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It is becoming clear that Riesling is my thing. I find myself searching all over Southern California, as well as the Web, to find interesting Rieslings for the taking/tasting. On a warm fall day I had the opportunity to cool down over two separate Rieslings, sans food, letting the Rieslings work their magic.

It was warm, just a few days after being pelted with rain; there was no trace of moisture in Los Angeles. I decided to abate the unremitting heat by throwing a couple seven-fifties in the chiller. They happened to be: A bottle of 2009 Eroica Riesling (already included in the countdown) and another bottle of 2009 Dönnhoff Kabinett Riesling (#161). I waited until they were good and cold before popping them.

Beginning with the Dönnhoff Riesling, I uncorked the cool-to-the-touch German bottle, in a hurry to nose the green apple aromas leaping from the glass. It’s fragrance was powerful but simple—candied green apple. On the palate the acidity was moderate and the flavors were clean and crisp, blending Pippin apples and minerals. It had a light amount of residual sugar, sleek body (light-medium) and was absolutely refreshing. It was a good start and definitely helped battle the heat.

While enjoying the first glass of Dönnhoff, I decided to open up the Eroica Riesling. I looked forward to trying the Eroica, as it was a highly vaunted Riesling from Washington State, pairing the know-how from two big entities in the wine world—Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen. Another case for terroir, the differences between the two were numerous and eye-opening. I noticed that the Eroica’s bouquet was a completely different animal, yielding notes of golden delicious apples and orange zest. When I took my first sip the wine was much bigger than the previous Riesling, bulging like a weight lifter (medium bodied), with a-little-more-than-moderate-acidity (moderate +) zinging my taste buds, leaving behind bright flavors of apple, pear and citrus. The weight on the palate and the structure of the wine spoke volumes.

Both wines were perfectly suited for refreshment during the dog days of fall. I think the Dönnhoff Riesling was not quite as focused as the collaborative effort that sourced Washington fruit (the Eroica) for my palate, but both were deeply appreciated on a day that called for something cooler.

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