Riesling Report: Zilliken Butterfly Riesling 2008

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


This off-dry wine from the Saar region in Germany is densely packed, like crab-apple concentrate (including the tannic skins.) The tanginess zings on the finish, though up front you mostly taste apricot jam and flinty minerals, with a balsam-sage note that might please fans of juniper-forward gins. The combination of acidity and minerality can read as almost bitter here; this is an angular wine, not a light, graceful, gauzy one.

The herbal character makes this wine a good choice for herb-rubbed pork chops and rosemary potatoes, though the mellow sweetness also mean you could pair it with Cantonese or Thai food. I probably wouldn't seek this one out again; in this price range, I'd go with wines from Gunderloch, Schloss Gobelsburg, or Ulli Stein.

$17-18, sample provided for review.

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