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Maytag Blue

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Of all white wine varietals, Riesling probably has the worst reputation amongst non-industry wine drinkers. Many of us began our wine journey on inexpensive versions of sweet German wines and can't shake the association. Well, this is a classic wine varietal for a very good reason and it's one that deserves your attention. It is made in every style from bone dry to viscously sweet and each can be a lovely experience. This grape shows not only it's own distinct characteristics of bracing acidity mixed with fruit forward flavors of apple, citrus and peach, but soaks up enough of it's terroir to tell you exactly where it comes from, as well.

While most Rieslings are exported from Germany – Austria, Australia, New Zealand and California are jumping on the bandwagon. These wines work well with spicy foods, as their acid and sweetness cut through the heat leaving only the fruit flavors behind. German versions come in varying sweetness levels (click here to learn more) and need several years in the bottle to show their true form. The super sweet versions can age for a long time and are worth waiting for, though they are quite rare and very expensive ($100+). The New World versions are fermented dry and meant to be drunk upon release. Most versions lie in the $12-$30 range.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A light-medium bodied, lemon-colored wine with intense acidity and pronounced aromatics. Even when dry, there's nothing bland about the nose or palate both of which feature strong green, citrus and stone fruit flavors with a touch of minerality, all which vary depending on the region. The higher the level of sweetness and/or a hotter growing region the more tropical the flavors become with added floral and honey notes. Some versions have a distinct petrol aroma that thankfully does not follow through on the palate.

spacer.gif2008 Charles Smith "Kungfu Girl" Riesling, Columbia Valley, WARATING: **
spacer.gif2008 Willi Schaefer Estate Riesling, Mosel, GermanyRATING: ***
spacer.gif2007 Lengs & Cooter Riesling, Clare Valley, AustraliaRATING: *
spacer.gif2007 Dr. Loosen "Dr. L" Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwar, GermanyRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Sacktrager Spätlese, Rheinhessen, GermanyRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Leitz Rudesheimer Drachenstein Riesling, Rheingau, GermanyRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwar, GermanyRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwar, GermanyRATING: ***
spacer.gif2006 Koehler Winery Riesling, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Pyramid Valley Riesling Lebecca Vineyard, Canterbury, New ZealandRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Fess Parker White Riesling, Santa Barbara, CaliforniaRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling, Margaret River, AustraliaRATING: *
spacer.gif2004 Heyl zu Herrnsheim Niersteiner 'Baron Heyl' Riesling Spatlese, Rheinhessen, GermanyRATING: ***
spacer.gif2004 Jean-Philippe & Jean-Francois Becker Riesling Froehn, Alsace, FranceRATING: **
spacer.gif2002 Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling, Barossa Valley, AustraliaRATING: **

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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