Sunday, 25 July 2010

The perfect summer white - a cracking Rheingau Riesling

I've always had a soft spot for German Riesling. In fact, it is far and away the most popular style of white wine in my house. Although many of these wines (which vary in style from dry and steely, through to fairly luscious and off-dry, or even semi-sweet) are absolutely perfect for summer drinking, they actually hit the spot for me, all year round. And when you get the taste for them, you never lose it. So when I got the chance the other day to snap-up a really good example, at an attractive price, I jumped at it - plenty for me, but plenty for my customers, too!

Prinz von Hessen Johannisberger Klaus Riesling Kabinett 2005 Rheingau
Clear, bright, limpid green/gold colour. The nose offers plenty in the way of fruit, with lime zest to the fore and notes of apricot, peach and dessert apples. There are also plenty of mineral/slate nuances and even a hint of wet wool, along with hints of toffee and white pepper. Every now and then you get a faint whiff of petrol - such an attractive attribute in fine Riesling. In normal vintages, a Kabinett might reach an alcohol level of 9% abv, but in the wonderful 2005 vintage, the grapes were so beautifully ripe that many of them were able to reach higher levels (in this case 11%) without sacrificing any of those delicate aromas and flavours. The palate has wonderful fruit/mineral/acid balance, with succulent stone fruit flavours married to racy, mouth-tingling lime and apple. There is still a healthy dose of residual sugar, but this is countered by thrilling lime acidity and even a hint of spritz, which carries right through to a long, luscious, mouth-watering finish. This wine will, in all probability, age nicely for a good 10 years or more, but it really is so good to drink right now, it is an absolute joy!
A bargain at £8.95, via the Leon Stolarski Fine Wines online shop.

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