Each winter, I like to make a choucroute, the fabulous Alsatian dish composed of smoked pork loin, sauerkraut and an assortment of sausages.
This year marked the third annual choucroute dinner at the house of my colleague, Kim Marcus. Of course, the obvious choice was to pair all that fatty pork with some crystal-clear, dry Riesling from the same French region. The acidity offsets the fat and stands up to the sauerkraut (and it helps that there is almost a bottle of Riesling in the dish).
We selected a number of Rieslings, from Alsace, Austria and Germany. However, of the five bottles opened and shared among the 10 of us, my favorite was Ostertag’s 2007 Heissenberg. It was rich and spicy, with layers of citrus, orchard fruit and mineral, all well-balanced and refreshing (93 points, non-blind). Better yet, it was a perfect match for the choucroute.
André Ostertag makes beautiful Rieslings, expressive of their sites around the Alsatian village of Nothalten. Heissenberg literally means “hot mountain,” and this is the richest of Ostertag’s three Rieslings, the others being Fronholz and the grand cru Muenchberg.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Ostertag Riesling Alsace Heissenberg 2007 (94, $36).