Riesling. Oh Riesling. You poor stereotyped varietal. While I’ve had some fun and, for lack of a better word, tasty Rieslings from the States, I have to say that, for the most part, what our New World has done to the variety is a bit of a shame. What’s more, is I feel like there’s a bit of a stigma surrounding German wines — a few sweet Gewürztraminers and suddenly folks think everything from the cool Rhine region is sweet. When, in fact, it is just the opposite. For the most part Germans tend to make (and enjoy) the dryer style wines (and warm beer, but that’s a different story).

Lucky for me I made a new friend at a local wine shop. A sommelier whose specialty is German and Austrian wine. So when I asked him to pour my anything he recommended that would help me discover the area, he asked “how do you feel about Riesling.” My response, “As long as its as dry as God intended it.” So this is what he poured me. This is what I bought. This is what I enjoyed again and can’t wait to enjoy again.

I present to you Riesling from the Rhine…

About the Wine: Clemens Busch wines are from the biodynamic Marienburg vineyards in Pünderich, Germany, owned and operated by Clemens and Rita Busch — fifth generations of this estate.

Wines at the Busch estate are vinified dry. I couldn’t find specific information for the specific details on this wine, but more information about the winery can be found on the Clemens Busch website.

11.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the 2015 Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken and breathe in beautiful aromas of apples and pears hanging from their trees and the funk of fresh, raw honey. The Riesling appears golden with a hint of rose on the pour, presenting a color reminiscent of faded or watered down apple juice in the glass, but still with that tinge of peach or pink that gives it a feminine, jewel-like quality.

Honey is at the forefront of the initial aromas. It’s followed by vanilla bean and, yes, still that apple and pear plus some Asian-like aromatics like lemongrass. Swirl and release light hints of dewy grass, dewy white petal flowers, a subtle acidic line, and additional fruits like white peach and white apricot.

The palate of the 2015 Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken is effervescent straight-away, leading toward a tart finish. The acid is solid, constantly working, but not acidic. The funk of that raw honey sensed on the nose is, indeed, the backbone of the flavor profile. There’s an almnost lemony-tartness, like turmeric, that rides along and then amplifies at the very end. The finish provides just a hint of heat as well.

There’s an element of texture towards the end. A light touch, it just skims the teeth and pokes the tongue at the tail-end of the finish.

Food Pairing: I paired the 2015 Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken with a grilled swordfish steak, mango salsa, a lemongrass-coconut rice, and a garnish of curry-spiced almonds.

I almost don’t want to get into the details of why this was a perfect pairing because it just was. Floral and fruity this wine most definitely was, but dry, dry, dry. Thus, it went so well with the fruity salsa, the spicy nuts, and the tropical-infused rice. The light body perfectly contrasted the meaty, smokey fish.

Just try it. For reals.

More Info: I purchased the 2015 Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken at Vintage Wine Merchant in San Jose, California ($29.98)


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