Posts Tagged ‘riesling’

Bascand Estate Riesling 2012 Bascand

Style: Just off-dry white.

Region: Waipara, New Zealand

Overview: I really wanted to write about a red this week but sometimes in a line up you taste a wine that makes you say: ‘Holy S#@%, what’s going on there?’ Stupidly I thought I had this wine pinned on the nose alone: I thought it to be a floral, delicate Riesling that might be a touch broad but Oh My God, the palate is almost a sensory overload. Packed with flavour, a touch of sweetness but savoury at the same time. This is a style of Riesling which is not only underrated but one of my favourites. It’s drier than a Kabinett style Riesling with just enough residual sugar to add balance and complexity. Yes, I know the super dry, sweat inducing Rieslings are much more widely drunk and celebrated but this style of Riesling makes for a much better food wine.

Tasting note: A floral, pretty nose of jasmine. The palate is a good hard whack of citrus, lime and mandarin with some peach skin and savoury notes. The touch of sweetness adds another layer of interest and is balanced by subtle acidity.

Final Say: The perfect food wine!! $19.99 a bottle.

Score: 18 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Rock3

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Frankland Estate ‘Rocky Gully’ Riesling 2012

Vintage: 2012

Style: Dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Frankland River, WA

 

Overview:       Short and sweet this week, the blog that is, not the wine.

The Frankland River in Western Australia has been overshadowed by the better known Riesling regions such as the Eden and Clare Valleys. However, you only need to look at wines like this one to see that the Frankland River deserves to be recognized as a great Australian Riesling region. This wine is typically elegant, dry with subtle fruit and minerality. Criminal at this price.

It’s not just about the Valleys.

 

Tasting note: Elegant nose, aromas of Granny Smith apples and talc. All the usual characters on the palate, typical Riesling flavours of lime juice, sherbet and stone-like minerality. Bone dry with great length and fruit purity.

 

Final Say: A guaranteed winner to stave off spontaneous combustion in this heat. $13-$18 a bottle. Great for seafood, light chicken dishes or just on its own.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Delatite Riesling 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Central Victoria

 

Overview: What are Biodynamic wines? This is a question I am often asked. It is a question that is harder to answer than you would believe. Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that relies upon the relationship between soil, plant, animals and sustainable farming.

For a winery to label their wines as Biodynamic they must follow guidelines that were defined by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. These guidelines seem archaic but have had great benefits for those who follow them. Biodynamic wineries do not spray chemicals such as Fungicides and Insecticides. Fertilizers must be from organic origins. Instead they follow the practices set by Rudolf Steiner which include burying cow manure in a cow’s horn in soil over winter. The horn is dug up after winter and the manure is mixed with water and sprayed on the vineyard soil as a liquid fertilizer. They also advise that Chamomile flowers must be sheathed in a cow’s intestine, hung in the summer sun and then buried in the ground over winter and then dug up in spring. The flowers are to be extracted from the intestines and incorporated into compost used for fertilizing. No I’m not joking. Google the guidelines, they’re fascinating.

Delatite are a Biodynamic producer that also believe in minimalistic winemaking practices to ensure that their fruit and the wines they make display the most pure characteristics they can.

 

Tasting note: Pale in colour. A nose of delicate citrus. The palate speaks of citrus, orange blossom and green apple. There is a tiny touch of sweetness on the palate also but this balances the racy acid on the finish.

 

Final Say: I guess you could sum up Biodynamic farming as a holistic approach to the production of wine. One that leaves the winemaker with fruit that is untouched by chemicals. Fruit in its most pristine form? I’ll let you judge that one. This Riesling sells for around $20 a bottle and is one of my favourite Aussie Rieslings.  

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100) Freakin’ Awesome

 

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Jack Davis

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Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2007

Vintage: 2007

Style: Dry White

Country: France

Region: Alsace

 

Overview: Schlumberger. I love saying that name, it’s probably half the reason I love this wine, it gives me a reason to say Schlumberger. You would be right to think that Schlumberger does not sound to be a French name. That is because Alsace has jumped countries over the past 141 years. While Alsace is a region in France it was in1871 that it became part of Germany during the Franco-Prussian war. After World War I Alsace became part of France for a short time until World War II when it became of German ownership once again. In 1945 Alsace was returned to France where it has remained…for now.

It’s hard to believe that between all this, time was found to make wine. Alsace’s primary varietals are Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris. The region is known for drier styles of Riesling whereas Germany is known for off-dry to sweet styles. Perhaps this is in defiance to the border tug-of-war?

Anyway, enough with the history lessons, let’s talk wine.

