Spending the Summer of Riesling in Alsace

The last time I participated in #Winechat was in May when we were exploring the wonderful wines of Cairdean Estate. (Click here for review) I was looking forward to once again joining the conversation, especially with a lovely Riesling from Alsace.  #Winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. It is an hour long educational wine experience that features wineries, distributors, sommeliers and wine writers in a Twitter conversation with followers from novice to sommeliers and every level in between. I encourage you to visit Protocol Wine Studio’s web site to learn more about #Winechat and to view upcoming topics. Furthermore, I invite you to join the conversation each Wednesday at 8pm CST on Twitter by following #Winechat.

Protocol Wine StudioTeuwen1

This week’s #Winechat’s focus was “The Summer of Riesling” which included Brandl Riesling from Austria, Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010, and Schloss Schonborn Riesling Kabinett Erbach Macrobrunn 2011. Teuwen Communications graciously provided me a sample of Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010 so I could join in the tasting fun. This educational and tasting event was sponsored by Austrian Wine USA, Wines of Alsace, and Wines of Germany. As a side note, though I did not receive the German Riesling I recently tasted 5 German Rieslings, (one from Kabinett Trocken, Rheingau) and they were all exceptional so based on other participant’s tasting notes and my educated taste buds I am sure the Scholoss Schonborn was outstanding. Furthermore, though I have not had the pleasure of tasting an Austrian Riesling, based on other participants comments the Brandl Rielsing sounded equally delicious.

 Schlossberg Riesling2

Schlossberg riesling

Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010: This wine poured an gleaming golden straw into the glass, greating the nose with a lovely bouquet of floral notes followed by stone fruit, citrus, mint and honey. On the palate this deliciously creamy Riesling brought forth flavors of apricots, ripe yellow peaches, grapefruit, and lemon curd with a touch of honey suckle and minerality to balance out the full mouth flavors. This wine was silky smooth with wonderful acidity that paired elegantly with its creamy texture. It was a dry wine with medium body and a long finish that teased the back of the throat with a hint of sweetness. This Riesling was truly outstanding and delivered everything one wants in a Riesling. This wine matured on its lees in large oak barrels for 12 months resulting in its rich taste and texture. Once bottled, this wine is aged for 2-3 years before being offered for sale. It contained 13% alcohol with an SRP of $34. I highly recommend this wine!

Schlossberg Riesling dinner

Schlossberg Riesling Salad

Rieslings are very versatile and work with a large variety of food pairings. It is important to keep a few on hand for Thanksgiving, Easter, Passover and every day meals consisting of Asian cuisine. These meals tend to have a variety of flavors, textures and spices that Rieslings typically handle with ease. I chose to pair the Paul Blanck Riesling with pan roasted tilapia topped with a sweet and spicy salsa consisting of finely chopped jalapeno, red bell pepper, purple onion, cilantro, mango and lime juice. I served the tilapia alongside roasted asparagus and a caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoesSchlossberg Riesling dessert and fresh basil from my garden. It was a wonderful meal and the wine was a fantastic accompaniment. For dessert I served a lemon cake with berries and Chantilly butter cream frosting. Because the wine had a hint of sweetness it did not pair perfectly with the dessert. Don’t get me wrong, it was not a bust by any means. But the wine would have paired better with fresh fruit and not all the additional sugar. To find this wine click here.

The following picture and notes come from the Wines of Alsace web site:

alsace schlossberg__large

“On the south-facing slopes stretching from Kaysersberg to Kientzheim lies the Schlossberg vineyard, the oldest and largest of Alsace’s 51 Grand Cru sites. The Grand Cru Schlossberg was first classified in 1975, though it has been renowned for producing excellent wines since the 15th century. The vineyard covers nearly 200 acres and is located at an altitude of 750 to 1,150 feet. It is so steep that it must be terraced. Nearly 75% of the Schlossberg is planted with Riesling, with the remainder made up of Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and a small amount of Muscat. The mineral-rich granite soils create very elegant and richly floral wines that are prized for their ability to age. Grand Cru Schlossberg producers include Domaine Weinbach, Bott Geyl, Albert Mann, Paul Blanck, Mader and Anne de Laweiss, to name a few.”

Alsace produces fantastic wines. The unique climate of Alsace allows grapes to obtain their full ripeness and acidity resulting in balanced wines. Alsace is the second driest region in France. Ten percent of the world’s Rieslings are produced in Alsace and Riesling is the most widely planted grape in Alsace with 22% of all land growing Riesling. Anytime you have the opportunity to enjoy wine from Alsace do not pass it up. I encourage you to visit the Wines of Alsace web site as well as Alsace Wine web site to learn more about the great wines from this wonderful region in France. Then head to your local wine retailer and buy an assorted collection of Alsace wines. You will not be disappointed!

My Song Selection: Based on the elegant flavor of this lushious Riesling I would normally chose to pair an equally elegant song; however, thanks to Tina Morey of Protocol Wine Studio for sharing an article with me by the Drinks Business, it has come to my attention that Riesling is most enjoyed by rockers! I grew up in the days of metal and hairbands so I can certainly rock with the best of them. The song I have chosen to pair with Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010 is Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses (or as they were called back in my day GNR). This song is a perfect choice because it is a rock song by a rock band so I am covered there, it has style AND when you sip on this Riesling you will feel like you are in Paradise City….yep, it’s that good!

Get your own bottle of Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010 (RUN!) and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!


6 responses to “Spending the Summer of Riesling in Alsace”

      • I drink some Riesling, but am much more partial to reds. As whites go I enjoy it if it’s not catastrophically sweet, as some bad Rieslings tend to be. I know it’s a sweet varietal but it shouldn’t taste like Mountain Dew.

      • You are exactly right; Riesling should NOT taste like Mountain Dew. There is a scale of sweetness in Rieslings from very sweet to not sweet at all. Good wine stores should indicate the sweetness level of each Riesling on their shelves. I prefer dry to off dry with high acidity. This Alsace Riesling was a Grand Cru so it Rocked!!! Cheers!

  1. Reblogged this on http://www.seanmunger.com and commented:
    What does Riesling possibly have to do with Guns N’ Roses? You’ll just have to read this article from Michelle at the Rockin Red Blog to find out! She takes us through some pretty good Alsatian examples of one of the sweeter white wines out there, and finishes up with a good dose of 80s metal. You can’t argue with that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: