As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fu-get-about-it! Tales of the Big “R”

Becker, 2005 Riesling Medium-Dry, Laissez Fair, Pfalz, Germany

When you hear the word “sear,” you might think of just about anything being singed, quickly fried, browned or maybe even a wicked sunburn you once had that, no matter how many times you turned the pillow, felt like your face had been cooked. I think that “sear” is a really cool word. I especially like its correlation to cooking, to transformation, to the idea that once something is seared, you can normally enjoy both its freshness and its caramelized edge all at once. Anyway, you get it. So, searing is cool or, you might say, it's cool to sear. Lets move on.

Until recently, I hadn’t ever really thought of searing in terms of anything other than the culinary action itself. I do however think of a few white wines as having really intense acidity in conjunction with decadent richness. Not too often are these components adjoined. In really rare circumstances (honestly, only a few I can recall) do they show it in this way that makes me stand up on my chair and holler about palate presence. “Wow!” I'd say, “This wine is seriously huge!” What is huge, you ask? Remember, in this case, it's not about the wood, the roundness or the opulence of the fruit but, moreover, about that rare one-two combo, uppercut, left hook (it’s an election year), that is the acid and the ripeness that come like a boomerang with a mind of its own. Silently approaching, suddenly the weight shows itself, the attack is blunt nosed, broad and covered with thorns. Yes, you are taken by storm. In this unique scenario the acid doesn’t hold off, and this is a key factor and contributor to the “hugeness." Just as the fruit emerges mid-palate, so too does this bounty of polished zing; my eyes light up, I leap to my chair and call an old friend to proclaim the searing power of this breathtaking mouthful. Yeah it’s Riesling.

This producer makes micro, micro amounts of his wines and these are well worth seeking out! Interestingly enough, the Becker vineyards are half in the Pfalz and half in Alsace. This bottling is a Spatlese Halbtrocken technically, but is only labeled as Halbtrocken. Graceful with admirable power, this wine is jammed with red apple and minerality that doesn’t quit. Amazing symmetry and a glorious olfactory recoil that sends you to Yearnsville, asking for another bottle.

I'm thinking about a rich creamy coconut red curry broth studded with freshly shucked oysters, and a salad of bockchoy, bean sprouts, green onion, cilantro, and snap peas with crispy lotus root and ginger alongside a seared filet of black cod.

Importer: Rudi Wiest Selections

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