2008 Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein "Dragonstone" Riesling Qba (Previously $16)

SKU #1048493

90 points Wine & Spirits: "This contrasts crisp, cool fruit flavors with the earthy, broadly aromatic profile typical of the Rheingau. It's focused and cleanly defined, and as one taster said, 'it overdelivers for the category,' showing an unusual sophistication for an entry-level wine." According to Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Dragonstone has seldom displayed more vivacity or sheer juiciness - here in the form of lime and grapefruit - nor has it had more tartness (here suggesting crabapple) or herbal pungency. The result is a bit of disharmony, in part noticeable due to the wine’s sheer energy. 'Yes, there’s a fight between sweetness and acid,' Leitz acknowledges, 'but that’s the tension I want.' To my palate, after six months in the bottle, this seemed to have begun knitting itself... if you follow it for a half dozen years (perhaps longer, we have to wait and see) it remains a joy and takes interesting turns." (02/10) Universally regarded as one of the three rising stars of the new generation of Rheingauers (with Künstler and Weil). Extraordinarily aromatic, vigorous wines from a vintner who grows more commanding each vintage. This is the wine that once was called Rüdesheimer Drachenstein, and it’s the wine David Schildknecht said was the best Riesling value in the world, which is because Johannes sells it to us for much less than it’s worth. For a large-production wine this receives the same care in the vineyards and cellar that every Leitz wine receives.

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Price: $10.99
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Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2009 | Send Email
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The first wine that I ever had was a German Spatlese. Over the years, I began to move to other wines and neglected the wonderful riesling grape. Eric Story, our buyer for Germany, introduced me to the Dragonstone and it was love at first sip. Done in a drier style, this wine has zippy lime, grapefruit and mineral notes to accompany the lychee, peach and apricot fruit. This is the PERFECT wine for those of you who have been reluctant to try riesling. Wonderful with spicy Thai food or sushi with loads of wasabe.

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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted. Click for a list of bestselling items from Germany.