Riesling Report: Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese, 2010

July is riesling month! We're drinking it all month long...and maybe longer. Got a favorite riesling? Recommend it in the comments!


This Mosel wine is confounding. It begins with tart fruit, spice, and stone: apple peels, apple cider, and a mountain on ground cinnamon rest on a skeleton of minerality. I was reminded of lemons with cloves stuck in the peel, fragrant, spicy, but this lightly sweet, vibrant wine has a lot of savory in it; the baking spices are balanced with something earthy—miso, a bit of sweat, and, as importer Terry Theise notes, a hint of caraway. What is sourdough rye doing in this wine? Each sip seems to change, showing another thread, lively bits of orange zest, pressed rose petals, fennel seed.

This wine is miraculous with smoked salmon (add a squeeze of lemon, a little avocado, and pile it on toast.) The smoke latches into the savory notes in the wine, making something greater than the sum of its parts. Smoked trout would work, too, and it's also lovely with a lightly aged goat gouda.

Around $23, sample provided for review.

More riesling! More reports! »