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WINE BRIEFS Dry Spell GERMANY’S EFFORTS TO CLASSIFY DRY RIESLING MEAN TROCKEN HAS NEVER TASTED BETTER story and photos by Deborah Parker Wong S ommeliers the world over prize Riesling for its broad range of styles—and trocken, or dry, Riesling is no exception. Alex Fox, General Manager at San Francisco’s Bar Tartine, recently added several to his list. “If you are building a strong list of whites between $35 and $50, you really need these wines. The beauty of trocken Rieslings is that they are fully ripe, and they’re approachable when they are young.” While Fox and his peers introduce con- sumers to dry German Riesling through their wine-by-the-glass programs, only a fraction of the dry wines now available can be found on the U.S. market. Demand for Riesling in restaurants is growing; it’s second only to Pinot Gris in popularity and growing faster than Chardonnay, and many of Germany’s most compelling examples are still waiting to be discovered. reasons for riesling THE TASTING PANEL visits Germany annually and during a recent visit, we tasted with dozens of producers from the Mosel, Pfalz and Rheingau regions, who noted the increasing sales of aromatic, dry white wines in the U.S. “Domestic consumption of dry Riesling is at an all-time high in Germany,” says Peter Barth, Technical Director at Schloss Schönborn, which has vineyard sites up and down the Rhine, “but Americans have little access to these wines.” Until recently, lack of interest in dry Riesling could be attrib- uted to varying quality and the absence of a universal classification system, but a string of excellent vintages and the identification of sites that produce world-class dry wines are drawing more attention to the style. Carl Loewen makes lean, highly aromatic wines from the coolest slate sites in the Mosel. 112 / the tasting panel / december 2010 Just How Dry? There are nuances in the way dry Rieslings are classified. QbAs (quality wines from a

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