Summer of Riesling

Riesling is a white wine varietal originally from Germany known for it’s floral aromas and high acidity.  Riesling is often a favorite among Sommeliers and wine geeks due to its extreme versatility and food friendliness.
People often think Riesling is  sweet but this is not necessarily true, Riesling can run from very sweet to very dry depending on where and how it is made.  In fact, Riesling is very reflective of terrior which is the soil climate & topography ie where the wine grapes come from and how they are grown.  Clay soil typically  gives Riesling a minerality taste,  heavy clay citrus flavors and quartz lean aromatic high acid and low fruit flavors.
In honor of the  Summer of Riesling, I was invited by Drink Alsace, Wines of Austria and Wines of Germany to participate in a #winechat tasting  on Twitter of  Rieslings  from France, Austria and Germany.  This tasting was a great opportunity  to compare and contrast the unique and diverse terroirs of these three countries and the regions of Kamptal Austria, Alsace France & Rheingua Germany.


Kamptal, Austria: Brandl Riesling 2011 $34 This wine is made from grapes grown in sandstone and silt stone soil in Heilingenstein.  It has juicy ripe tree fruit flavors of green apple and pear with hints of  lime and spicy undertones. It is quite dry with great acidity and 14%  alcohol.   This Riesling  is great on it’s own but will also stand up to and accompany food well.


Alsace, France: Paul Blanck & Fils Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010 $35 The grapes for this wine come from granite mineral soils giving it flavors of pineapple, lemon, grapefruit and green tea.  This wine is crisp with nice acidity & minerality,  great depth and complexity and a rich creamy finish.  It has  13% alcohol and due to is balance and acidity can be enjoyed alone or with food.


Rheingau, Germany  Schloss Schönborn Riesling Kabinett Erbacher Macrobrunn 2011 $24  This wine is made from grapes  grown in loess-loam, chalk, marl and sand soil.  It has a big floral nose and tastes of peach apricot and ripe stone fruit flavors.  Reflective of German Riesling this wine is  sweet with a honey finish but it is balanced with acid and minerality.  This wine is sustainably farmed,  has 9.5%  alcohol  and the sweetness makes it a great pairing with spicy Asian cuisine or for dessert.


The Summer of Riesling tasting was a great opportunity to contemplate terroir and taste the  impact that different soils and wine making techniques have on Riesling as a varietal and it also served as a reminder of just how great and versatile Riesling can be.  I highly recommend you give Riesling a try or revisit this amazing varietal and if you have the chance compare and contrast Riesling from Austria, Germany & Alsace to experience their different styles and don’t worry although summer is coming to a close Riesling is great any time of year! Thank you to Wines of Germany, Wines of Austria and Drink Alsace for providing me the wines and the chance to participate in the Summer of Riesling #winechat Cheers, Sante, Prost & Kippis!

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