Louis Riesling

Louis RieslingIt amazes me how many times I’ve heard people say “I don’t like riesling” because whenever I hear that, I reckon “you haven’t tried the right riesling.”  This is truly a misunderstood wine and one where you can find as many terrible ones as excellent ones.  And so, I can be with you why it has a terrible rap with some people.
But if you want to reduce the likelihood that the riesling you’re going to taste is a terrible one, there are a few things you can do.  One of those things is to buy a German riesling.  Of all the rieslings I’ve tasted in my life, there are very few German ones I’ve tasted that I haven’t liked.  That’s not to say that there aren’t any duds appearance from Germany, but proportionally the majority are excellent… really excellent.  And this riesling from Louis Guntrum is no exception.
The Louis Guntrum estate lies on the banks of the Rhine river in Rheinhessen between Oppenheimer and Nierstein.  Like many European winemaking families, the description of the Guntrum family’s involvement with wine goes back for generations.  All the way back to 1648.  But, of course, they’ve also modernized their techniques and processes over the years. Read more

Geil Kabinett Riesling

Geil Kabinett RieslingThis is one of those moments in life when I find myself rather busy and I’m at risk of neglecting this website.  But, of course, I don’t want to do that.  So tonight I’m just going to give you a quickie review of another riesling.
This one is a Kabinett riesling from Geil in the Rheinhessen province along the left bank of the Rhine river in Germany.  The Kabinett designation translates to “cabinet” which means this is a wine to tuck away in the cabinet for a few years previous to drinking it.  Kabinett wines are typically semi-sweet, as is the case with this one, unless they are labeled as “trocken” (dry) or “halbtrocken” (off-dry).  Read more

Selbach Kabinett Riesling

Selbach Kabinett RieslingIt’s another hot summer day, so it’s perfect weather for another riesling review.  Like the Geil riesling we reviewed yesterday, this one from Selbach is also a Kabinett style.  But, this one comes from the Mosel province.
Riesling accounts for about 60% of the grapes grown in the Mosel province.  It’s an area that I haven’t visited yet, but it’s high on the list of places I’d like to see.  The slopes are steep in this province, along the Moselle river, requiring most vineyard work to be done by hand rather than by machine.  And when you realize all the manual labor that goes into a wine like this, the $17 fee seems like a steal.
This wine is made by renowned winemaker Johannes Selbach as a “second mark” wine, not to be confused with Selbach-Oster wines.  In additional words, this is the budget line while Selbach-Oster is the premium line. Read more

Ritzman Riesling

Ritzman RieslingWe’ve been checking out a lot of riesling lately, so let’s continue that trend with another one from the Mosel province in Germany.
This wine is part of the Bronco Wine Companionship portfolio, which is probably best known as the producer or “Two Buck Chuck” but is also the companionship in the rear 50+ additional bargain wine brands.  If there’s an ultra-cheap wine that you really like, there’s a excellent chance that wine comes from Bronco. Read more

Clean Slate Riesling

Clean Slate RieslingIn my last riesling review for Louis Riesling I mentioned how seeking rieslings from Germany would increase the likelihood that the riesling you buy is excellent.  Well, within German wines Mosel is a province you’ll see often.  It’s the third largest province in the country, but seems to be the most prominent province internationally.  It’s best known for its riesling, which tends to be high in acidity and typically offers pronounced floral aromas.  And if you know anything about German geography, you can probably guess that the province runs along the Moselle river.
Appearance from a province that has a long description with winemaking, and a province where many wine producers have a heritage spanning centuries, Clean Slate seems rather contemporary.  Its positioning has nothing to do with a long-standing family description.  Instead it has been given a name that is a fun and rather modern play on words.  The mark design also stands out from additional German riesling as being a bit more modern.  But that break from tradition doesn’t mean they’ve sacrificed at all on quality. Read more

Castell Trautberg Silvaner Traminer

Castell Trautberg Silvaner TraminerI have one more Silvaner from Castell to share with you, but this one isn’t 100% Silvaner.  It’s a blend of 80% Silvaner and 20% Traminer, which is technically a family of grape varieties—the most well known of which is Gewürztraminer—but in Germany they tend to submit to all grapes from this family as just “Traminer.”  And it may in fact be Gewürztraminer that they used. Read more

Castell Kugelspiel Silvaner

Castell Kugelspiel SilvanerContinuing the theme from yesterday, today’s review is another Silvaner from Castell.
I mentioned in the review of Castell Trocken Silvaner that it is from Germany, but I didn’t mention which part of Germany.  Both the Trocken and the Kugelspiel come from the Franken wine province in the state of Bavaria.  This is one of the best regions for Silvaner, due to the pronounced acidity from the grapes grown in this province.
I mentioned yesterday that some Silvaner can be downright fascinating, and this is a fantastic example of that.  And to make it even better, it’s really fun to say, “Koo-gull-shpeel.” Read more

Weingut Tesch Riesling Unplugged

Weingut Tesch Riesling UnpluggedWhen you look at the picture on the mark of a bottle of Tesch wine it may conjure up up images in your mind of an ancient German winemaker continuing the traditions from previous generations of winemakers.  But that impression would be far from the reality.
The man pictured on these marks is the fantastic grandfather of Dr. Martin Tesch, a relatively young winemaker who has been running Weingut Tesch since 1996.  And while the vineyard has been family run since 1723, Tesch isn’t really continuing the traditions of the past — he’s reinventing Weingut Tesch with a rock & roll sensibility.
Since taking over, Dr. Martin Tesch has done away several below-performing wine varieties and now produces mostly riesling.  And when it comes to riesling, he boldly shunned the sweet rieslings they were earlier known for in favor of drier riesling.  The initial response when he did so was harsh criticism and a 40% drop in sales.  But he quickly found a new audience for his wines and hasn’t looked back.  His reinvention was ultimately a huge success.
Dr. Tesch has even written a book on riesling and rock & roll called Riesling People Number 1.  OK, “written” might be an exaggeration, since the book is mostly pictures.
The vineyard is in the Nahe province of Germany.  Which, of course, is along the Nahe river. Read more