Riesling still has an image problem. Among sommeliers and wine professionals, the grape is lauded for its value, its ability to communicate terroir, and its ability to age. But many wine drinkers still associate it with a sweet, insipid style of wine with little balance and no complexity.
Their bad rap is partially deserved — cheap sweet Rieslings and extremely confusing labels cause many wine drinkers to throw up their hands and avoid them entirely. But these chronically overlooked wines are some of the best values in our cellar. If you’ve got $20 and a willingness to change your mind, we’ve got a wine for you.
Weingut Franz Dahm is in Bernkastel, an ancient town perched on the steep banks of the Mosel River. Dahm’s vines are located next to the famous Bernkasteler Doctor vineyard, considered among the best in Germany. Today’s wine is a bone-dry riesling from 2014.
The nose is bright and stony with notes of lime rind, slate, dried melon, and saffron. The mouth is exquisitely dry, with a Muscadet-like core and pleasant notes of smoke and faintly browned apple. It’s drier and crisper than most of the white Burgundy we import, and at 9.5% alcohol, it’s the lightest wine in our cellar. Pair it with sushi or other raw seafood like oysters or scallops.
If you’re a dry Riesling fan, this is a classic. If your cellar’s full of Sancerre, Chablis, or Muscadet, you might make a bit of room for this one.
Dahm Mosel Riesling Kabinett trocken 2014
bottle price: $19
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