Cupcake Vineyards Riesling 2011 Pfalz

This German import is sold under the Cupcake label but is bottled in Germany by a company given the designation D-RP – 907 009.   That’s a sexy name for a winery, isn’t it?  After some digging, it appears to me that the responsible party is likely one J.F. Brems GmbH in Zell.  A small town of roughly 4,300 residents situated on the Mosel River, Zell is best known for another wine.  One I remember my mother buying and sipping when I was just a little tyke.  Zell is the home of the Zeller Schwarze Katz.  But this particular bottle is not a Schwarze Katz selection, it is a Qualitätswein Riesling from Pfalz.

Winemaker:  Cupcake Vineyards
Varietal:  Riesling
Vintage:  2011
Appellation:  Pfalz
Price:  $10.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  The color was bright golden yellow.  The bouquet held scents of tart apple and fragrant peach.  Alcohol was at 10.5% in this Pfalz white that was light-bodied and somewhat low in acidity.  Flavors I tasted centered around a core of tart apple.  Not green apple, but more of a Braeburn type sweet and tart.   I also caught hints of peach and a touch of lemongrass on the finish.  Clearly, given the flavor profile I’ve listed, this wine is not devoid of acidity.  I just think that a tad more would have given it the play-on-the-tongue quality that I enjoy in my favorite Rieslings.  If your preference is for something a little more mannerly … well, here you go!   It isn’t overly complex and the price is reasonable, so it’s a decent candidate to pair with a relaxed meal – maybe a lightly spicy vegetable stir fry or a quick pan-fried pork chop.

Zell on the Mosel

Joseph Händler Riesling 2012

Peck_JHRiesling2012OK.  Here is the third in my promised trio of German wine tastings.  It’s another Riesling from the Pfalz region – this time a 2012.  Here’s what I found in this simple, straight-forward wine.

Vineyard: Domherrenberg Kellerei for Trader Joe’s
Varietal: Joseph Händler Riesling
Vintage: 2012
Appellation: Pfalz, Germany
Price: $5.49 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  The wine is a very pale straw color in the glass.  On the nose I got lemon and white peach.  Like the Spätlese I recently tasted, this Riesling has good acidity which gives the tongue an effervescent zing immediately (but in a more restrained way).  The primary flavors for me were apricot, lemon and green apple with green apple peel on the finish.  It’s fairly sweet at 10% alcohol, but the acidity and flavors make it seem less sugary than other selections at the same ABV.  Overall the experience was pleasant – less dramatic than the Spätlese but equally pleasing.  I wouldn’t consider serving this one at dessert, though.  This wine sits solidly in the “good for a picnic” category for me.  It would also be nice served at a cheese and wine gathering.

By the way, don’t think I’m finished with German wines.  I’m not.  Ich komme zurück.  Ohne Zweifel!!

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

A Little Riesling At The Pub

Following up on my intent to broaden my wine horizons and in the interest of internationalism, I’m going to be tasting 3 wines from Germany in the next few days.  This is the first.  You may remember that I wrote a post not too long ago about a nice red I’d tasted at a local watering hole where they have good live music, too.  Anyway, things went so well with the red that I thought I’d give one of their whites a try.

Winemaker:  Lucashof
Wine:  Riesling
Vintage:  2010
Appellation:  Pfalz
Price:  Not Available

Notes:  It was simple, light bodied and for me light on flavor.  What I tasted was lime and peach (with the fuzz on the quick finish).   Dry – Sweet?  This Riesling comes in at 11.5% alcohol.   It wasn’t bad at all, but I  just didn’t think it brought that much to the table.  I almost didn’t post this review because I couldn’t find this wine at retail anywhere in my area – or even online for that matter – for this vintage.   But then I thought maybe others would run into it at their local haunt/restaurant/etc., so I went ahead.  I’m thinking maybe this pub doesn’t go through much Riesling and they should’ve served this a year ago.  I see that Lucashof gets good reviews for their wines, so I am going to give another of their selections a try in the future.