Riesling Round Up

50 wines from around the world rated and 5 great lists to explore





2009 Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Rottland Spatlese 8.5% $35

Tight nose shows subtle but fresh notes of white flowers, minerals and pithy white fruits, with a touch of almond brittle over top. Tense and tight on the palate, this shows on the drier side with wonderful balancing acidity supporting white peach and green plum flavors with a hint of sweet pear thrown in and perhaps a twist of orange zest. Yes it’s fruity, but at the same time it is tense and firm with a hint of lifting mineral bitterness on the moderately long finish. 90pts

2011 Gobelsburger Riesling Kamptal 12.5% $18

This is lightly nutty and stony on the nose with some very fine floral and herbal aromas that recall tarragon, chamomile and wild arugula. Very finely textured in the mouth and fairly weightless and transparent, this delivers glassy fruit along with a light mineral wash across the palate. The citrus flavors alternate between lemon/lime and something closer to tangelo/grapefruit right through the long and refreshing finish. Refreshing and zesty if a bit of a one trick pony. 89pts

2010 Lamoreaux Landing Riesling Round Rock Vineyard Finger Lakes NY 12.3% $20

Rather earthy smelling with spicy top note over a bed of red fruits and forest spice. A touch viscous up front and showing slightly more than a hint of sweetness. This also packs in some serious acidity making the wine lively and interesting with fresh, sweet apple fruit topped with melon and pomelo flavors that fade into a lemony, slightly pithy and slightly sandy finish of moderate length. 88pts

2010 Hugel Riesling “Hugel” Alsace 12% $20

Apples and a little minty spice greet the nose along with a slightly spicy vegetal note that recalls fennel. Very smooth in the mouth with good body and dry extract. You can feel this in the mouth though the acidity is well covered, leaving a wine with moderate richness but very little weight. The flavors are lightly orchard fruity with a hint of strawberry and lightly floral notes that yield to sour apple and a little under-ripe pineapple on the finale. I could drink this all day. Not the most complex but lovely freshness and balance. 88pts

2010 Troon Dry Riesling Applegate Valley Southern Oregon 11.5% $16

Funky on the nose with all sorts of weird aromas that range from dried flowers to licorice. Chewing tobacco, dried blood orange and apple butter with a little old wool blanket thrown in for good measure. Light and bright on entry with a lovely rhubarb note early on that leads to a mid-palate full of subtle and elegant orchard fruit flavors. This is rather soft in a way. Though the acid is fairly electric on the mid-palate, there’s not a lot of weight here but plenty of flavor and refreshment. The finish is zippy and clean and really quite long and dynamic. This smells a bit but feels so honest and fresh in the mouth that I really like it. 88pts

2011 Domane Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Riesling 12.5% $20


Pretty, airy notes of pithy citrus fruit, dried flowers and a light gravel tone fill the glass. In the mouth, this continues the airy theme with an almost weightless feel and light flavors of grapefruit, heirloom apple and a touch of under-ripe melon. There’s lovely acidity here. While this is slightly small-scaled, it’s very well balanced with a nice wash of minerality and a hint of white pepper over the moderately long finish. This really exhibits a lovely interplay between fruit and minerality. 88pts

2008 Dönnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese 8.5% $50


Tight on the nose with some oily, raw nut notes over a base of quartz and raw quince. Bright acidity cuts down the middle of the palate but the fruit seems to struggle to stay with it, falling away to the sides in the mouth. This is lean and focused but lacks a bit of snap. A lot of green apple, citrus and unripe apricot flavors are attractive, but this also lacks a bit of length. It finishes on the dry side for a Spatlese. A bit disjointed. 88pts

2010 Villa Maria Private Bin Dry Riesling Marlborough NZ 12% $15

A little woodsy on the nose, then hints of lemon basil add complexity followed by notes of bees’ wax and a little green hazelnut. Lovely, silken texture on entry is followed by a slightly softer mid-palate that shows hints of creamy edges framing the clear, tense core of fruit. This is rather light-bodied and easy to drink with slightly figgy flavors on the palate being framed with hints of mineral quartz and a gentle raw nuttiness. The finish shows a bit of refreshing acidity, bitter grapefruit flavors and some pollen notes. Perhaps not the most varietal Riesling, but very attractive nonetheless. 88pts

2011 Ch Grand Traverse Whole Cluster Riesling Old Mission Peninsula Michigan 12.1% $16


Somewhat reticent on the nose with hints of almond, apple, orange blossom and a lightly herbal tone. This is lovely in the mouth with a really nice balance of gentle sweetness and firm acidity supporting clear flavors of golden raspberries, apples, and lightly creamy peach and mangosteen fruit. A hint of spice and some mineral notes on the moderately long finish. The acidity really refreshes the finish, which shows good length. 88pts

2011 Prinz Von Hessen Riesling H Rheingau Germany 11.5% $16

A bit of a potpourri nose with dried citrus peels, dried floral notes and faint dried spice elements like anise seed and fennel, all wrapped in nice apricot fruit. Fairly dry in the mouth with just enough sugar to round off the edges of the acid-driven palate. I like this. It’s a bit tense and firm with an edge of austerity to it. The fruit on the palate is a touch creamy with sour apple along with nice grapefruit and lemon elements, all topped with a suggestion of raspberry that extends over the moderately long, clean and fresh finish. 88pts


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