2010 Meli Dry Riesling

Some may bemoan the end of Riesling season. And to that, I say that some are uncreative and stuck in seasonal ruts. I’ve never been a Riesling summer, Burgundy winter kind of girl. Despite barbecue season coming to a close, I’m easing into winter with a whole slew of Riesling-focused recipes to accommodate my fetish for the grape. Granted, I’m handicapped in that living in New England gives me some leverage for spontanaeity- a still mid-November evening in the mid sixties following a freak snowstorm will do that for you.
Tonight, I cracked open this bottle, a 2010 from the Central Valley region of Chile, to enjoy with an impromptu picnic of sandwiches and a few apples. Thiswas one of the samples I received from Global Vineyard Wine Importers to taste. What I relish about Rieslings is the familiar, yet unexpected notes one can detect with a few sniffs. In this particular case, I encountered an expressive array of partially ripe apple, pear, and pineapple notes, fairly standard for a Riesling, with a slightly chalky scent. The wine was lush on the palate with a mid-range richness and a tapered, but sweet finish of cool slate on the back of the tongue. The wine has no residual sugar, a fact that is somewhat painfully obvious with each sip. It lacks the delicate balancing act of sweet and acidic that the Donnhoffs so skillfully execute and as a result of that, has a subdued and succinct flavor that leaves the palate far too quickly. While quenching, the severity of the acidity and austerity in this made it somewhat difficult to enjoy as an easy drinker.

To me, this is less the Cadillac of Rieslings than the Toyota Camry. It does everything it’s supposed to do and is fairly serviceable, blending in with others from its tier and never really standing out in a good or bad fashion. It carries the predictability and steady, if unimpressive functions of its vehicular counterpart and does the job well.I’d have no qualms finishing a bottle of this, or giving it as a hostess gift at a dinner or holiday party.

For its price, around $11, it’s a fairly decent alternative to the more commercialized Yellowtails and Franzias and allows you to explore the varietal quirks of the Riesling grape without breaking the bank on a Weingut Keller G-Max to serve with a rotisserie chicken. Personally, I’d rather spend twice that on a lesser known German Riesling, like the 2007 Selbach Oster Zeltiger Sonnenuhr Kab to get that mellifluous complexity, or the 2010 Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp. As I’ve mentioned, I like a little weird with my wine- too much is never enough. For drinking and drinking alone, it gets the job done, but outside of that realm, I can’t say I’m enamored.

2010 Meli Riesling
MSRP $11
80/100

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About Jess
Rotten? Perhaps. Sweet? Without a doubt. Welcome to Nobly Rotten- the wine site that dares to be a little off.

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