In the past, riesling, a category then dominated by wines from Germany, most often meant sweet. Tastes have changed and riesling has adapted. Today, gloriously sweet German rieslings have been joined by dryer versions—labeled trocken—and other wine regions have jumped on board. The grape thrives in the Northwest, including in Idaho, so it's no surprise two of the top wines hail from our home state.
2014 Coiled Dry Riesling, $16.99
Coiled winemaker Leslie Preston is a proud champion of riesling. Her take on the grape is uniquely delicious, and this 2014 is bursting with riesling's characteristic ripe apricot aromas, backed by lychee and lavender. It's a beautifully balanced wine with a lively mix of blood orange, lime and pineapple fruit flavors. Flint and mineral come through on the long finish.
2013 Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Riesling, $24
While riesling originated in Germany, neighboring Austria has embraced the grape, typically producing a wine that's on the dry side. This elegantly structured version from the Wachau Valley offers floral lemon curd aromas with touches of almond, mineral and slate. The citrus flavors are crisp and lively, and racy acidity on the finish begs to be paired with food. Think shellfish.
2012 Koenig Vineyards Riesling, Sunny Slope Cuvee, $12.99
Greg Koenig is one of Idaho's premier winemakers and from the lovely stone fruit aromas colored by a characteristic touch of diesel on the nose, you'd guess this riesling hailed from Germany. On the palate, it's more Aussie in style: bone dry, almost austere, with bracing acidity. Bright citrus flavors lead off, finishing with mineral and lemon zest. This is a great buy.