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Nov 5, 2008 10:22 AM

Dry Rieslings & Gewurtraminers: Favorites?

I'm just discovering this catergory of wine and was wondering if any of you would care to share?

Recently I've had the 2007 Pey-Marin "The Shell Mound" Riesling (Marin County) and the 2006 Zmor Gewurztraminer (Russian River) at the CIA which were delicious and interesting. Both of them opened up the longer they were in the glass and after about 20 minutes they were almost totatly different wines. (Not used to this with whites) I would love to do a blind tasting with the Zmor to see if anyone could pick out what kind of wine it was and see what they think it tastes like.

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  1. CA: My favorite producer for these wines is Navarro. I also like Hermann J. Weimer in the Finger Lakes and Dr. Konstantin Frank for Riesling.

    However, I think Australia is doing a better job with Riesling than the US. I don't drink them too often so I cannot give you a good specific reccomendation.

    However, there are MUCH MUCH better dry Rieslings and Gewurztraminers coming from Northern Italy -- particularly Trentino Alto Adige. Try the Cesconi Traminer for $18 -- INCREDIBLE!!!

    However, the best dry Gewurztraminers in the world, and the second best dry Rieslings in the world come from Alsace. I love Zind-Humbrecht, but they do have a little residual sugar, especially the good ones. Albert Boxler, Weinbach, Marcel Deiss, Albert Mann, and Dirler are all producers to look out for.

    However, the best dry (or just slightly off-dry) Rieslings in the world come from Austria. Sighardt Donabaum, Prager, and FX Pichler just rock my world. The single greatest still white wine I've ever tasted is the 1998 FX Pichler Unendlich.

    3 Replies
    1. re: whiner

      I LOVE Navarro. The Late Harvest Riesling I had at the end of my CIA lunch was happiness in a glass. And their Edlewicker (sp?) with Indian food is just the best.

      If you enjoy wines from the Alto Adige region, you might want to check out the 2006 Cantina Valle Isarco "Aristos" Kerner I had recently. Delightful!

      A little sugar is just fine. I just want to educate myself and my customers that there is more to these varietals than just sweetness. I've really enjoyed the Alsace wines I've had and look forward to trying more.

      Thanks for all the tips! Just curious how much a bottle of the FX Pichler Unendlich would set me back these days?

      1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

        OOOF! Just checked. $300 is what wine-searcher says, but Parker says it can be found for $144. It is very rare. When I said it was the best still white I've ever had I wasn't kidding... and I wasn't just comparing it to various Lafon and Leflaive Grand Crus... I was comparing it to sweet wines as well... like '89, '90 Yquem... it is better. But, $300 is OUCH!

        1. re: whiner

          Wow! I think that's even out of Santa's budget!
          I'm barely used to paying $150 for a good botle of Single Malt for the hubby,
          but for wine, man! (I know, I know, the really good stuff costs $$$)
          Maybe if I stash $5/month for the next couple of years I can bring it along
          to Iceland for my 50th birthday. (Ya think wine here is expensive...)

          Thanks for all the other great suggestions everyone.
          It'll make Yule shopping for me much easier on my family ; )

    2. U.S. Dry Riesling - Smith Madrone
      U.S. Gewurztraminer - Martinelli
      Alsace - Trimbach, Deiss, Burn
      Austria - Nigl, Knoll, Prager
      Germany - Muller-Catoir, Basserman-Jordan, Cristmann

      3 Replies
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        Ooooo.... good calls on the Smith-Madrone, Martinelli, Nigl (Prager, obvoiusly).

        And, if a little sweetness is ok, Muller-Catoir. I also like the Basserman-Jordan, but not as much.

        If Spatlese level sweetness i ok, though, Willi Schaefer and A.J. Adam have to be on the short list. And Donnnhoff, JJ Prum, JJ Christoffel, Dr. Loosen are all pretty awesome as well. As is the Basserman-Jordan mentioned, esp for value.

        1. re: whiner

          The German producers I listed bottle wines labeled "trocken." I did that because the OP specifically wanted "dry rielsing." More of those produced and exported out of the Pfalz, and the producers I listed are from there.

          1. re: Brad Ballinger


            My comment about a little sweetness related to OP's followup to my initial post. where he commented that a little sweetness/RS is ok.

      2. All wines listed alphabetically by producer.

        California: Navarro, Smith-Madrone, Storrs
        Australia: Gosset "Polish Hill"
        New Zealand: Isabel, Seresin
        Alsace: Albert Boxler, Burn, Marcel Deiss, Kuentz-Bas, Domaine Schlumberger, Domaine Speilman, Trimbach (especially "Clos St. Hune"), Domaine Weinbach, and several others
        Austria: Brundlmayer, Hirsh, Jamek, Nigl, Pichler, Prager, and many more
        Germany: the list is almost endless

        1. I may be a total homer on this one but I really enjoy the Chateu Ste. Michelle Dry Reisling for a value wine. It's not the best one out there but it is very good for the price.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jpc8015

            Especially in the Seattle Area where I can often find it for $5.99.

            1. Zind-Humbrecht on both. Many wines of each to choose from, depending on where you live.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Bill Hunt

                I live in the SF Bay Area and have access to many wonderful wine shops.
                Any particular vintages you recommend?

                1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                  I have not tried the current vintages of any ('07, IIRC), but over the last dozen years, have not had a bad one. The '05s Gwertz were excellent, but the others were all quite good. I can't say that Z-H "doesn't make bad wines," but have never had one that I was disappointed with.

                  Though I usually purchase the Z-H's locally, I do believe that K&L carries the them. I shop at the Redwood City store on-line and go through Ralph Sands, when I buy from them.