I realize I have written a couple of blog articles in the past on Riesling. I have also recommended you continue to try Riesling wines and add some various bottles to your wine collection, all of which I still recommend.
I was moving some wine from a wine refrigerator to my wine cellar and came across several bottles of Riesling. Two things came out from this find. First, I set aside a 2007 Toni Jost Riesling Kabinett to drink after my wine cellar adjustment. Second, I decided to write this article.
Riesling comes from a white grape that is said to have originated in Germany’s Rhone wine region. Riesling history dates back to the 1400s and the city of Worms in Germany.
Worms is located on the Rhine River 40 miles south-southwest of Frankfurt-an-Main (the city’s full name). It is one of the oldest cities in northern Europe. It is also said Riesling was discovered in Alsace, France and Wachau, Austria in the mid-1400s. However, there is little evidence to back this up. Both regions do have rich Riesling vineyards. Riesling wines are now produced throughout Europe, South Africa, China, Canada and in the U.S., primarily in the states of California, Washington, New York and Michigan. Wonderful Rieslings are produced world wine.
Top Riesling Wines
The site Wine-Searcher states some of the top Rieslings in the world are produced by the following wineries:
- E. Trimbach Rieslings in Alasce, France
- Jos. Prum in Mosel, Germany
- Weingut Keller in Rheinhessen, Germany
- Egon Müller in Mosel, Germany
- Weingut Donnhoff in Nahe, Germany
Most wine drinkers do not realize that Riesling wines are one of the most expensive white wines in the world. Prices can range from as low as $25 per bottle to $13,500 per bottle at the very top end. Wine collectors reach out for Rieslings because of their excellent taste and longevity. Some Rieslings will age to 100 years or more.
Taste of Riesling
Rieslings are well known for having great aromas of fruits such as apricots, green apples and pears. On the palate you will taste similar flavors and lots of acidity which carries through to the finish. Most Rieslings have a lengthy finish.
These are the primary Riesling wines and their taste:
- Kabinett – dry to off dry
- Trocken – dry
- Spatlese – sweet
- Auslese – sweeter
- Beerenauslese – very sweet
- Trockenbeerenauslese- super sweet
Of the six listed above, my favorites are the Trocken and Kabinett as they are the less sweet of the various Rieslings. Rieslings are typically sweeter to balance with the high acidity. As a Riesling ages, it tends to change color from pale straw to a deeper yellow. Its flavor also changes as well. Some of the change is often referred to as “Petroleum Notes.” As the wine ages there is a chemical reaction which causes these changes. The “petrol note” is compared to Kerosene, lubricants or rubber aromas and tastes. It becomes a part of the aged Rieslings profile and is not offensive, in fact it is sought after by experienced Riesling drinkers.
2007 Toni Jost “Bacharacher Hahn” Riesling Kabinett
The grapes for this wine come from a Grosses Lage (“great growth” or Grand Cru) vineyard named Bacharacher Hahn. The wine retails for $39.00+ per bottle and received scores of 90-93/100 points.
As this wine has aged it has changed color from the clear pale straw color of young Rieslings to a pale deeper yellow color. The nose offered some muted orange and flowery aromas and some light-colored fruit. On the palate there were hints of pear and apple with acidity and light spritz. The finish produced a very rich mouth feel that lasts a good length of time. This wine offers some sweetness but is rich on the palate and finishes with mild acidity.
Food Pairings with Riesling
Riesling pairs well with many foods because of its balance of sugar and acidity. Top picks are pork, fish and spicy dishes.
I have come to enjoy Riesling over the past years and am fortunate to have several varieties of them in my wine collection. Again, I highly recommend you stock up on Riesling wines. I would try each of the primary Rieslings listed above to see which ones you like the best.
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Look Forward To These Happy Things: Upcoming LEX 530 Events!
Artisian Wine Dinner in Partnership with LEX 530 – Wednesday, October 7, 2020 – held at Artisan
LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Dinner – Friday, November 20, 2020
Important Wine Holidays
November 7 – International Merlot Day
November 12 – International Tempranillo Day
November 18 – International Zinfandel Day
December 4 – Cabernet Franc Day
December 20 – National Sangria Day
December 31 – National Champagne Day