The SOMM Journal

October / November 2015

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Page 114 of 132

114 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 SINCE THE GRASSROOTS "SUMMER OF RIESLING" CAMPAIGN ENDED AFTER a six-year run, we decided to have our own celebration of the noble grape by tasting through Rieslings of the world. Our call for submissions, however, netted so many candi- dates that we split the tasting into Old and New World, giving Europe the first turn. (Look for New World Rieslings in a future issue.) For the first time, our panel performed a double smackdown: evaluating wines from Alsace, Austria, Germany and Italy as well as evaluating one another's tasting skills. For this report, Mike Madrigale gathered a team of sommeliers from the Dinex Group, to which his Boulud restaurants belong, and faced off with the team from the NoHo Hospitality group, led by Lafayette Beverage Director Josh Nadel. Chris Dunaway and Jennifer Foucher were called into service for Team Boulud, and Team Lafayette deputized Chelsea Carrier and Chad Walsh (The Dutch). The squads conferred on each wine, trying to identify country/region, vintage and price. Unlike our usual tastings, this one was infused with murmurs and mumbles, and a few expletives. Whispered comments ranged from "Banana chip quality, candied white peach" to "any chance it could be a kinky German?" and then, "Damn! Boom!" The competition was keen, but spirited as the teams went for double overtime. Here are the notes and guesses, and our reveals are at the end. #1 Mike: Good, floral, warm orchard fruit, stony, very saline, very dry. Good acid, great tension. Conclusion: 2013 Germany, QBA Trocken from Rheingau. Josh: High-toned, white stone fruit, not much botrytis at all, lean, dry, high acid, a little spritz. A wine we found pleasant but on the lower end of the spectrum. Conclusion: 2014 QBA, dry Trocken, Mosel, $40. The reveal: Albrecht Riesling Reserve 2014, Alsace ($19.99, Pasternak Wine Imports). # 2 Josh: It's young, but not quite as young, so we're going to say 2013. More opulent than the first wine, a little more concentrated, also high-toned, not too botry- sized, with a teensy bit of RS in there, a teeny bit of pink in there, we're going to get crazy and take it to the Pfaltz. Conclusion: 2013 Halbtrocken, Pfaltz, $15-20. Mike: It had a great kind of earthy, slatey aroma. Amazing tension, great acidity, definitely some ripeness on the mid-palate but finishes bone dry. Good grower at an entry-level, price. Conclusion: 2014 Trocken from Mosel, $15-20. The reveal: Spreitzer Hattenheimer Engelmannsberg Riesling Feinherb, 2014, Rheingau ($20, Terry Theise Estate Selection/Skurnik Wines). by Lana Bortolot / photos by Doug Young team captain: Mike Madrigale, Head Sommelier, Bar Boulud/ Boulud Sud/Épicerie Boulud, NYC Old World Rieslings PART ONE OF OUR RIESLING REPORT Team Boulud: Jennifer Foucher, Mike Madrigale and Chris Dunaway. Team Lafayette: Chelsea Carrier, Josh Nadel and Chad Walsh.

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