A recent dinner at Le Bernardin presented me with a host of terrific whites to pair with chef Eric Ripert’s seafood menu. With the help of wine director Aldo Sohm, I settled on a dry German Riesling from the Pfalz region, for $108 on the list.
Normally, the Rieslings from this area are full-bodied and rich, but Hansjorg Rebholz farms some very special sites that show the raciness of Riesling while expressing the mineral of the soils.
That is a terrific match with the “cool,” slightly austere 2008 vintage, but the wines need time to reveal all their facets. In fact, when I rated Rebholz’s Vom Muschelkalk bottling blind for Wine Spectator, early in 2010, I gave it 89 points.
On this occasion, the pale yellow-green color of the wine even looked refreshing. It was aromatic, offering floral, white peach, citrus and mineral notes. The palate was dry, brisk and clean, yet bursting with ripe orchard fruit and elderflower, all underlined by mineral. I gave it 93 points, non-blind.
Be patient with the 2008 German Rieslings, both dry and off-dry. They will reward you.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Ökonomierat Rebholz Riesling Spätlese Trocken Pfalz Vom Muschelkalk 2008 (89, $50).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated dry-style 2008 Rieslings from Germany.