Riesling Rendezvous
Tasting 20 dry Rieslings from around the globe, blind

One of the highlights of the recent (July 2016) Riesling Rendezvous event in Seattle were the two grand tastings. The first, reported here, was of dry Riesling, where a cut-off of 10 g/litre residual sugar was used.

I've published my notes here, as written. I've also included the analytic data (none of the German wines have pH levels because they don't routinely measure these). Analytic data only tell part of the story, of course. There's so much going on affecting the perception of these wines than sugar and acid levels.   

There were a few surprises here. I'm listing them in score order.


Dr Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling GG Reserve 2012 Mosel, Germany
12.5% alcohol, 7.6 g/l acid, 7.8 g/l sugar.
Powerful, linear and spicy with lovely marmalade, lemons, pears and ripe apple. Great concentration here. Intense and vivid with lovely precision. 94/100


Brooks Ara Riesling 2012 Oregon
12% alcohol, 7.7 g/l acid, 9.8 g/l sugar, pH 3.07.
Really aromatic with sweet limey fruits on the nose. Stony and intense with lovely aromatics. Structured, pithy palate with so much flavour. 93/100

Battenfeld-Spanier Riesling GG Frauenberg 2014? Rheinhessen, Germany
13% alcohol, 6.7 g/l acid, 4 g/l sugar.
Very linear and focused with lovely purity to the citrus, nut and spice palate. Linear with some pear and apple notes, too. Lovely detail and some stoniness underpinning the fruit. 93/100

Wittman Morstein GG Riesling 2014 Pfalz, Germany
13% alcohol, 7.1 g/l acid, 2.2 g/l sugar.
Stony and linear with nice citrus fruit. Very mineral with a stony core and a nice saline edge. Dry, bright and detailed with a firm finish. 93/100

Okonomeiral Rebholz Kastanienbusch GG Riesling 2014 Pfalz, Germany
12% alcohol, 7 g/l acid, 5.5 g/l rs.
Rounded, textural and pure with lively tangerine and lemon notes. Rounded and textural with nice weight. Very generous and has lovely fruit. 93/100

Emmerich Knoll Reid Schütt Riesling Smaragd 2013 Wachau, Austria
13% alcohol, 7.3 g/l acid, 5 g/l sugar.
Very delicate and textural with lovely citrus fruit. Nice weight with pear and apple notes. Lovely precision and texture. 93/100


Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling 2015 Great Southern, Australia
12.8% alcohol, 6.8 g/l acid, 4.8 g/l sugar, pH 2.9.
Delicate and fresh with fine expressive citrus fruit, as well as herbs and tangerines. Very fine with lovely delicacy. 92/100

Pike’s The Merle Riesling 2015 Clare Valley, Australia
12.5% alcohol, pH 2.83, 7.9 g/l acid, 3 g/l rs.
Very pure, linear, focused citrus fruit. Stony and linear with high acidity. 92/100

Hugel Grossi Laüe Riesling 2010 Alsace, France
13.2% alcohol, 7.9 g/l acid, 6.5 g/l sugar, pH 3.09.
Honeyed, appley and distinctive, with ripe fruit, some texture and a bit of nuttiness. Sweet pear and apple fruit: honeyed and broad. 92/100


Albert Mann Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2014 Alsace, France
13% alcohol, 8.8 g/l acid, 7 g/l sugar.
Herbs, wax and tangerines and lemons. Quite powerful and citrussy with high acid and a strong stony edge. 91/100

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling 2013 Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
13.1% alcohol, 10/7 g/l acid, 9.8 g/l sugar, pH 2.75.
Very high acidity with some development. Waxy, nutty and earthy with a pithy character. Dry with high acidity. 91/100

Hidden Bench Roman’s Block Riesling 2014 Niagara, Canada
10.5% alcohol, 10.9 g/l acid, 10.2 g/l sugar, pH 2.84.
Tight with very high acidity. Linear, showing bright lemons. Pithy and linear with lime, pith and spice notes. Such acidity! 91/100

Ravine Wine Cellars Dry Riesling 2014 Finger Lakes, New York
12.5% alcohol, 8.2 g/l acid, 4 g/l rs, pH 3.18.
Herby with nice pithiness. Dense with robust fruitiness. Full flavoured with nice body. 91/100

Red Newt Cellars The Knoll Dry Riesling 2014 Finger Lakes, New York
12.6% alcohol, 7.5 g/l acid, 5 g/l sugar, pH 3.1.
Rounded and lively with some apple and tangerine, as well as a hint of mint. Nice weight with some sweet notes. 91/100


Christmann Idig GG Riesling 2014 Pfalz, Germany
12.7% alcohol, 7 g/l acid, 2 g/l sugar.
Sweetly aromatic and very fruity with some tangerine notes. Quite gentle and pretty with nice texture. 90/100

Balo Vineyards Dry Riesling 2014 Anderson Valley, California
12.5% alcohol, 8.3 g/l acid, 4.5 g/l sugar, pH 3.16.
Stony, creamy nose. Powerful palate is stony and vivid with minerality and some breadth, showing white peaches and grapes. 90/100

Mari Vineyards Scriptorium Riesling 2015 Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
12.3% alcohol, 9.7 g/l acid, 6 g/l sugar, pH 3.1.
Fresh and aromatic with herb-tinged lemony fruit on the nose. Pure, clean and dry with a juicy, talcy, lemony character. Pretty wine with some structure. 90/100

Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling 2014 Columbia Valley, Washington State
12.5% alcohol, 7.3 g/l acid, 8.4 g/l sugar, pH 2.88.
Limey and pithy with bright sweet citrus and apple fruit. Linear and zippy with nice precision. Juicy. 90/100


FX Pichler Kellerberg Riesling 2014 Wachau, Austria
13% alcohol, 7.5 g/l acid, 5.5 g/l sugar.
Very stony and mineral. Waxy, creamy and nutty. Quite unusual with a strong stony character. A bit odd. 88/100

Jim Barry The Florita Riesling 2012 Clare Valley, Australia
12.3% alcohol, 6.9 g/l acid, 3.5 g/l sugar, pH 3.
Pithy with pear, citrus and herbs. Direct wine with nice depth. Simple, fruity and with a rounded texture. 88/100

See also:

Judgement of BC: Canadian Riesling and Pinot takes on the world

Wines tasted 07/16  
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