Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by International Import-Export
What They Said:
Per Wine-O-Rama “We found this cheapie for $6 at Trader Joe’s yesterday, and after two days of Easter celebrations, decided to give it a go. This is a blend of riesling and Müller-Thurgau grapes picked late in the harvest (spatlese) and are of the highest Qualitatswein mit Pradikat designation. Lots of mellow but vibrant fruit here along with a touch of acidy “spritz.” Sweet, yes (8.5% alcohol) but not “cheap riesling” sweet (a notch or two above those sickly syrupy cheap rieslings that I describe as syrup from the bottom of a store brand fruit tin can.) This would be a quite tasty sip on the patio bench or in the hot tub on a sultry summer night. Nowhere near world class riesling, but for six bucks, we’ll definitely have some on hand for appropriate situations.”
What I Think:
Per wikipedia, “Spätlese is a German wine term for a late harvest wine and is the second category of QmP wine in the German wine classification above Kabinett and below Auslese in terms of ripeness. The grapes are picked at least 7 days after normal harvest, so they are riper and have a higher must weight.
Greater Intensity and strength then Kabinett
High level of acidity that curbs any overt sweetness
Fleshy and intensely flavored
Often tastes of apple, pear and honeysuckle
Elegant nose with highly detectable aromas”
Man have I had a hard time trying to remember the different German riesling styles and what they mean over the years. Usually it doesn’t matter as when I pop the cork I am happy with the product. On initially opening this wine I am hit with thoughts of champagne based on the hint of bubbles on my palate. This is a full bodied wine which continues this analogy until the sweetness takes over. And boy does it take over! Some apple is present but I was having a hard time identifying much. That being said I tried to pair this with roasted chicken (mistake!) when it clearly needs some spicy Asian cuisine to use its primary characteristic to its advantage.
Rating: 12th Bottle