Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Feb 6, 2008 11:26 AM

Your opinion please! Best rieslings to get right now?

I love to keep four or five bottles in my cellar at all times. What are the best cult, mid range and high end rieslings available now?

I like both domestic and import! I love from dry to dessert-sweetness.

From good $7 bottles to high end!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wow, there are TONS of great wines from the 2005 vintage in Germany available right now. Look for Donnhoff, Joh. Jos. Christoffel, Joh. Jos. Prum, Fritz Haag, Josef Leitz, Selbach Oster, Willi Schaefer, or Keller. The 2006's are starting to show up in stores, too, and they should be good from all of these producers.

    As for domestic, the only US riesling I've ever sort of liked was Chateau Ste. Michelle's Riesling Eroica. 2004, 2005 and 2006 are all decent years.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 2FlyingYorkies

      I agree heartily on the the Eroica, I find it very nice, and try to always have one handy.

    2. Diana, questions like this are nearly impossible to answer.

      -- I have no idea where you live, and thus have no idea what is available in your area to suggest.

      -- While I'm glad you like both imports and domestics, don't those terms change meaning based upon the location of one's residence? More importantly, the flavor, character and quality of a California Riesling (as good as they can be) is completely different than the character of Rieslings from New York State; yet both are "domestics" if you reside in the US. Similarly, the flavor, character and quality of an Alsatian Riesling is very different from what comes out of the Rheingau, let alone the Mosel or the Saar or Marlborough . . .

      -- Cult? I wouldn't know. But what constitutes mid-range or expensive to you may be different than it is for someone else. (For example, I would consider $7 to be low-end.)

      Perhaps you could give me some idea of what you like be giving me the names of some specific wines you've enjoyed in the past; even better, some that you haven't liked. That would give me a much better idea of your likes and dislikes, and any recommendations I can give you will be much more likely to meet with your taste bud's approval!


      5 Replies
      1. re: zin1953


        you now, I really prefer to explore. Thanks for being so very precise, but I just wanted a basic list of what you enjoy. I live in LA and have access to a lot of great shops for amazing wines, Silverlake Wine, Red Carpet, Wine Warehouse, Beverage Warehouse, Winehouse, Liquid Wines and Spirits, DuVin, Wally's, Vendome, Mel and Rose, Wine and Cheese Store, Woodland Hills Wine, Bottle Rock (to name a few. and have a few distributor friends and such, so I can generally tack down MOST of what I'm after. Heck, I've found some smashing bottles at Cost Plus and Bevmo.

        I also consider $7 low end in price. I have had some fabulous $7bottles. But low end can be higher in price.

        But really, just a general list of what YOU like is what I'm after, so I can enjoy the "hunt and taste!"

        I'm always willing to attempt to try something new.

        Give me a list from $7 and up. Frankly, most of my purchases fall between $7 and $30, but a really SMASHING bottle of something worth $$ might be possible!

        1. re: Diana

          OK, I can appreciate your reply. I always try to tailor my recommendations to the person's own palate, rather than listing my favorites -- which, of course, you may not like whatsoever. That said, as long as it's simply a list of what *I* like . . .

          Wines listed in completely random order, and limited to 2-3 per "category."

          From California:
          Storrs Winery -- grapes from Viento Vineyard, Monterey; ranges in sweetness (depending upon vintage) between 1.0-1.6
          Navarro Vineyards -- grapes from Anderson Valley, Mendocino; their super-sweet dessert wines are outstanding; so, too, are their "regular" harvest, but it's hard to beat their Cluster Select.
          Ventana Vineyards -- grapes from Monterey; the classic off-dry Monterey Riesling.
          Claiborne & Churchill Winery -- Central Coast, and quite dry.

          Washington State:
          Eroica -- hard to beat, period.
          Kiona -- regular and the occasional "ice wine."
          Chateau Ste. Michelle -- "regular"

          Elsewhere in the US:
          Grand Traverse -- from Michigan, and truly excellent!
          Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars -- from the Finger Lakes, both dry and off-dry

          Trimbach -- Clos Ste. Hune is a classic, perhaps the ultimate Alsatian Riesling.
          Domaine Weinbach -- all of them, but especially their Grands Crus!
          Domaine Josmeyer -- especially the Grands Crus

          Joh. Jos. Christoffel

          FX Pichler

          New Zealand:

          Gosset -- Polish Hill
          Pike's -- Clare Valley

          OK, hope that helps. There are, of course, hundreds -- if not thousands -- more that are well worthwhile.


          1. re: zin1953

            Thanks! Some of those I have never heard of! I agree about Eroica!

            I really want to try the Navarro as a cali ries. I'm printing out this whole thread to take with me as I explore!

            1. re: Diana

              I agree that Eroica is an exceptional riesling, a collaboration between an American and German winemaker (Ernst Loosen) under the Ste. Michelle label.

              Another outstanding Washington State riesling, this one made by German winemaker Armin Diel under the Long Shadows Vintners label, is Poet's Leap, an off-dry, Spatlese-style effort of amazing depth. The 2005 won many awards. It is not a high-production wine and therefore may be hard to find, but it should be available in some wine shops.

              1. re: chazuke

                looks like i am in the minority here, finding eroica to be uninspiring at best.

                while it is only $20, there are about a bizillion other real rieslings from germany, austria and alsace that make eroica seem like the wine-with-training-wheels that it is, and at the same price if not less.

      2. I'm a card carrying member of the "riesling cult"... right now the 2004 and 2005 germans are probably the best way to go.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chicago Mike

          2005 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett - $16.24
          2006 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett - $17.98

 is your friend.

          1. re: TBird

            Thanks for the link, I'll put those on my list!

          2. There are so many grea ones...

            I'd look for 2005s of:

            From Germany Donnhoff, Wili Schaefer, and Muller-Catoir at all sweetness levels.

            I'd look to Weinbach from Alsace at all price points.

            I would also look to the Rieslings of Austria, particularly those made by Prager and FX Pichler. The greatest still white wine I ever tasted was the 1998 FX Pichler Unendlich. The 2005 is currently available, but should be cellared for 5 or more years.

            For more value wines, I like Dr. L and Leitz Dragonstone from Germany.

            1 Reply
            1. re: whiner

              I also have enjoyed Dr L and Dragonstone. I'm gonna look for the ones you mentioned!

            2. You've gotten a lot of great German recommendations and the only domestic riesling everybody seems to like. For variety's sake, how about some from Australia? Granted, I've had my more than fair share of duds, but these are among the best.

              Grosset, Clare Valley, Polish Hill. ~$30
              I wasn't a believer in Australian riesling until I tried this one. It had better depth and minerality than any New World riesling I've tried. And unlike its New World counterparts, I think this one will age beautifully. I'm not opening my second bottle for at least 5 years.

              Leeuwin, Margaret River, Art Series. ~$20
              I don't remember much about this other than I liked it. As a bonus, the labels are pretty.

              Mount Horrocks, Clare Valley, Cordon Cut ~$30/375
              A little something off the beaten path. A beautiful dessert-style wine. Both the sweetness and acidity are super intense. According to Wine Spectator's Harvey Steiman, this wine is made from raisined grapes without botrytis.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mengathon

                Now, I haven't had too many Austrian ries! Thanks, I'll look these up!

                1. re: mengathon

                  I like alot of domestic rieslings... never understood why they always get slammed on this board.

                  Even if you're not wild about them by themselves, they can be very food friendly, at the least;.