Last night’s WSET Diploma class was on German wines. I enjoyed the Rieslings so very much. How is it that I forget to enjoy these wines more often?
I have fond memories of German Riesling. Grilled prawns in a lime zest and black pepper marinade and a bottle of St. Urban-hof – this is one of my favourite refreshing summer appetizers. Having a glass of 2002 Von Othegraven Spätlese suggested for me at Bonetas restaurant in Vancouver, the sublimely rich Riesling has left a mark on my memory. Or purchasing my first Auslese and planning a dinner party so I could share it. Every memory is good, but I feel like there just aren’t enough memories.
Germany produces perfect Riesling. The wines are unlike any other. Delicate, bright aromas of citrus and green apples. Flinty, mineral flavours. Laser sharp acidity in harmony with residual sugar. Low alcohol (so selfishly enjoying more than a glass is ok). What’s not to love about German Riesling? What goes on in the glass makes me ponder. I try to imagine the viticultural challenges, selecting and harvesting the grapes when they are just right, fermenting the juice in old traditional ways. And I like to imagine how long the wines can cellar for… ten, twenty, fifty years. The wine is almost timeless.
So why is it that I don’t drink as much German Riesling as I think I should? It’s probably because there’s lots of local Rieslings that I love to drink. And because quality German Riesling comes with a premium price. Also, I don’t know very many German wine producers well. Most importantly, having good company to appreciate the wine is essential. No matter how many excuses I come up, I am guilty of overlooking one of the great white wines of the world. There for, I am making it my Riesling resolution for 2011 to enjoy more bottles from Germany. Prost!
My favourite Rieslings from last night’s class were:
1. 2007 Dönnhoff Kabinett, Oberhäuser Leistenberg, Nahe
2. 2008 Allendorf Kabinett, Winkeler Hasensprung, Rheingau
3. 2006 Dr. H. Thanisch Beerenauslese, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Mosel