Riesling Report: Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling Spätlese, 2009

We're celebrating the Summer of Riesling by trying a different bottle every weekday. Got a favorite riesling? Recommend it in the comments!


I think what many people don't realize about sweet wines is how bright and vibrant they can be—even refreshing. This isn't viscous tropical-fruit nectar, it's wine at once crisp and gently sweet. This Rheingau Spatlese smells a bit like fresh gingerbread, almost peppery. The fruit is pure and luminous: skin-on pears, yellow cherries, baby clementine segments, and a nice balancing green-apple tartness. This wine feels fall-like to me, and would be incredible with Thanksgiving stuffing (especially if you stud it with chesnuts and/or oysters.) There's a fennel seed note that would add to the pairing.

But what really makes this wine work is a swirling ribbon of slate flavors, waterfalling mineral notes that get nearly salty and latch on to a slight creamy toasted pine nut flavor. This singing slate note helps unite each element of this wine, bringing it into quite remarkable balance. With its hints of salt, sweet, spice, this is a perfect wine for crisp-skinned roast chicken with caramelized vegetables.

Around $33, sample provided for review.

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