I know that Riesling often gets a bad rap around the world but that’s because most people are familiar with the Rieslings of Germany. However, there are Rieslings that come from other parts of the world that are most definitely not made in the familiar off-dry style that everyone knows here in the UK.
Rieslings as a matter of fact are often dry to bone dry, even ones that are produced from Germany. Today though, I am going to be talking about an Alsatian riesling that I had with dinner recently. Although Germany is the place most people think of when they hear the word “Riesling”, Alsace in northern France also produces some not only dry but also world class Riesling.
It stands to reason that Rieslings would come from the area as for many years, the Alsace was a bone of contention between France and Germany and over the centuries had been part of both countries. As a matter of fact, France and Germany exchanged control of the region 4 times in 75 years – phew, talk about confusing! It’s was only in the last century that it was finally settled and now it is firmly in control of the French. However, in all that time, they never stopped producing Riesling.
The region has a cool dry climate and is protected from harsher weather and rain by the Vosges Mtns that border it on the West. As we are in France, there is a system of Grand Crus in place and only the best terroir is qualified to be called Grand Cru. I had a Dopff Au Moulin Grand Cru Schoenenbourg 2008 Riesling the other day with my dinner. This particular Grand Cru has been famous for its wines since the 17th century, quite a pedigree there.
So how does a great wine like this fare with Asian cuisine? Pretty darn good. It is a complex wine, that’s for sure but nonetheless, very enjoyable – white flowers, camomile, and a slight flinty note on the nose, on the palate there was loads of white fruit, a white floral quality and ripe grapefruit and lime leaf on the end. I also detected a bit of orange peel and it had a round mouth feel with balanced acidity. I had made a red Thai shrimp curry to go along with the wine and I found it tamped down the red chilli and enhanced the herbs in the sauce bringing out a lemon grass, long, limey finish. Delish!
The Dopff Au Moulin 2008 is available from Slurp and retails at a very reasonable £22.75, great value for such a fantastic wine.