Articles Tagged riesling
Remember when I waxed all smitten-like over a tasting of Rangen Alsace Grand Cru Riesling?
Well, I do.
I was so smitten, in fact, that I did something that I’ve only ever done twice in ten years, which was to reach out to the U.S. PR agency dealing with Alsatian wines and ask them to book me on a media jaunt to the area, so that I could get my feet directly on those Rangen rocks. Which, luckily for me, they did.
In a classic case of be-careful-what-you-wish-for-vuz-you-just-might-get-it, I then had to scale the greater-than-45-degree slopes of Alsace’s southernmost (and by far its steepest) Grand Cru vineyard site, though the view (and the tastes) about 450 meters up were well worth a little breathlessness (PSA: if you consider yourself not exactly physically fit, you might want to skip a visit to Rangen). Think the Mosel, only steeper (yes, the vineyard workes use ropes to secure themselves from falling to their deaths during harvest), or the Douro (only with less terracing and more danger to life and limb). The only marring comes by way of the factories along the nearby Thur river, a holdover from the `50s. Otherwise, this spot between Thann and Vieux-Thann is thoroughly picturesque.
Rangen has a few other characteristics that distinguish it from the rest of Alsace’s (many) GC sites. It might be one of the oldest of the region’s Grand Crus, with the origin of its name being lost to posterity (the first recorded reference goes back all the way to the Thirteenth Century). The rocky soils are about 330 million years old, the result of older mountain ranges and volcanic extrusions all mixed up together. This makes for a harder-than-average vineyard soil, with dark components that help to retain heat, with a more fragile subsoil that allows deep penetration by the vine roots.
You’d think that, with the steepness, naturally low yields, and the fact that it takes new vines closer to seven years to produce fruit here (versus three years in more forgiving environments), that harvest would be a total bitch. But there’s an even bitchier aspect of the Rangen for those that tend it…
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Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!
This week, I’m kicking off a series of questions about German wine, and also trying a new Quiz format for the new year.
Instead of using comments to reveal the answer, I’m directing you back to the Local Wine Events website when you click on your best answer guess-timate (LWE is where the quizzes are originally hosted, and sent out to a couple of hundred thousand wine lovers via the LWE weekly newsletter, The Juice).
You’re still welcome to use the comments, of course, and hopefully we can continue to rib each other there in these weekly quiz posts, but I think this nove is for the best as I’m increasingly finding that I’m a) not able to always get back with the correct answer within a reasonable timeframe, and b) certainly not consistently able to provide it at the same time every week.
And so I’ll try this format for a bit (rather than just calling it quits on the quiz altogether, since I’ve received almost exclusively positive feedback over the last twelve months about including these questions here on 1WD). Your feedback is, of course, welcome (not that I can stop you from giving it even if I wanted to!).
Honey, I’m Late (Harvested)! In what year was the first Spätlese (late-harvested) Riesling vintage in Germany?
Cheers – and good luck!
Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz! This week, long-term 1WD readers with good memories will be at an advantage, presumably if they’ve not destroyed those brain cells with alcohol, as we’ve covered this ground (ha-ha! sorry… that awful joke will make sense in a minute) before on these virtual pages.
Standard disclaimer: I supply a quiz question each week, but I do *not* supply the quiz answer right away. YOU do, by virtue of your most awesome guess as to that answer in the comments, and then tune back in later in the comments section for the official answer. Which might be delayed due to Frankenstorm (sorry!).
Rock Solid Character: Slate-rich soils, such as those found in the more northerly wine-making areas in Germany, are thought to impart what characteristic aroma to Riesling wines?
B. Green apple
Cheers – and good luck!
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of dining with fellow wine-geek and wine-blogger David McDuff and his wife at the center of my Asian-fusion culinary universe, Teikoku.
Aside from generally enjoying each other’s collective company, our get-together had another purpose, which was to (finally, yes, finally) sample some of the wines sent to us via fellow wine-geek and wine-blogger (and fellow currently-suffering-Steelers-fan) Lenn Thompson as part of the Taste NY program. On deck were six NY Finger Lakes Rieslings, all from different producers, to be evaluated in the only real way that Rieslings can be truly evaluated – in the company of excellent food. The wines:
David consistently offers up amazing tasting notes and wine evaluations on his blog, and this event was no exception – earlier this week he posted his thoughts on the six sample bottles that we tasted. His notes are lucid and entertaining, and he nailed our collective perceptions of the wines that night (the only change I’d make to his observations would be in my personal order of preference, which would have put the Dr. Frank dead last because I’ve had previous vintages of this wine that were excellent, and thus my disappointment level on tasting the `07 was quite high).
What David didn’t mention in his write-up was that he’d kindly brought along a different Riesling for comparison. Not from the Finger Lakes, at $18 that mystery wine was priced at the lower end of he spectrum of the NY wines on our evaluation list that evening, and it had me rethinking the entire QPR proposition of FLX Rieslings…
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