Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler – 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese

HB Spatlese

For some unknown reason, I rarely include Rieslings on my list of wines to taste.  Perhaps it’s that the wine world has this love-hate relationship with Rieslings, which, in my opinion, is unfounded.  I know that some of you have a love-love relationship with them, and I commend you – “Riesling” has become such a generic word for an amazingly wide range of wine experiences – it hardly does justice to everything that is out there under the name.

We had a little late summer gathering this evening, and wanted something cold and crisp, but decidedly fruity.  My personal bias is that I’ve tended to always stick to dry whites, so I was almost reluctant to open this semi-sweet, fruit forward wine.  Ah, but shame on me….open it I did, and I was so very nice.  The aromas of gooseberry, passion fruit and pineapple were lovely.  The flavors matched well, with a little vanilla creaminess mixed into the fruit.  The acidity was modest but remained crisp enough to offer a light, fruity finish without cloying sweetness.  This wine was just perfect  with our lightly spiced grilled shrimp.  I have no doubt I’ll revisit this wine very soon.



Brancott Estate – 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

On a hot, humid summer evening, what sounds more pleasant than a cold, crisp, easy-drinking white wine?  I opened this wine to discover a wave of refreshing citrus aroma.  Grapefruit was very predominant, with a hint of gooseberry.  I think I fell in love with this wine before I even took a sip.  My first sip was, in short, delightful.  The balance was magnificent, with acids in check, but still very bright.  The medium body of this wine gives a nice mouth-feel as well.  I enjoyed this wine with some garlic hummus, grilled vegetables and grilled shrimp with a Mediterranean aioli.

Trader Moon Wine Co. – 2011 Honey Moon Viognier (Trader Joe’s)

Who said you can’t get a nice wine for a low price?  I spent last night tasting moderate to high priced Viogniers, so today I decided to see what I could find that might be good at a lower price.  The 2011 Honey Moon Viognier is one of those wines.  One quick swirl and the first aroma I noticed was a definite apricot and peach note – very pleasant.  These were the same prominent flavors as well.  And yes, there were subtle flavors and aromas of honey, too.  Now, I will say that for those of you who enjoy a dry viognier, you may find this wine to be a bit sweeter than expected – more off-dry than dry, with an apparent higher residual sugar.  No biting acids here.  This wine is proof that you can find a nice wine at a very low price.  It makes for a refreshing end to a long, hot summer day.  I found it went well with some spicy light fare, right off the grill.