Now then, here’s a tricky one to judge. I’ve drunk so much Riesling in the past that it’s never gonna happen now for me to be able to try a German Riesling without holding it up in the same light as the ones I’ve had before.
To be fair, that’s the point of judging wines. It’s not about saying something like “I think Riesling is better than Merlot”. You can’t make that comparison. It’s about judging whether this German Riesling is good, bad, or ugly within the world of German Rieslings you’ve had before. You see what I’m saying? That’s why having a long memory, or at least a note book handy, is pretty useful.
So first up was the Reichsrat von Buhl Riesling, from Spirited Wines. It’s a Kabinett, so has the lowest sugar in the grape off all the classified Riesling categories. This one had been fermented to dry, so there’s not much residual sugar knocking around. First impressions were an almost pale green colour, following by smells of pear, green apple and plenty of lemon citrus. In the mouth it was fairly light bodied, perfectly acidic, but not so much going on there. The finish was a tad too lemony for me, but there was good balance overall. You’d be happy to drink this one, but maybe not all day.
Next up was the Dr Loosen Graacher Himmelreich Riesling from Sainsbury’s. Again, another Kabinett, but this time only 8% alcohol, so a good bit of sugar left in the final wine. The smells were more honeyed apricots and still plenty of lemon flavour. On the taste the sugar gave the wine more body, and the acidity and sugar were perfectly balanced at the end. It also had a fizz to it, not like going nuts, but a few bubbles in there to lift the body so it didn’t get too gloopy. A really well made wine, again not hugely complex, but does everything you’d want of it.
The food was great, but I’ve messed up massively. I’ve taken the photos on my wife’s camera and then buggered off to France for a few days, so I can’t get the photos. I’ll update the post in the week when I’m back, but for now you’ll have to take my word for it that it was great. It paired perfectly with the Dr L wine, as there was enough sweetness to stabilise the chilli. Probably not as good with the von Buhl, but now I know the citrusy overtone, I can probably change the food pairing completely to some smoked fish and lemon dressing. That’d be nice.
So what are the scores on the doors? The von Buhl takes home a more than worthy 6/10, with room for another mark with a better food pairing. The Dr L takes home a very good 8/10, I’d have loved a touch more complexity, maybe even those petrol smells for full on Riesling charachter, but those come with age (and a price tag), and this is a young reasonably priced wine. What do I expect? £13 (each) is a good price for these. I’d be happy to go back to either.
Hope you all had fun yourselves.
Other posts in #NWTW Week 28:
Both the wines from Spirited Wines and Sainsbury’s, I’ll update them when I can