Christmas was low key this year. As my parents would be home rather than in Portland, Jon and I decided to spend it with them. Unfortunately, my mom came down with the flu, and Jon was feeling under the weather as well, so my plans for wiling away the afternoon with games of Scrabble and National Parks Monopoly were thwarted. Sadly, my dad has since been felled by the flu too, leaving me to wonder if my two week cold was only the preview for a nasty stomach bug. Fingers crossed…
I had gotten some recommendations at the wine shop for a side by side tasting of Rieslings – Germany vs. Oregon. Although my mom was unable to partake, we proceeded anyway. The German Riesling was from the Mosel region – the C.H. Berres 2002 Kinheimer Hubertuslay Kabinett. The family has been making wine since 1510! This Riesling was 100% handpicked and aged for 3 months in German oak barrels with wild yeasts. I’m not really sure what that means, but it sounds fancy. The wine still held some fruit, but had largely lost the acidity of a younger white – the result was a pleasant semi-sweet Riesling with low alcohol.
The Oregon contender was the Lazy River 2011 Private Lumpkin Riesling, a wine that had a nice balance of tart and sweet, with flavors of pear and nectarine. It reminded me a lot of the many Oregon Pinot Gris (what’s the plural of Gris?). Even if you haven’t heard of Lazy River, you have likely heard of some of the wineries that they supply Pinot Noir grapes to – Hamacher, Panther Creek, R. Stuart & Co., and Ponzi.
Both wines were very good – the German Riesling was a mellow wine with plenty left after 13 years. The Oregon Riesling was bright and tart and flavorful. It was hard to pick a winner, but for me and my dad, the Lazy River edged out the C.H. Berres by a nose. Jon thought the same on Christmas Day, but changed his mind the next day. Of course, it might have been very different if we were comparing the same year!
How about you – have you done any side by side tastings lately?