Why Are We Pretending German Riesling is Anything but Wonderful?
By law, all wine writers are required to plead at least once yearly to their readers to learn about and embrace German Riesling. I’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years and so has everyone else in the biz, and yet we haven’t made a dent.
So, I’m taking the opposite tactic: Please stay as far away as you can from Riesling. Why would you want to indulge in the world’s longest-lived, most complex white grape? (Sorry, Chardonnay.) Sounds like a losing bet.
You can imagine my disgust when I assembled a dozen current release Rieslings from several top German regions to taste them on your behalf—all that light floral perfume, rich peachy fruit, and zingy acid making me hungry for Asian food.
The Leitz “Eins, Zwei, Dry” Rheingau Riesling 2014 ($17), with its punny take on “one, two, three” in German, should be avoided for its pretty light straw color, tasty lemon and lime flavors, and the way it gains in pleasing richness in the glass after a few minutes.
The Gunderloch Nackenheim Rheinhessen Riesling 2012 ($80) has the audacity to boast a nose of freesia and gardenia—putting honest flowers out of work, and frankly we can’t allow that. The spicy hint of baby powder and notes of ripe, late-fall apples just add insult to injury.
And certainly the ripe flavors of melon, peach and candied grapefruit peel are not going to appeal to you, especially delivered in a balanced frame with a lovely, lingering finish—so that means you can skip the Kruger-Rumpf Nahe Riesling 2014 ($20).
Hopefully this put a stop to any interest in German Riesling—that means there’ll be more for me.