Not long ago I found out that some relatives of mine own a winery in Germany, and they specialize in Riesling. (I knew wine was in my blood!) My mother is from Bavaria, and I have not been there to visit her side of the family since I was a kid. Now I have a definite incentive!
I have commented before about how dry German Riesling is very in-demand among collectors. Sommelier Steve Tartaglia and I talked about this on our podcast Wine Stories – please do check that out, because he makes the German system of grape picking (Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, etc.) finally understandable! By rights, grapes grown this far north in the Mosel River region should not be able to thrive at all – it’s cold up there – but the combination of soil, and the steep, south-facing slopes concentrating the afternoon sunshine gives certain German Rieslings unparalleled clarity of flavor, and an incredible balance of ripe fruit with bracing acidity that is truly remarkable.
This week’s featured wine has many of the characteristics of those world-class Rieslings. First, the 2015 vintage is tremendous; look for it from any German producer in the Mosel and you won’t go wrong. The 2015 Jacob-Heims Riesling Spatlese is a late-harvest (what “spatlese” indicates) Riesling that is amazingly fragrant: lots of tropical fruit, honey and melon, with pink grapefruit and exotic spices you don’t normally associate with Germany. On the palate, it balances those intense fruit flavors with a mouth-watering acidity and an earthy, mineral finish that is amazing for a wine this inexpensive. This wine would pair really well with spicy food, Thai, Chinese or Mexican.
On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, the 2015 Jacob-Heims Riesling Spatlese gets 3.75 corks! At less than $13 a bottle, it’s an amazing value.
If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Ferrari’s Little Italy! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!