Wine Blogging Wednesdays #45: Old World Riesling

By Jesse on May 7, 2008

Last month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday adventure was a freeballin’, full-sprint marathon tasting in which we polished off a bottle of French Cab Franc, took meticulous notes, snapped and uploaded copious amounts of photos, and resized and formatted those photos using my time-consuming system which Jessica insists is inefficient (but which I continue to swear by). Then we uploaded the whole mess onto the blog, all within an hour’s time, and made it to Newsha’s for the Green Wines tasting — harried and disheveled, but only about ten minutes late. It was a frantic and desperate endeavor, and I promised myself it would never be that way again.


One month later, I’m in the familiar position of sitting on Jason’s floor, funneling our response to WBW #45 onto the blog, maniacally resizing photos, and frequently checking my watch. No time to stress out, though — the weekly meeting is imminent, and there’s a delicious bottle of Riesling to talk about before it begins.

I had the 2006 Baron zu Knyphausen “Baron K” Riesling Kabinett (Rhinegau) at Vendome Studio City a few months ago, and, if my purchase of it was any indication, apparently enjoyed it. Tonight, with only three of us in attendance for this installment, we took us some healthy pours. The wine was bright yellow in the glass; Emily declared it “buttercup yellow” (and Jason conceded that “buttercup” was a more flattering term than the “urine yellow” he’d come up with).

A floral, nectary bouquet greeted our noses; Jason got honey, and I got dried apricot. Emily came up with “star fruit,” and also sang Jason’s honey tune. I was struck by the very dessert-wine character of this Kabinett, which smelled closer to an Auslese to me. Jason agreed; a “very dessert-wine nose,” which he found “beguiling.”

The palate was tart and crisp; Emily got apple, which Jason amended to “sour apple” (he thought it was particularly sour, in fact, and picked up some lemon notes). I observed an interesting sweetness trying to claw its way through the brambles of acid and tartness. Jason agreed: he felt some sweetness on the front of the pal, but claimed that it got “immediately subsumed by the tartness.” The finish was distinctly grapefruit, and the acid lingered. Emily had appreciated the early sweetness, which she thought was akin to “sprinkling sugar on a grapefruit,” and missed it on the finish.

In its review of this wine last month, the San Francisco Chronicle referred to “simply labeled regional/varietal German wines – sans village and vineyard names” as being a “fairly new category of good, everyday wines.” Definitely good, and fairly “everyday,” I suppose… especially if tart, beguiling Rieslings are your thing. Dynamic flavors, reasonable typicity, and decent balance for the most part, but we felt the sour character limited this otherwise promising wine’s appeal. Jason summed up our general feelings when he pointed out that “it’s good, but I’m sure that I’ve had better German Riesling for $15.”

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Star fruit, anyone?; Jason reacts negatively to the tartness; I swear, one day that chicken is going to kill me

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Jason likens the crispness of the wine to the sharpness of his Sweeny Todd razor; dear lord, keep that thing away from me; Emily knows how to pre-game

The Young Winos of LA — edutoxicating Los Angeles since 2005


  1. Thanks for your notes and great pictures. My summary will be posted over the weekend.


    Tim Elliott

    Comment by Tim Elliott — May 9, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

  2. Sounds like you had as much fun with your German Riesling as I did on this Wine Blogging Wednesday!

    Comment by Dale Cruse — May 12, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

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