Monday, July 11, 2011

Three Great Summer Rieslings

Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosen Riesling Kabinett 2009 - I mean this in the nicest way possible, the wines always remind me of water. By this I mean, crystalline mountain stream water that fells good on the feet on a hot summer day and tastes even better, soothing and shocking your palate at the same time. The soothe cools a hot head on tasty days and the shock comes from the double take you will make on the finish. How can a wine so seemingly light, quaffable and innocuous last so long? I challenge you to not tip this bottle straight to your lips after yard work. The ultimate in elegant Mosel wines. Think unctuous but racy, ethereal yet persistent, simple wine to slosh back but it will subtly wine you over. Plenty of acid balances out the remaining sugar. Not bone dry by any means but delicious and a perfect substitute for beer or an aperitif on the patio. $14-$17

Leitz Ein Zwei Dry '3' Riesling 2009 - From the Rheingau, this is a newish wine from a stellar producer. Let me admit that I do not, as a rule, enjoy dry German rieslings. That does not mean I only like the dessert wines only that I find the truly dry versions to offer hints of the juicy fruits I enjoy but they fade too fast for me. The finishes feel clipped instead of broad and expansive. There have been more enjoyable versions of late and this is one of them. I find guava here, sorry for the geeky reference, but it screamed guava to me. The wine is noticeably tactile, even approaching thickness on the palate. As it finishes, it becomes zippy and more expressive that on the mid-palate. Well done, and would pair wonderfully with myriad vegetables and gently spicy shellfish. $13-$15

Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett 2009 - This Mosel producer makes expressive wines with more oomph and pizazz than many neighbors without sacrificing the delicious slurpability that marks the appellation. They receive a premium for the effort. While I complain under my breath I freely acknowledge it's money well spent. This bottling offers hints of tropicality and spring blossoms and the somewhat linear feel on the palate blooms on the finish. the most striking aspect of the wine for me is it's near crunchy feel on the palate. Almost like unpasteurized honey or homemade preserves the wine feels special and the taste follows. Lovely. $22-$25

Note: All wines are Terry Theise selection imported through Michael Skurnik. Also, they are all 2009 vintage, some labels pictured here do not correspond.

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