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. Read more of this post

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Ravi Instant Wine Chiller

“There’s something about Ravi,” I thought, lifting the paperweight cum Thermos out of its container. 90’s pop culture references aside, the Ravi is one of those gadgets that critics and consumers go ga-ga over despite its ungainly appearance. The Ravi is advertised as an instant wine chiller- instant, that is, after you’ve chilled the damned thing for six to twelve hours, and promises to chill the wine to the perfect temperature, between 54 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Read more of this post

2010 Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett

Bargain bins get me every time. I’ll let you in on a little secret- I’m kind of glad that some of my local wine stores are less than well-versed in the art of deciphering German wine labels. I found this eye-raising gem in the “last of the summer wines” bin at an unnamed establishment for a mere $12 and snagged it immediately. Not that there was a whole lot of clamor for white wine in the middle of December, but you never know who’s scouting. Yup, dropped the ’47 Lafite right where I was standing and headed for this. Who needs Bordeaux when you’ve got Brauneberger Juffer?  Read more of this post

Smirnoff Whipped Cream and Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka

First spirits review, boo-yah. I’ve got to admit, high school would have been a lot easier with these on hand. For me, not for anyone else. In my earlier years, I had one hell of a social calendar. Bar or Bat Mitzvahs every Saturday, which, in Connecticut basically calls for giant, stupidly excessive parties with a little torah action on the side, black market sleepover invitations, and cast parties for all the plays I was in. Would have helped with coping with the asstastic directors we had. While the other kids were sneaking sips from their parents’ shitty tequila supply, I would have been the queen of the 10th grade. These candy-inspired vodkas are A-grade panty peelers, and I’m Leisure Suit Larry. Read more of this post

2007er Muller-Catoir Breumel in den Mauern Riesling Grosses Gewächs: AKA, Irreparable Riesling Done Right

Wine isn’t always perfect. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s the risk you take when you buy it. In my defense, I rarely take risks on wines I’m not as familiar with, but this one seemed too good to be true. A 2007er Muller-Catoir Grosses Gewächs, the German equivalent of a Grand Cru, from one of the best ‘Clos’ vineyards in the Haartder-Bürgergarten estate, the likes of which had nothing short of rave reviews detailing unusually organic flavors– earthy, dirt-like scents were a persistent theme in all the reviews I read, a factor that intrigued me quite a lot. With a $29.99 price tag marked down from a cool $90, we were almost inclined to take home a few more to sit on.
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2008 Georg Breuer Rudescheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Trocken

Indulge me, if you will, and entertain the notion of wines as women. For the umpteenth time. Not a small feat for some, I’m sure, and yet for others, I’m sure your eyes are already glazing over your MacBook, your lower lip drooping and your hands descending. Thank me later. On both the outside and the inside, the Riesling is an absolute dream girl. She is tall, slender, and smooth, with a snappy, flirtatious core of rapier-sharp wit and a snappy complexity beyond her years. Riesling is like a smarter, sexier Barbie with the intrusive curiosity of Derek Zoolander’s Matilda or the caddish unflappability of Irene Bullock. Read more of this post

2008 A.J. Adam Hofberger Riesling QbA

I was kicking myself. Our local wine store was a mob scene, a slow stampede of sluggishly moving people in their mid fifties the day before Thanksgiving, stocking up on Natty Light and Thunderbird, or whatever the kids are drinking these days. Already worried about looking painfully out of place with two German Rieslings and a six-pack of Mike’s, I was steeling myself for a barked request to present sixty different forms of ID and potentially getting arrested for having an out-of-state license.

And I grabbed the wrong Riesling.

I’d researched my selection before- my initial intention was to grab the 2008 Hofberger Spatlese to go with the 08 Donnhoff Kab I’d brought, but in my haste, I snagged the only other Adam selection for the same price, the 2008 Hofberger QbA, the German classification for estate wines. Makes for a good crash course in German wine classification, though- new readers, bone up! Some wines are made from single-vineyard grapes at different levels of ripeness (in this case, the Hofberg) and some are made with grapes sourced from multiple vineyards, but all are single varietal wines made from German grapes in accordance with the 1971 German wine law of quality categories.  Read more of this post

2007 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett

It’s not out of the realm of possibility to see wines as people. I wouldn’t even pigeonhole certain people in certain varietals, but some wines just seem to evoke wholly organic, thoughtful qualities similar to those that people emit in their actions and dress. When we drank this Dönnhoff, a 2007 Oberhauser Leistenberg Kab over the summer, thoughts of teenagers in tuxedos popped into my mind, the juxtaposition of gangly juveniles in tailored sportswear. The flavors in this wine spoke of resting at the intersection of youth and maturity. When Helmut Dönnhoff said that Rieslings were best at the first two to three years or after ten, it certainly applied to this particular wine. Read more of this post

1982 Château Léoville-Barton

Writing about this wine is difficult, because it isn’t really my place to write about it. This wine, as my dad says, marks the end of his youth, a phase in life that somewhat cripples me for wine critiquing as I’ve no perspective to look back on it for the moment, looking forward as we speak. At 21, I lack the perspective of age but carry the potential of years to come, so my thoughts on this wine are, as always, tainted by my youthful exuberance and inexperience. Regardless, enjoy. Read more of this post

2008 Georg Breuer “Terra Montosa” Riesling

Egon Muller of Egon Muller Scharzhof says that the Riesling grape “will never be an obvious grape with an obvious flavor like Chardonnay.” And he’s damned right about it. In fact, that’s what makes Riesling one of my favorites, that it has the tendency to beguile the senses with a complexity spanning continents and terrains. It transports you to another place with a mere whiff, no small feat for a typically light, summery varietal. Read more of this post