The Riesling Chronicles, Vol. 2

Tim's Wine Market

For those who missed the first post, The Riesling Chronicles, Vol 1.  I am currently re-igniting my Riesling passion with six different wines I have chosen from across the globe.  The first bottle was a new experience for me, a version from Constantia, South Africa from Buitenverwachting.   For this installment I am reaching back for an old favorite, a wine from my friend Johannes Selbach, his 2004 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett.

Now I will immediately divulge that this is one of my favorite Rieslings and the chance to try an example from 2004 is thrilling.  Recently I stumbled across a stash of older vintages that are available and they are an absolute bargain when compared with current releases.

So I pull the cork and pour a glass.  This wine displays a vivid but saturated gold color that stays consistent to the rim.  The nose is a profound combination of fresh pears, honeycomb, quince paste and lanolin, with the tell-tale wet stone, slate quality that marks this wine as distinctively Mosel.  In the mouth this wine fills all the spaces quickly, with rich fruit constrained by the same nervy, minerality.  It shows good concentration but is quickly cleaned up by vivid acidity that is surprising for a wine that is almost five years old.  Wonder why Riesling is the most profound grape to from which to produce white wine?  How many $14 Chardonnays drink this well after five years? There is a touch of sweetness but it is hardly cloying so serve with foods like sweet and sour chicken or a glazed ham.  Speaking of which, here is a little ham glaze I whipped up tonight.

1/4 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup pear butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp of Pear Eau-de-Vie (rum, bourbon or cognac is good too)
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of ground ancho pepper

Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan until the jelly and the sugar melts.  Let cool to thicken and brush on a ham in the last ten minutes of cooking.