I’m catching up on a couple of excellent dry rieslings, a category that deserves much more attention as an alternative to the ubiquitous chardonnays and sauvignon blancs. These two are from Australia and Washington state, which are both making world-class rieslings. From Australia, Wakefield’s 2008 Clare Valley Riesling, $17, is bone dry and refreshing and would be great with broiled fish, which may not be the typical pairing that comes to mind with riesling. I found this wine exquisite, with notes of Meyer lemon, apricot, a bit of the interesting petrol-like quality that is often found in riesling (don’t worry, it’s not at all offensive), a hint of honey and then lime and minerals on the finish. As you can see, there’s a lot going on here. Imported by American Wine Distributors, San Francisco.
Another winning example, from Washington, is Mercer Estates’ 2009 Yakima Valley Riesling, $14. Mercer, which opened just two years ago, is making some impressive whites, including a pinot gris that I reviewed last fall. The riesling is quite dry and full-bodied with melon and petrol notes, a creamy mid-palate and citrus, mainly lime, on the finish. Enjoy it with a range of foods, including Asian and other full-flavored dishes, or as an elegant aperitif. (Wines received as press samples.)