Thursday, May 27, 2021

German Riesling Sound Choice For Sultry Summer

As temperatures climb, it’s time to reach for the cool refreshment of German Riesling.

If things are heating up in your part of the world, we have two excellent suggestions for cool white wines. We tried a pair of Rieslings from Germany and although distinct in style, they are united in offering delicious taste and prices that make them excellent values.

Riesling From Rheinhessen

The 2016 Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Kabinett Riesling is a beautiful wine, juicy and balanced. The estate was founded in the Oppenheimer region of Rheinhessen by Dr. Karl Heyden in 1999. Today the work is carried on by his sons. The Riesling vines average 25 years of age and are grown in loam soil rich in limestone.

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The first sip is mouth-watering thanks to abundant acidity. The flavor profile includes honey, apricot, and lime zest. A beautiful seam of salinity punctuates this wine.

This is slightly off-dry with RS of 1.5%, which provides a generous rainbow of flavor. ABV is 11.5%, so it complements rather than overpowers food. Spicy dishes like Thai cuisine would be a good choice.

Secret In The Slate

Clean Slate Riesling has been a favorite of ours for many years (the first vintage was 2005). This is a “go-to” wine that is widely available in restaurants and stores and is appreciated by wine aficionados or newbies. That takes some of the guesswork out of entertaining.

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The name of the wine isn’t just clever marketing. This Riesling is from from Mosel. This region is famed for its Riesling as well as its thin slate stones in its soil. The slate reflects and retains heat, which allows the perfect ripening of the grapes in the chilly German climate. So precious are the slate stones that slip from the Clean Slate vineyard into the river are collected and carried back to their place up the treacherous slopes. 

Grapes for the 2019 vintage come from the upper, lower, and middle parts of the Mosel River Valley each contributing its own unique characteristic. Notes of apple and pear swirl with a touch of sweetness. The residual sugar is a touch higher (2.3%) than the Dr. Heyden, but the acid and minerality provide a counterbalance that results in a balanced wine. The alcohol is a low 10.9% and the stainless steel finishing keeps the flavor crisp and clean. Asian cuisine, pork, fish, and poultry are good choices with Clean Slate.

Both wines sell for less than $15 and represent a great value.

Full disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

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