Riesling is a bit of a mystery. Intensely aromatic, with bright fresh fruit, a rich mouthfeel, and bracing acidity, it should be everyone’s favorite white wine. It is refreshing, complex, a great versatile food wine, and the good ones will age well. Somms have been predicting its ascendency for years. But it never quite seems to happen. Although sales of Riesling showed strong growth for many years, recently, the growth has flagged, and in any case, it still remains a very small part of the wine business.
Why is Riesling such a hard sell? Perhaps it’s the residual bad rep from Blue Nun, the intimidating labels from Germany with its odd quality levels, or the inconsistency in styles that leave customers wondering what they’re buying. But I suspect it’s the fact that many Rieslings have a little sweetness to them and Americans think they don’t like sweet wines (although they’ve been buying Moscato like kids in a candy store, so go figure)
At any rate, perhaps the answer for Riesling’s woes is to make more in a consistently dry style—like this knockout from the Willamette Valley. If the wine public could taste this, most Chardonnay would hide in shame
Well-delineated apple wrapped in pear with faint apricot highlights and delicate floral notes, the aromas leap from the glass but it’s the clarity that makes this wine great—each aroma note is distinct, as if they were carefully etched in crystal. The apple/pear profile makes its appearance on the palate as well, but intense minerality fills in the background giving way to a long finish, almost tannic in its grip and laced with lemon. It is of medium weight and ravishingly elegant but has too much character and strength to be described as lush. Some dry Rieslings can be austere but this wine is warm and endearing yet poised with a slight attitude of superiority.
Trisaetum makes several fine Rieslings as well Pinot Noir from their estate-grown grapes. And they are a must visit if you are in the Willamette Valley—winemaker James Frey’s art, on display in the tasting room, is nearly as impressive as his wine.
Who is ravishingly elegant, endearing, and poised with an attitude of superiority and sings with crystalline clarity? Why of course Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill”