When Dry Is Sweet
After years of inexplicable neglect, German Riesling--like Betty White--is undeniably back in the spotlight.
By now, most of us have shed the misconception that these wines are categorically sweet. Now Riesling is drinking drier still: One of the most exciting offshoots of New York's Riesling boom is the hubbub around Trocken wines, a neglected, bone-dry style of Riesling.
No one has done a better job of bringing local attention to this uncommon style than Mosel Wine Merchant. Founded in 2005, this importer has dedicated itself to delivering the traditionally dry styles of German wine that American drinkers have hitherto ignored.
One of our favorite examples of the Trocken trend is the 2009 Knebel Von den Terrasen ($20), a blend of grapes from the estate's terraced vineyards. With honeysuckle flavors balanced by chiseled acidity, it veers toward the masculine side of German wine and is bold enough to stand up to big-flavored pork or chicken dishes.
The 2009 Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken ($20), made by one of Germany's most innovative biodynamic growers, offers a muscular, stony character offset by pure orchard-fruit flavors; currently, you'll find it poured at Anfora. And at less than $20, the wildly expressive 2009 Stein Blauscheifer Riesling Trocken ($18) confirms how much these wines have been undervalued by Riesling detractors.
All three wines are available at Chambers Street Wines, 148 Chambers St. (between Greenwich St. and West Broadway); 212-227-1434 or chambersstwines.com
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