Jeff’s Corner 11-30-17

Howdy, Hola, and Hello.

Today is Riesling day, and I seem to have been on a mission the last few years to turn the world on to what a wonderful grape this is, and what a great wine it produces.  Our 2015 won a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and today we’ll check out the new 2016 GCV Texas Riesling.

First, however, let’s check out a little history of one of the world’s greatest white grapes.  The grape dates back at least 500 years, and perhaps as many as 2000.  Most likely it originated in the Rhine River Valley of southwestern Germany, and was documented in Alsace as “Rissling” in 1477.

The full name of the “true German” grape is Johannisberg Riesling, and we should know that there are many ”false Rieslings”.  Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are the most common, but we also see wines labeled Franken Riesling, Sylvaner Riesling, Sonoma Riesling, and more.  These are not the real thing.

This is our first “Texas” Riesling, with the majority of the grapes from the Bayer Family Vineyards on the High Plains, near Meadow, Texas.  It is 11% ABV, and at 2.8% residual sugar is almost identical in sweetness to the ’15 (2.9%).

Our 2016 is a brilliant pale yellow/green, and skates across our palate like an Olympic Gold Medalist.  Aromas are delicate and complex, with subtle hints of Gardenia dancing with honey, Mandarin orange, banana, and peach.

Sugar, acid, and fruit are perfectly integrated, and the wine shows great symmetry with a rich, sensuous mouth-feel.  The crisp, spicy finish lingers, and some flirting minerality adds a final touch of complexity.

I tasted this wine twice before writing these notes (darn), and to me it needs to be enjoyed well chilled, around 45*.  The acid best defines the fruit and sugar at a cold temperature; too warm and the wine becomes flabby and heavy on our palate.

Riesling is a great wine with food.  In style, it can be bone dry to very, very sweet, and excels at every range.  I just finished the last of this bottle (I’m convinced there’s not as much in there as there used to be) and I think it would be great with a really spicy Red Snapper Veracruz with black beans and peppered bacon.

Next week, zee Merlot…