Saturday, September 15, 2012

Monchhof Estate Riesling 2011

German wines in general, and in particular the Rieslings, continue to be under appreciated by American consumers, even though there are many folks who like their wine a little on the sweet side. A lot of people come in the store I frequent for their white Zinfandel or other sweetish factory wine. Yes these wines are cheap, but once I get people to try a good German Riesling with it's fruity sweetness, balancing acidity and stony minerality, they become more open minded and more open to throwing down a few extra dollars. As they say, "life's too short to drink bad wine". Which brings me to the Monchhof Estate Riesling.

Germany had a difficult spring and early summer in 2011 but the weather turned perfect in August and September and producers were able to harvest fruit in very good condition with optimal ripeness. This estate has been a wine producing entity for some 800 years and it's current owners, the Eymal family, have been producing here since purchasing the estate in 1804. They have holdings in some of the best vineyards in Mosel and this may be the best $14.99 Riesling that money can buy. It's got beautiful aromatics with apricot, peach and that typical stony element so common to good German Riesling. This stony element comes from the slate laden soils of the steep hillside vineyards. In the mouth, this beauty is full-bodied with a somewhat oily texture and white, stone fruit flavors. It's long, lingering finish is sweet but balanced by bracing acidity. This interplay between residual sugar and acidity is an important quality here, the acidity making the wine taste less sweet than it is. This low alcohol wine goes well with Asian food, as an aperitif or even with a fresh fruit dessert. Imported by the Maximum Wine Company from the broker Rudi Wiest. Cheers.

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