2010 Frisk Prickly Riesling

No bubbly for us this year, at least none featured on this site. In true Nobly Rotten fashion, we’ve eschewed the champagne for a sparkling Riesling, an Australian offering described as “prickly.” Indeed, Frisk is a peppy send-off to a peppy year, and a fine way to celebrate the end and beginning of what should prove to be a successful year for the site. Frisk was recommended to me by a good friend’s father and seemed like an appropriate way to bade farewell to 2011 in the only way we know how: friskily and with a bit of gusto.

If you’ve heard the rendition of Aud Lang Syne hearkening back from the World War I era, “we’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here,” originally sung by soldiers in the trenches in defiance to the destruction and horror of the war around them,  you have a good idea as to what Frisk evokes when consumed. Not to diminish the trials of war or to compare a simple Riesling to the death of an era, but Frisk seeks to redefine Riesling in a bold, but simple fashion and succeeds despite all odds. Frisk is here because it’s here, and although it’s got one foot in the Riesling door and the other in a handful of other varietals, it proves to be a starkly resilient wine in a world of classic Rieslings. Not that I’m not a fan of classic Rieslings, but Frisk is plucky without riding on its own marketing scheme to propel it.Yes, it’s technically a Riesling blend, but Australia is one of the few countries who does not regulate what can be blended into a particular wine, unlike, say, Germany or Austria, to denote what is on the bottle. While this is a point of contention in the wine industry in the name of fraud, it is argued that this lax standard in regulation allows for more creativity and innovation in Australian wines to create a more dynamic wine. So while Frisk does call itself a Riesling, a justifiable title as it contains 89% Riesling wine, the other 11% is actually Muscat Gordo, a derivation of the Muscat grape commonly used in Australia. In Frisk, the muscat influences rears up every so often in the sip. Where in a German Riesling of similar classification- my best guess is that this is comparable to a QbA halbtrocken (half-dry) kabinett, it would come off as a hair unapproachable and gently austere without the muscat, here it lends a bit of added sweetness and lively ripeness to the wine in an unobtrusive, well-blended fashion.And yes, the chief appeal to this is its vigorous, pardon me, “prickly” effervescence, but it’s no bubblier than any other vaguely carbonated Riesling and seems to be a way to broadcast petillance in a more approachable manner. Nevertheless, it is a fine example of the keen qualities blending can make up for in a somewhat understated wine. With this particular bottle, we have a gentle nose of ginger and lemon, a spritely, candy-like scent not a hair too pungent. The petillance is indeed prickly but by no means painful. So if prickliness turned you off, there’s not a whole lot to fear. The Riesling is sweet without being dumb, playful without coming off as syrupy in any way. If you’re watching GaGa it’s funky enough to hold its own, yet would fit in with Dick Clark and the rest of the New Year’s scene, too. And for your Alexander Hamilton and spare change, it certainly proves itself to be an excellent value.Don’t knock the selection down under, because I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than with a new, intrepid wine. It’s not perfect, and it’s certainly not classic, but in its idiosyncrasy, it shines. Happy New Year, readers. Drink well and think hard, and remember- always remember, to take life with a grain of salt and a slug of wine.

Signing off,

Your ever-faithful critic, Jess

2010 Frisk Prickly Riesling
MSRP $11
90/100

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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.

No Responses to 2010 Frisk Prickly Riesling

  1. Shae Kinsman says:

    Thanks Jess. You’ve hit the nail on the head on so many fronts. Glad you enjoyed it!

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