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An Elegant Riesling

Schäfer-Frölich Riesling QbA Halbtrocken Nahe 2006
Thomas Matthews
Posted: March 17, 2009

I recently joined some friends for dinner at Atria, a new restaurant in mid-town Manhattan. It's kind of like a treasure cave: You enter what's almost a townhouse basement, descend a staircase from there, and find yourself in a soaring atrium, cool and dim, with sleek modern furnishings glowing in the low light.

Chef Martin Brock comes from Germany by way of Switzerland; he worked under Gray Kunz when this space opened as Grayz and stayed on when Kunz left. He's serving refined, focused food that feels mostly French in style, but with Eastern European elements that give it personality. A $35, three-course, pre-theater menu offers excellent value.

Wine director Nic Bradley, who comes from the Modern restaurant at MoMA, just across the street, has assembled a smart international list of about 300 selections. There's an emphasis on Riesling, so we asked him to choose one for us, and he selected the Shafer-Frohlich ($55 on the list).

The wine was racy and sleek, with bright acidity, yet had a pleasing plumpness, too, that gave it a nice balance and showcased lime, peach and mineral flavors. I'm sure it would have been delicious with the food, but we finished the bottle too soon to find out. 89 points, non-blind.

Schäfer-Frölich Riesling QbA Halbtrocken Nahe 2006 (89, $20)

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