Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

5 Top Rated Riesling

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Hochrain (2010)
Comments: This has hella crushed rocks on the nose with a fine base note of clear apple skin and peach fruit. Plenty of CO2 adds liveliness on the palate, amply supported by bright acidity that adds a little shimmer to the slightly dried fruit tones. There’s a touch of something vaguely starchy on the palate, along with light top notes of honeycomb and quartz over apricot fruit. The almost flinty mineral notes reappear on the back end along with some spicy undertones that lift the fruit back up and kick it through the goal posts of the moderately long, spicy and elegant finish. Snappy, sapid, almost salty and savory. 94pts
Previously available for $87.30
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2 Hans Lang Riesling Trocken (2009)
Comments: Rather reticent on the nose, this displays low notes of dried citrus fruits, slate, white pepper and some creamy, golden berry top notes. Bright on entry with slate and quince flavors leading the way. On the mid-palate, this is very well balanced and shows an elegance that belies its size. There’s plenty of richness here and a texture that flirts with being slightly viscous while delivering creamy grapefruit pith, lemon and herb-tinged flavors. This is very well balanced and shows good persistence of fruit on the finish and sneaky acidity, which is well covered by the fruit until it breaks through on the lightly spicy finale. 93pts
Previously available for $16.69
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3 Hugel et Fils Riesling Alsace Aoc Tradition (2005)
Comments: This is quite perfumed with an early blast of white pepper on the nose followed by layers of floral, honeyed and exotic fruit notes that show hints of guava and lychee. Exhibiting lovely balance in the mouth, this seems light and bright on entry before the richness of fruit makes itself known on the mid-palate. Lovely depth of flavor with a hint of coconut milk accents the under-ripe apricot fruit of the mid-palate. More spicy flavors return on the moderately long finish. There’s a nice edge of sweetness here though this is quite dry. 92pts
Average price: $59.99 from 2 stores
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4 Nigl Riesling Dornleiten (2011)
Comments: This is packed with dissolved CO2 so expect some fizz here early on. Once the gas dissipates, you’re left with a very fine nose full of iris and apricot over light green citrus fruits. Gossamer-like on entry, this shows elegance and balance with a wispy texture and light yet clear flavors of citrus fruit tinged with a white peach wash. The acidity is fine, carving right down the middle of the palate and adding a light dash of minerality as it goes, but it never detracts from the nicely aromatic fruit in the mouth. The finish shows a fine blend of savory notes, crisp fruits and mineral top notes. Lovely wine, well balanced and ready for enjoying. This really shows very fine mineral cut. 91pts
Previously available for $24.95
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5 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Terrassen (2009)
Comments: This is beautifully pungent with green herb notes flanked by fennel, dried lemon peel, grapefruit and a hint of pink peppercorn. Big on entry and a touch soft, the acidity here takes a moment to assert itself before adding a nice mineral inflection to the grapefruit pith and pear fruit of the palate. With air more mineral emerges, particularly on the back end, but then this stumbles a bit on the short finish. Again though, with air, there is progress, as this turns nicely pithy with long, herbal top notes and a nice mineral base. This is very nice today but I think time will help move it to a better place. 91pts
Previously available for $11.41
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