2010 Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling

Wine Review: 2010 Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling

Riesling is one of those grapes that gets a bad name. There is a lot of sweet, cheap, schlock being made that tastes more like Sprite than wine, so many red drinkers dismiss the grape entirely.

They couldn't be more wrong.

Ah, Riesling. From lovely, bright, bone-dry acidic versions to aged, honeyed giants that scream acid and slate, minerals and flowers, fruit and smoke, all in one sniff and sip; the Riesling grape is so intriguing to me because, unlike many other wine grapes, it expresses not only itself, but its terroir with such integrity that it was the first wine I drank that made me believe in the concept of terroir at all. If you haven't heard of terroir before, it is originally a French term that refers to a wine's sense of place, the soil, climate, everything involved with where a grape grows. French wine makers will wax on for days about terroir, and while newer wine makers may have scoffed originally, you now hear wineries all over the globe refer to their terroir. Rieslings from different places are so recognizable, and Rieslings in general are so food friendly, that they are a favorite of mine, and many others. In fact, ask a sommelier what they drink at home and, 9 times out of 10, they'll mention Riesling. I was very happy to read Rajat Parr naming Riesling as the grape "most sommeliers consider king" in the book, Secrets of the Sommeliers (Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay).

In general, Riesling likes cool climates (the Alsace Region of France, several regions in Germany, and Upstate New York are all respected Riesling growers) and carry sweetness paired with searing acidity. Stick with Alsace for the dry, German for sweet, and get to know this grape.

Enough about Riesling in general and lets talk about the 2010 Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling. This is a slightly biased review because I drink this wine quite a lot, it is potentially the best value Riesling on the market that I know of. Made in the Mosel region of Germany, there is a little sweetness in the wine, but it is balanced by such assertive acidity that it is utterly refreshing and delicious. Pear and citrus flavors and scents were abundant with lovely minerality coming through. I enjoyed it heartily with my pate, and would pair Riesling with any charcuterie, but Riesling also pairs really well with foods that usually don't play well with wine. With sushi, Riesling is far tastier to me than sake, and the touch of sweetness makes it a good pair for spicy dishes (Asian cuisine or otherwise).

Last note: German Riesling is often graded by the ripeness of the grapes when they were picked. Like I mentioned with Gerwurztraminer, the ranges are: Kabinett (first picking), Sp├Ątlese, Auslese, Beerenauselese, Eiswein (grapes harvested and pressed while frozen) and Trockenbeerenauslese (extremely overripe grapes, picked when they are practically raisins clinging to the vine).

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