 

Tasting note: A nose of kerosene, that’s right, kerosene is a common descriptor for aged Rieslings (it’s a good thing, not a bad thing…unless it is present in a young wine), citrus and green apple. As per normal these characters join the palate and are complimented by mineral tones, talc, a rich mouth-feel and a soft acid.

Final Say: While some beginners might think that kerosene is an undesirable flavour in a wine it is very common in dry style Riesling. I was once told that I was a heinous human for using kerosene as a descriptor, (it was printed in a tasting note I had written and a ‘lady’ had a good mind to email the place selling the wine to tell them that I did not know what I was talking about) but guess what, it’s there and cannot be mistaken for anything else, it’s a good thing so shut up and drink it. It sells for around $35 a bottle.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100)

 

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Jack Davis

Eroica Riesling 2008

By Spitting: Optional

Variety: Riesling

Region: Columbia Valley, USA

 

Overview: I’ve noticed this wine springing up here and there receiving great write ups, 94 points from America’s Wine & Spirits magazine, 93 points from Wine Enthusiast, 91 from Wine Advocate and 90 Points from Wine Spectator, just to name a few so I thought I should pick up a bottle for myself. The reason why I found this wine intriguing is that it not only from the Columbia Valley in America but also because it is a collaboration of Chateau Ste. Michelle, a Washington producer and the famed German winemaker Ernst Loosen, known for the Dr. Loosen wines from Mosel. Riesling has had a tough life, it is one of the most underrated varieties mainly because it has been mistreated over the years, in the 60’s and 70’s it was blended with just about every other white variety in existence eg, Traminer/Riesling, I’m not quite sure why, maybe just to get it in the mouths of everyday wine drinkers and then went through a period of popularity but not because of its character, cellaring potential and perfect balance but because it could be made into a sweet wine. You can ask anyone now who was in the height of their drinking age in the 80’s if they would like to try a Riesling and they would say, ‘Oh no, I don’t like sweet wine’ but the fact is that most Australian and Alsatian Rieslings are dry. Germanic styles are sweeter but perfectly balanced. All I can say is ‘Damn you Blue Nun!’

Tasting Note: The initial character I picked up on the nose was orange sherbet, this follows through to the palate and is joined by flavours of green apple, clean minerality, lime juice and a lingering saltiness. Yes, saltiness, chloride can be found in grapes. It finishes with a lovely, linear acidity.

Final Say: I have to say, I was intrigued by this wine and have been chomping at the bit to try it. It lives up to the hype however I did find the saltiness interesting. Australian Rieslings in particular tend to have a higher chloride component to the grape which has found them often criticized by lovers of international Rieslings. I find the saltiness adds another mouth watering sensation to the wine. There is a touch of residual sugar in this wine but nowhere as near as sweet as a Kabinett Riesling. I picked mine up for $45 a bottle and it’s a perfect match with pork.

Score: 18 Freakin’ awesome, keep the collaboration going! (90 out of 100)        

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Jack Davis

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Dӧnnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett 2009

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Vintage: 2009

Variety: Riesling

Country: Germany

Region: Nahe

Overview: So if you haven’t guessed already this is a German wine, a Riesling to be exact. Kabinett is a style of making Riesling that basically means off-dry and is traditionally as dry as a German Riesling will get though there has been a push for producers to break with tradition and start making a drier style of Riesling as the popularity for sweeter wines has dropped substantially over the past few years. German Rieslings and the Kabinett style in particular ooze balance without the need to go as dry as our Clare Valley of Eden Valley Rieslings; the reason being is the interplay of sugar and acid. Acid is ever present in wine but like sugar it needs to be balanced, for instance you would not sit down and eat an entire lemon, unless you’re into self inflicted flagellation, why? Because it’s far too acidic but you would sit down and eat an orange because here we have a fruit that has sugar to balance the acid. The exact same applies for wine. A lot of people are put off from Germanic Riesling because of the influx of the cheap, sweet wines twenty years ago but believe me Kabinett style Riesling is one of the best styles of Riesling you can drink, especially with food that is a touch spicy.

Tasting Note: A delicate, lemon colour. On the nose there is lanolin and orange blossom. The palate is softly constructed by flavours of citrus, orange sherbet, sandalwood and green apple peel and is supported by a fine, linear acid.

Final say: Don’t let sweet scare you off, some of the best wines in the world are sweet or off dry, just know that there are few producers who seem set on destroying the reputation of good sweet wine. As I said, a chicken stir fry with a bit of chilli is a perfect match for this wine. You can pick this up for around $45 a bottle so treat yourself.

Score: 17.5 Freakin’ Awesome (88 out of 100).

All of the information above has come from my own brain and books; Wikipedia was not, at any stage consulted.

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Jack Davis

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