Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dirler Riesling Bollenberg 2004

Dirler Riesling Bollenberg 2004I am generally skeptical of effusive happy talk, so I'll just warn you in advance that I have had a series of remarkable wines that can only encourage purple prose.

For example, I cast as cold an eye as possible on the Dirler Riesling Bollenberg 2004, but all I could think was, "How can such a ridiculously beautiful, delicate, and multifaceted wine not be from a grand cru vineyard?" Dirler is a producer that never boarded the residual sugar train and while not austere, this frankly doesn't even show a lot of fruit. What this does show is an elegant and classic minerality. That is, it doesn't taste particularly eccentric, nor is the acidity particularly sharp. Rather, it's a dry and remarkably transparent wine with great length that pairs brilliantly with a wide variety of food, from pan-seared pork to steamed green beans.

The nose shows crisp green apple along with subtle hints of petrol, melon, and cow milk cheese. OK, there is a rush of fruit to the palate at first, but this is one of those rare cases where delicacy is aggressive, as the fruit is quickly supplanted by that gorgeous, filagreed, and very long minerality, courtesy the pink sandstone that surrounds the village of Bollenberg.

On the other hand, the white orchard fruit does show prominently when paired with a firm, slightly aged, and deliciously creamy goat cheese from the Pyrenees called chabrin. I thought of this wine when I smelled the cheese in the store, yet I got more from the pairing than I bargained for.

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