2008 Spreitzer Rosengarten Riesling Erstes Gewächs (Previously $35)

SKU #1053468

91 points Robert Parker: "The Spreitzer’s 2008 Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Erstes Gewachs Rosengarten (from their monopole riverside section of the huge and diverse acreage of today’s official Einzellage Lenchen, the use of the name Rosengarten on a label still being the subject of controversy) prickles a bit with the unexpected scent of gooseberry. Lemon zest and herbs reinforce the Sauvignon-like sense to this Riesling, which comes onto the palate transparent to inner-mouth floral as well as saline, crushed stone, and peat nuances. Bright and subtly tart, it nevertheless exhibits too much gloss and underlying stuffing to come off as at all sharp or lean, and its finish tugs relentlessly at your salivary glands. The empty glass begins to smell less of gooseberry and more of a greenhouse. This should be fascinating to follow for 6-8 years, perhaps longer." (02/10)

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Price: $19.99

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Varietal:

Riesling

- 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.
Country:

Germany

- 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.