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Our New Year's resolution for 2015? Drink more riesling.
It wasn’t that long ago that there were two types of people: those who equated the phrase “German riesling” with Black Tower and those who equated it with Blue Nun. Serious wine geeks generally stayed away from these sickly sweet concoctions. But the grape’s stock has soared of late, and while the regions of Alsace and Australia’s Clare Valley are frequently given the lion’s share of the credit, it’s worthwhile to remember that it’s the Rhine where the grape was born, and it’s still here where it reaches its highest calling. And, thanks to residual prejudice left over from the bad old days, it remains the single best value wine for ageability. Any of these three bottles will mature in a genteel manner—spend a few dollars more and you’ll find yourself with a wonder that can take a decade plus in your cellar—easy. Or you can just drink them now—even easier.2010 Tesch Riesling Unplugged ($20) With his modern labels, simple classification and flinty, austere, bone-dry approach to riesling, Martin Tesch is the poster child for modern German winemakers (and he loves heavy metal music to boot). He is also seemingly incapable of making a bad bottle of wine.2011 St. Urbans- Hof Ockfen Bockstein ($32) his wine’s little brother just landed on the Wine Spectator Top 100, but this ultra-low-alcohol, single-vineyard offering has even more sweet citrus, peaches and apricots, with an acidity that makes it very cellarable—squirrel a case away for a future reward.2011 Dr. Pauly Bergweiler ($19) his is a dry take on the grape, but there are waves of ripe pears and apricot that make this a delicious example of why everyone should be drinking three bottles of riesling for every one of sauvignon blanc. Its dryness pairs well with food, its fruit with spice—so keep a bottle handy.
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