Ode to a Riesling

Riesling: you either love them or hate them. I have a cautious love with Riesling. There are few and far between that I truly enjoy, appreciate, and yes…love.

Andreas Bender is a German producer from the Mosel with property in both the former and Pfalz, making superb expressions of Riesling since the age of 15. On his most recent trip here to the market, he brought a new product that he’d made for us all to taste, to see how we liked it.

bender-1On the table I see this quirky, whimsical label and a wine simply called “I Love Mosel Riesling” from Andreas BenderReally? How corny can you get!

The story goes that Andreas and an artist friend of his were chatting one day, and out comes this “label-less” Riesling that winemaker Andreas is not sure what to call, or what to even do with. Artist friend says he’d like to design a label if that’s ok, and just see what happens. The result? A strong arm with a tattoo of the Mosel River, covered by I {heart} Mosel . Hoo boy… The background is wooden crate slats, typical of the boxes that were used to put grapes in during harvest.

I really, really, really wanted to hate this wine! It was too bender-2quirky, too weird, and who would buy a wine with a label like THAT in a boutique wine store? Forget the fact that it’s what is inside that counts, but let’s be honest, many people STILL shop for the label! Sigh…


Andreas Bender and me…the looks of intimidation are terrifying, I know…

Imagine my surprise when my first sip of this wine almost blew my mind. That great initial blast of petrol on the nose (that one either loves or hates) with huge amounts of lime zest, green apple, and granite minerality with a bit of mango juice underneath; all with a laser sharp acidity that made me salivate and dive in for another sip! Gotta love Riesling for that high, high acidity, as I found out that there is 30 g/L of residual sugar in this wine, making it Auslese level (on the Prädikatswein scale). That wouldn’t yet be considered sweet (that is reserved for 45 g/L RS and higher) but considering that many well made wines sit about 3-4 g/L (super dry) that’s pretty darn sweet! But you wouldn’t know it with all that zesty acidity! Wow…my thoughts switched to liking this wine pretty quick! So I decided to get a picture with Andreas the winemaker, and I told him…”flex your bicep, look mean and intimidating while holding the bottle”.  This is one German who doesn’t know HOW to look mean! He smiles all the time! Great person, brilliant winemaker and full of surprises!

And all of this Riesling goodness…is only $21.95 on the shelf! I’m thinking Thai food might be in order…Prost!

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