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Riesling: Drinking it Dry

Three German wines that sip perfectly on hot summer days


  • Boise Weekly

Of all the noble grapes, Riesling is arguably the most neglected and misunderstood. Its wines can range from bone dry to sticky sweet, which can be confusing. That's complicated by complex rules governing its production and labeling in Germany, where the variety originated. But it has found a home in vineyards around the world. Nothing is more versatile or refreshing for summer sipping than a dry-style Riesling, and as this tasting proved, it can age beautifully.

2015 Alexana Riesling, $27

You get Riesling's classic touch of petrol on the nose, lurking behind the floral orange blossom, apple and crushed stone aromatics. This is an elegantly structured, impeccably balanced wine with smooth stone fruit, gooseberry and Pink Lady apple playing against crisp lime. The finish on this outstanding Oregon entry lingers on and on.

2017 Dr. L Dry Riesling, $12.99

This is an entry-level Riesling from the renowned German producer Dr. Loosen. The lively aromas offer stone fruit, lime and mineral. The palate is crisp and refreshing, with bright apple and citrus flavors backed by a touch of saline and mineral. Zesty acidity marks the finish, begging to be paired with food: think seafood or light pastas.

2012 Vickers Apricot Lane Riesling, $13.99

I reviewed this wine six year ago—l loved it then; I love it more now. The years in the bottle have added an unctuous depth to the palate that combines racy acidity and creamy apricot with touches of mineral and petrol on the finish. It's a memorable wine and an amazing bargain from one of Idaho's most meticulous and talented winemakers. This is why I love older Rieslings.

—David Kirkpatrick