Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Trio of Rieslings: Take One

Riesling is a tough sell, despite the high quality of the wine. Many experts consider Riesling to be the most noble of the noble white wines! Many consumers consider Rieslings to be sweet. Some are, especially the expensive ones but they have enough acidity to balance the delicious sweetness. Most Rieslings have a touch of sweetness in the form of unfermented Riesling juice added to counterbalance the natural high acidity of the Riesling fruit, so the wine is no longer tart. Many of us older wine lovers remember mediocre German wines, many which were cheap and not so cheerful, and had little or no Riesling in them.

I recently sat down with a panel of local sommeliers to learn of their favourite choices of Rieslings at this month's Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival, the finale of the festivals for that veteran art's group.  Sebastian Le Goff, a French sommelier who now works for the Cactus Club, chose a Balthasar Ross Riesling Kabinett Hattenheimr Schutzenhaus 2010. Now the long foreign name alone is somewhat problematic for wine fans to remember German Rieslings.  It is a QmP, which means a quality wine with special attributes, Kabinett is the first rung in a ladder of really good German wines that get this presigious quality.  It comes from the most prestigious region of the Rhine Valley, the Rheingau, and like many German Rieslings, it is low in alcohol, only 9.5%, compared with many white wines these days which have 13% to 14% alcohol.  Which means you can perhaps have another glass and it is the perfect luncheon wine. Expect the familiar apple aroma and flavour, fresh acidity with ample fruitiness.  Well balanced, light, and deliciously fruity. 

Balthasar Ross Riesling Kabinett Hattenheimr Schutzenhaus 2010 Riesling Kabinett, Germany. 9.5%. $23.99
Light Aromatic White; Recommended

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