Rieslings for the Summer
In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10.
My friend and fellow writer, Kathy Bennett, asked about Rieslings a few posts ago. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know I’m not a sweet wine fan. But being the dedicated Wine Blogger that I am, I forged ahead into uncharted waters and tasted some Rieslings this past weekend. So here you go, Kathy…hope you find a few in here that you like! (I know I did…)
Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling, 2010 Monterey County, California 100% Jackson Estates Grown. Alcohol 13.0% by volume; regularly $14.99, on sale at Albertson’s for $9.99.
On the Label: “The less we handle the fruit, the better the quality. The combination of climate, soil and hillside vineyards delivers a superior-flavored grape. Our Jackson Estates Grown Riesling is no exception. Stone-fruit flavors of apricot and peach deliciously mingle with hints of Anjou pear and bursts of jasmine. This wine’s distinctive taste is a result of the coastal vineyards in Monterey County, from where it was harvested.” –Founder, Jess S. Jackson
My Take: I really liked this wine, to my vast surprise. It has a faint flowery scent and a touch of the sweetness – just perfect for a spring meal (Easter, perhaps). The hubby wasn’t as enamored as I was, due to the slightly steely aftertaste and not enough sweetness in the foretaste.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ I’ll definitely keep it in mind now for those spring/summer warm to hot days.
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling, 2009 California Alcohol, 12.5% by volume Regular price, $11.99 – on sale for $6.99 at Albertsons
On the Label: “Through timeless winemaking innovation, an uncompromising eye for quality and unshakable faith in California’s vineyards, Robert Mondavi was a pioneer in producing wines that rival the world’s finest. The enticing floral and spice notes of our Riesling weave through the crisp fruit flavors.”
My Take: This wine smells like honey in a glass, and also has a lovely aftertaste of honey – light, crisp, sweet but not too sweet. My hubby said “This is a Riesling!” For me, this particular wine isn’t one I’d reach for on a daily basis, but for all of that it sits pleasantly on the palate and begs for a picnic at a scenic spot with someone special. Some sharp cheese, maybe salami, and this wine – you’ve got a winner.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Plus it’s a fantastic price!
Chateau St. Michelle Riesling 2010 Columbia Valley, Washington State Alcohol 11.0% by volume Regularly $9.99, on sale for $7.99 at Albertsons.
On the Label: “Enjoy classic Washington state Riesling in this fresh, crisp and balanced style. Delicious flavors of ripe peach and juicy pear are underscored with racy acidity.”
My Take: Admittedly, I had this wine under unusual circumstances. 1. I’d already had two glasses of Pinot Noir. 2. The wine wasn’t properly chilled. 3. I wasn’t really looking to have more wine. However, this blog called…and the wine answered. To my surprise, it was my favorite of all three. The sweetness is balanced between the Kendall Jackson and the Mondavi; the alcohol content is lower than both; and there’s no steely aftertaste. The scent is fresh and floral, but not overwhelming. Perfect for a picnic, or a before dinner drink.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ It doesn’t get a higher rating because, frankly, it’s not a red. But to my taste buds, it’s the best of the three. Hubby preferred the Mondavi – and we’d both still drink the Kendall Jackson. And to my surprise, I’m now a Riesling fan!
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ. And hey – if you’ve got a varietal out there you want me to taste, let me know! You know where to find me…
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
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My rating system: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!