The Wine of the Week
by Annette Tomei
2011 Josef Ehmoser, Vom Gelben Löss, Riesling, Wagram, Austria
Riesling – One seemingly simple grape with countless personalities, all of them delicious. Too often, Riesling is associated with sweetness and all the undesirable implications of an amateurish preference for sweet fruity beverages – a sad state of affairs for such well respected, versatile, food-friendly wines. Truth is, the majority of Rieslings are bone dry, especially those from Austria.
Austria may be better known for Grüner Veltliner (it does represent over half of the country’s wine production), however their Riesling is well worth the detour. Josef Ehmoser’s Riesling is from the Wagram region in the northeastern part of the country, on the banks of the Danube River. The climate during the growing season here is warm and dry during the day with cool nights – the warmth allows for the development of riper fruit flavor and fuller bodied wines than in colder climates. The soil in this region is also prized for its deep layer of loess (reflected in the name of this wine), which provides a distinct sense of terroir – Basically: good water retention, no irrigation necessary, distinct fruit-forward aromas.
The 2011 Ehmoser Riesling is distinguished by its aromas of tangerine zest and ripe mango, which carry through nicely on the palate and are supported by a citrusy burst of acidity and a longer, more mineral finish than expected from most Rieslings. This wine makes a refreshing aperitif that will remain comfortable throughout a summer meal. Because it is fuller bodied than some cool climate whites, it will go great with traditional sausages or a classic wiener schnitzel. This is also a wine worth trying with asparagus dishes that are notoriously complicated to pair with wine.
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