Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Report from ... German Wine Tasting - August 17, 2010

Every time I taste, or write, about German wine I think of Steve Martin, in the movie "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" when he mumbles the word "Gemerman" before passing out because someone has slipped him a mickey.  Thankfully most Gemerman wines don't make you fall over, drunk or otherwise, because they have fairly low alcohol (10.5% or less) especially those lovely, racy, Rieslings we've all come to know and love.

Today, at the George Brown College Culinary Academy, we sampled 10 Rieslings, a Silvaner, a Pinot Noir and a Huxelrebe (14 wines in total), and by the end of the tasting I knew why Riesling was Germany's number one grape: they just do it so well on so many levels and in so many ways.  I had also tried some of the best coconut shrimp I have ever tasted - and it went so well with the dry Riesling ... imagine that.

Today's top 5 were ..

5 ... Werner Anselmann 2007 Huxelrebe Auslese ($14.95) - this is a sweet sip with lots of tropical notes, namely pineapple, with some vanilla and petrol backing it up. (***1/2)

4 .... Gunter Reh Group 2008 Carl Reh Riesling Kabinett ($12.95) - this is a simple, easy drinking Riesling with lime and a touch of mineral. (***1/2)

3 ... Schmitt Sohne Funf German Riesling (9.95 - October release) - this white bottle flies in the face of the traditional green or blue bottle you usually see Rieslings in.  The wine's name really does say it all - lots of fun(f) in this slightly sweet Riesling offering - the price is very attractive and offers good value for those who don't want too much complexity in their Riesling. (***1/2)

Time to Get Serious ...

2 ... Nik. Weis Selection 2008 Urban "U" Riesling ($14.95) - this recent general list offering at the LCBO shows that somebody in the purchasing department knows about value Rieslings and has a soft spot for good ones, especially the one driven by their complexity.  This wine is not for everybody because of its distinctive character, but it's one you'll love to sip and to serve.  Peach and petrol take centre stage here - and there's a definite linger of flavour on the palate that truly makes you want more. (****)

1 ... Kesselstatt 2008 RK Kesselstatt Riesling QbA ($14.95) - this one beat out the Urban "U" by, as Maxwell Smart used to say, "that much."  The wine just had an extra element of complexity on the palate that made it rise just a head above the number two wine.  Stony-mineral-ness on the nose and palate, apple, citrus and green apple-like acidity on the finish.  What stops this from getting higher marks is the quick finish - maybe with age that will improve, priced to find out if I'm right.  (****1/2)

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