While I was planning for my neighborhood wine tasting this summer, Eric Asimov's Wine School pointed to a Riesling I'd been interested in but had yet to pick up and try. The wine was highly popular at the tasting, and I've enjoyed it several times since then. I've over due to share it with you!
Johannes Leitz "Dragonstone" Riesling. Rheingau, Germany. $16 street price, 8%ABV.
Yellow-green in color. Fresh wildflowers, honey, and stone fruit on the nose. Green apple with a hint of citrus, followed by a bevy of mineral deposits- including saline, pumice, slate, and limestone. Off-dry, (a touch of sweetness) this is THE perfect entry riesling If you who are just learning about wine or need to get away from French and Italian grapes and appreciate what Germany does perfectly.
Johannes Leitz "Eins-Zwei-Dry" Riesling, Rheingau, Germany. $16 street price, 12%ABV.
The big brother to Dragonstone, Eins-Zwei-Dry is a delightfully dry (trocken) riesling for those who want to fall in love with riesling, or if you want to compare some of the great rieslings done elsewhere in the world. Stunning balance, this delightful wine is great by itself or accompanying food- it leaves the palate clean, refreshed, and begging for more.
Just a note: before drinking, I put chill these wines but make sure to either let the bottle warm prior to serving or pour into a glass and allow to warm before drinking. The flavors of these wines are tasty when cold but not fully developed until they are only slightly chilled. As it warms, you will sense the creaminess, as well as a greater sense of saline, more floral and more melon notes- and the ideal balance of the wine becomes obvious.
It's worth noting that Dragonstone offers up 8% alcohol while Eins-Zwei-Dry is 12% alcohol by volume. If you are concerned with alcohol intake, the difference might be one that helps you out. Both wines are delicious and a great value, easily worth $20 or more.
Here's a bottle shot when I was comparison drinking, having a sample of the Eins-Zwei-Dry first, then pulling the Dragonstone out of the fridge to compare again. The bottle on the right is at proper temperature to enjoy fully.