St. Urbans-Hof Goldtröpfchen Piesport Kabinett Riesling 2009, Mosel, Germany, $22.99, 8 percent abv.
Yeah, say that name three times fast. Rich, elegant nose of ripe fruit. But in the mouth the sweet is balanced by acidic, fresh pineapple notes and a soothing, chalky, mineral finish. This is a Riesling that wants to be your loud best friend.
Dr. F. Weins-Prüm Estate Riesling 2009, Mosel, Germany, $17.99, 11.5 percent abv.
Classic Riesling that’s affable but quieter and more subtle than the St. Urbans-Höf. Crisp, mineral, refreshing, but the hint of sweetness is still there.
Château de Montfort Vouvray Demi-Sec 2010, Loire, France, $ 14.99, 11.5 percent abv.
Made from the chenin blanc grape, the source of wonderful dry whites. This demi-sec is fruity but crisp. Served chilled, it would be nice to sip on the patio on a sunny afternoon.
Willm Gewürztraminer Reserve 2009, Alsace, France, $17.99, 13 percent abv.
Alsace is a producer of reliable off-dry and sweet wines, and the tongue-twister gewürztraminer grape is one of the region’s mainstays. Clean and crisp but with rich lychee fruit — the classic telltale aroma of this grape. “When I drink this, I feel like a child of sunshine and energy,” one of my hippieish friends exclaimed upon drinking this.
Château Bastor-Lamontagne Sauternes 2007, Bordeaux, France, $11.99 (375 ml), 13.5 percent abv (not pictured).
Sauternes is usually pricey, but this one, available in half-bottles, is an amazing value. An excellent introduction to the unique, complex wines made from “noble rot.” We’re talking about an old-fashioned kind of sweet, a taste from another era.
— Jason Wilson