October 31, 2012

Appel on Wine: Ravines Riesling from Finger Lakes rings dry and true

By Joe Appel

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It hints at the classic kerosene suggestions in some "trocken" ("dry") German Riesling, but the more apt analogues for me are such saline, oily, mouthwatering wines as those made from Vermentino or Godello. It's a terrific mate to garlic- and olive oil-based dishes, especially those that include cooked hearty greens alongside straightforward white fish.

It's not a Riesling for spicy food, but the Ravines Gewurztraminer 2011 ($19) is, in spades. Gewurztraminer is the most aromatic, florid and floral grape I know. Wine from Gewurz can be shockingly, flamboyantly, thrillingly sexy, or it can jump the proverbial shark, taking its natural passion fruit aspects to corny extremes to play out as flatly pornographic.

The Ravines Gewurz stays this side of civilized. Typical lychee fruit flavors are nowhere to be found, while the rose petals and white peach come to the fore delicately. The wine's body is soft, polished and quite full, as it should be, buoyed by a faint spritz that just makes you sigh in appreciation.

I've only tasted this wine, not drunk it with a meal, but I have high hopes to open a bottle soon alongside a cold weather meal of fatty pork and root vegetables. It would also sing with smoked fish or somewhat stinky cheeses, and of course makes a delightful apertif, a veritable craft cocktail right out of the bottle.


Joe Appel works at Rosemont Market. His blog, soulofwine.com, continues the conversation, and he can be reached at soulofwine.appel@gmail.com


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