Thorle Estate Riesling Trocken 2014
The other day, I was at a larger LCBO and I got to chatting with one of the guys who worked in Vintages. Our subject: No one likes German wine. I was looking for something delicious and refreshing, white and light, so naturally I thought of German Riesling. But finding one was harder than I’d hoped. Their selection was tiny and hidden in a corner.
I asked why they carried so few German wines, why they were so tucked away, and he said plainly, “No one buys them. It’s sad.”
It is sad. People turn their noses up at German wine, Riesling in particular, because they think it’s all sickly sweet, syrupy, and disgusting. But they’re wrong. Sure, Germany has some crazy rules about residual sugar (because of course they do). And yes some Rieslings can have upwards of 100 g/l of sugar. But they’re not all like that. In fact, most of them aren’t.
Most of them are off-dry at best, and many have less than 10 g/l (which classifies them as dry). Add to that the fact that Riesling is super high in acidity, which balances any sugar, and you have the these incredibly complex, delicious, refreshing whites that I know you’ll love. (Pro tip: Look for the word Trocken on the label and you know you’re getting a dry wine.)
Rieslings are also incredibly terroir-driven wines. They all share certain aromas of course, but most display the nuance of their region and climate. They can be spritzy and fun, or weighty and complex. They are incredibly easy to pair with food but go down nice and easy all on their own on a hot summer day (or a cold winter’s night). They’re versatile, fruity, and approachable, so you can see why somms love them. And why it’s time you gave them a real chance.
This bottle, in particular, is a great example of super dry Riesling (it’s got 2 g/l of residual sugar if you don’t believe me). It’s like lemon squeezed over your food; like a margarita or limeade or something equally spritzy, citrusy, and fresh. It’s made by a couple of brothers at an organic winery (they’re even looking to go biodynamic) so you know it’s made with care and concern. And it’s delicious. Bright, fresh, and flavourful. It’s a great introduction to Riesling for anyone who says they hate Riesling. So go on, give it a pour. You might just like it.
Nose: Lime, lemon zest, a bit of white peach and green apple. Definitely a few minerals around the edges, maybe even some spice.
Palate: This is one lively little sipper. It’s got a hint of effervescence, which buoys the crazy acidity. You are going to salivate, so be warned. (The 12.5% alcohol level helps give the wine some body, so it's not all acid, don't worry!) The nose totally shows up again, but I get way more of that lime zest. I kept thinking about zest and zip with each sip. There is nothing sweet about this wine; the green apple, the lime, the under-ripe peach. It’s even a little salty, although more stony if we’re talking true minerality. This is going to whet your appetite and keep you hungry. It would actually be great paired with anything, really. Although, since there’s not much sugar, I’d stay away from anything too spicy.