New Wines for a New Year

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New Wines for a New Year

Those of us in the wine trade know there is a tax (sometimes referred to as the “bozo” tax) on those that have to drink the most popular varietal or need to show up to a party with a known producer.  You are welcome to continue paying the tax (thank you it keeps many of us in business) but if you want better wine and most often at a lower price, take the wine road less traveled and see where it leads.

First you need to be willing to try a varietal you may not have heard of.

Of the four “noble grapes” Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir (both reds) and Chardonnay and Riesling, so named because they produce memorable wines in many regions, Riesling is currently the caboose.

This was not always so, a century ago Riesling fetched the highest price at auction and was the most desired wine by Kings and peasants alike.  It is starting to enjoy resurgence as it makes compelling wines in styles from bone dry to fantastically sweet and is a great ager.  It holds two other important distinctions; it is probably the singular best wine with food (I kid you not) and is uncanny in its ability to show where it was grown.  Riesling is characterized by wines that are light in body and alcohol with a ratio of fruit and acidity that is in a different class, fruit notes that range from Mandarin Orange to stone fruits, earth notes-often the slate-minerality of the River Valleys of Germany or Austria, the racy acidity cleans up the pallet and makes every sip as fine as the first.  With age from a classic producer you will find notes of petrol and a synthesis of fruit and minerals that you simple must taste.  Luckily, Riesling is charming in its youth as well so buy a case now and enjoy it for years to come.

Here are some Rieslings to look for in Colorado and start the New Year by making a new friend that will be true for the rest of your days:

Two Rivers Riesling 2011- Grand Junction, Colorado about $15

Off dry style, Lime notes keeps it fresh, the winery is tucked between the two entrances to the Colorado National Monument.

Charles Smith Riesling Kung Fu Girl 2010- Columbia Valley, Washington about $12

Dry, Racy acidity, from the erasable Charles Smith, rock promoter turned wine maker, to quote Charles, “this wine kicks-ass.”

Koehler-Ruprecht Riesling Kabinett Steinacker 2003-Pfalz, Germany about $15

KR has been producing dry style wines since the 18th century and are kind enough to share some of their library with the consumers of Colorado, straight from their cellar to Colorado

Pacific Rim Riesling Sweet 2010-Colombia Valley, Washington about $11

Two years ago Pacific Rim Wine Company put “Sweet” on the label, much to the chagrin of industry experts (Americans drink sweet wine but don’t are allergic to the word) in two years this is their largest seller-pear and apricot, noticeable fruitiness but refreshing as only Riesling can be.

Yalumba Y Riesling 2009-South Australia about $12

Australians drink Riesling and export Shiraz to America, recently they have let a little bit escape; Dry, big flavors of lime and watermelon, lip smacking good

Ken Theobald is the GM for Classic Wines a Colorado Estate Wine and Artisinal Spirit Wholesaler.  For over 30 years he has been a part of the Colorado wine scene both on and off premise and is has obtained the Advanced Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommellier.

Ken Theobald
General Manager

6489 E. 39th Street
Denver, CO 80207
(303) 825-1360, Ext 230

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