28 June 2007
I predict that 2007 will be the year of the Riesling Renaissance.
Sales of wine made from this under loved, undervalued suave, racy grape variety will surge. Rarely flooring in alcohol and laced with a backbone of refreshing acidity, this makes the ideal wine to accompany a rich tapestry of foods, from dense, white cheeses to funky fusion fayre.
Pronounced "reece-ling", people incorrectly assume this entity was contained in the 70's stomach staple, Liebfraumilch - in which it actually played no part.
I have just wrung the last drops from a daintily priced accolade-attracting Loosen Bros prescription - "Dr. L." '06. Freshly watered, well-tended lawn on the nose with a soft bite, then cooking apples on the dry palate with a nicely shaped aftertaste, this is basic but attractive entry-level Riesling from its German homeland at just 8.5p/c ABV (£5.99, Sainsbury's).
For those with more cash to splash, get in touch with www.thesecretcellar.co.uk for an '88 also from Dr. Loosen (£19.99). This 19 year-old tongue twister, 'Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese', mingled aromas of characteristic petrol, mink, crème fraîche and even a hint of skunk with an amazing, bold output, fully sustained at just 8P/C.
According to Dr. L., '...wines from Erdener Treppchen are more like a powerful, hard-body rock climber than the graceful ballet dancer...' (You decide). This was partnered with the rather original Stichleton from Neal's Yard Dairy, a creamy, crumbly, legally-friendly unpasteurised version of Stilton (which currently must be). A gripping Ying/Yang combination of sweet and sour.
From the new world, iconic, individualistic winemaker, Chester Osborne, foremost figure behind South Australian label, D'Arrenberg, produces a blotting paper dry, key-lime pie scented version - 'The Dry Dam' (£60 for six, www.darrys.co.uk). His '06 tamed a Tartare of Scallop and Seabass, served on chicory spatulas.
Wine-Down at: www.thedailywine.co.uk
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