Time once again for the quarterly samples provided by the folks at Wines of Germany. On the same day the wines arrived, Julia was coming over for dinner and some mid-week TV, and I thought that some Asian food was in order (by wich I mean the hundreds of distinct cuisines consumed by a third of the human population). I wanted Korean, she wanted Thai... The solution, of course, was Pei Wei Asian Diner. While I always strive to support my local mom and pop establishments, sometimes time and convenience are more pressing, and frankly, I've always enjoyed the food I've had there. She had the Pad Thai while I enjoyed a spicy Korean beef dish with lots of carrots and green beans. A pair of egg rolls rounded out the quiet Tuesday night meal, but I got to serve them with some serious German white wines.
2010 Balthasar Ress "Von Unserem" Rheingau Riesling Trocken
$18, 12% abv.
Weingut Balthasar Ress began in 1870 as a small winery and hotel operation in Hattenheim just west of Frankfurt am Main. Konrad Adenauer and others met at the hotel in the late 40s to draft the new German constitution. Geschichte in mein Glas. The wine is light and crisp with apricot elements and wonderful acidity. Dry and fruity with a mild, short finish. Right below the convenient screwcap you'll find the VDP eagle logo, a sign of quality in German winemaking.
2008 Knebel Röttgen Riesling Spätlese
$40, 8.5% abv.
Weingut Reinhard & Beate Knebel is a bit younger, founded in 1990. It's a smaller operation, but I was extremely impressed by this bottle. Wow. Aromas of jasmine and dried fruit dominate with the barest hint of petrol. It has a smooth and round body with flavors of red apple and medium sweetness. The wine is pleasantly low in alcohol but still clings to the glass slightly when swirled. I tasted both of these wines before dinner, but with an array of spices, peppers, and hot mustard, this wine really opened up and showed a lot of range. Highly recommended.
Note: These wines were received as samples.