on a short finish.
One of the wines was flawed with a harsh acidity that was similar to having a vitamin C tablet after brushing your teeth. Acid was possibly added.
The other wines were a little sweet for my palate. One even had a hint of body odor on the nose.
Like Pinot Noir, Riesling reflects terroir. In his book “Reading Between the Vines”, Terry Theise states “Riesling does more than just imply terroir it subsumes its own identity as fruit into the greater meaning of soil, land and place. Riesling knows soil more than any other grape, perhaps because it ripens so late in the Fall and is thus on the vine longer than other varieties, and because it thrives in poor soils with deep bedrock strata into which it sink its probing roots.”
This tasting was done with a group of 12 wine enthusiasts who meet regularly to taste wine from wine regions around the world and to explore and evaluate the matching of these wines with different cuisines.
Our group of tasters preferred the old world Rieslings from Germany, Austria and Alsace France to the new world wines from Australia and the United States. The Dr. Heidemanns Dry Riesling was the overwhelming favorite by our group of tasters. The Anne de K Grand Cru Riesling from Alsace and the Winzer Krems Reserve Riesling from Austria were ranked second in the tasting. These three wines were all well balanced and intensely flavored and would match well with a wide range of foods.