Light, fresh, zippy and ULTRA-SUMMERY … MARY DOWEY selects a MOUTHWATERING GERMAN RIESLING as her bottle of the week …
Dr L Riesling, Mosel, Loosen Bros 2016
Even though wine writers and sommeliers have sung its praises non-stop for at least two decades, Riesling still has a hard time of it in the Irish market. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It can be confusing – sometimes dry, sometimes off-dry and sometimes sweet, often without a clear indication on the label of which style to expect.
There’s also a widespread feeling that dry wine equals sophisticated and off-dry or sweet equals naff. This needs to be knocked on the head. Off-dry Riesling, often both sophisticated and delicious, is an exquisite balancing act. A certain amount of sweetness is needed to counteract the piercing acidity that typifies this grape variety, especially when grown in cooler regions – most notably the Mosel valley in Germany where the wines it produces are frequently sublime. Dr L provides an opportunity to try out this style without spending a bomb.
The producer is Ernie Loosen, one of Germany’s best known (and most voluble) Riesling producers, so it has a fine pedigree. More important is the fact that it dances tantalisingly on the tongue, delivering a brilliant burst of fresh green apple flavours softened by a lick of honey. To me it’s the perfect summer aperitif – and I speak with some authority here, having sipped many a glass of Dr L over the years.
You can also match it with light first courses – salads with an element of fruit, for instance; or try it with not-too-spicy Indian or Chinese dishes. It’s especially tasty with a simple pork stir fry – pork’s affinity with apples no doubt helping it along.
As for the alcohol level… you’ll be hard pushed to find lower. Goodbye, headaches. The bottle is screwcapped, making it a handy candidate for the fridge, and in my experience it keeps well enough for a couple of days after opening, will-power permitting.
From ; Mortons, Dublin 6; Hole in the Wall & DrinkStore, Dublin 7; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; O’Donovans outlets, Cork; Fine Wines outlets, Limerick, €15-16.50.
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