Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two for Dessert – Summer of Riesling

During my collection phase to celebrate the 2011 Summer of Riesling I found several ice wine style Rieslings that were new to me and thus offered unknown potential enjoyment. I've enjoyed two of them so far, treating them as dessert without any accompaniment.

For me late-harvest, dessert and ice wine style Rieslings are the most vibrant example of what you can do with the grape. Something about the concentration of the aromas and flavors resonates profoundly with me.

Koenig 2009 Riesling Ice Wine

This wine has the color of honey with pungent ripe and ripening fruit aromas. The fruit aromas are intertwined with honey and spices which are joined on the palate by dried fruits and a great balance of acidity and sweetness. It has a smooth, clean finish that lingers but not to extremes.

Riesling Ice Wine from Idaho can hang with dessert wines from many other areas based on my experience. This wine is polished with pronounced aromas, flavors and some wild nuances that make great North American dessert Rieslings shine.

I ordered this wine directly from the winery with a couple of other styles, and it retails for $20 per bottle. That makes it good performer for dessert wines and an average performer overall.

Pacific Rim Vin de Glaciere

Hailing from Washington State this wine is a solid pleaser with a very specific fruit focus. Oranges. This wine is golden/orange in color, has aromas of citrus in the nose and flavors of dried oranges on the palate. It is hyper-orange, but in a balanced way where enjoyment of it isn’t hard. The acidity that rides along the finish does a fine job of leaving a clean exit. I bought this at a state liquor store for $18. Again a good performer in the dessert wine category.

Both of these wines would make fine ends to an evening with cheese, dessert or on their own. You have to like dessert wines to enjoy these, but I am hoping if you’ve read this far that you would be in that group.

And with that my 2011 Summer of Riesling continues. The search for Rieslings from the remaining New England states has seen some setbacks with my recent schedule, but with about a month to go until the technical end of summer, I’ve got time. I am expecting several additional events, including another regional Riesling tasting (New England wines) with my family in a couple of weeks, several more food and wine pairings, two more selections from Europe; capping it all off with another tasting of the exceptional ice wine from Inniskillin, a product of Canada.



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