New York Riesling Diary: Day 9 – Wine of the Month June

2012 Briedeler Riesling trocken & feinherb from Weingut Walter for Euro 7

It may not yet be June as I write these lines in New York Wine City (NYWC), but I’m doing so with my computer balanced precariously on the windowsill in order to get at least a breath of fresh air on this hot summer’s day. A breath of fresh air is exactly what these dry and medium-dry Rieslings from Weingut Walter in Briedel are. But wait a moment, “Briedel, where the hell’s that?” I can sense a bunch of you thinking. Well, it’s just down the road from Pünderich on the Mosel where the famous Clemens Busch estate is based, although Busch’s fame is also a rather new. Only a few years back Pünderich was also off the radar screen for most somms and journalists on Planet Wine. “And who the hell is Weingut Walter?” many of you are no doubt also wondering. Well, I met Gerrit Walter in November 2008 when I was a guest student at the Geisenheim wine school on the Rhine. I immediately sensed that he not only had a dangerously sharp sense of humor, but was also a really good winegrower in the making. Gerrit, who’s now in his mid-twenties made his first wines in 2009, and 2012 is his breakthrough vintage; this time every wine is excellent. And the prices are still really friendly!

Why did I pick these wines, which are not available in the US and even in Germany are best obtained direct from the producer? One of the purposes of this website is to counter the influence of rigid structures in the wine market which make it difficult and sometimes nearly impossible for talented young winegrowers like Gerrit Walter to get a toehold there, which denies you the consumer the choice you ought to have. This is the fundamental reason for my opposition to those rigid structures, apart from my general and long-standing opposition to rigid structures of almost all kinds (constitutional rights are a rare exception).

These wines would delight so many of you this June. The 2012 Briedeler Riesling Spätlese trocken has a crisp acidity, but also masses of fresh herbal aromas (think mint!) and a lot of power in spite of the moderate 12.5% alcoholic content. For anyone who finds this wine not fruity enough in character, and for those of you who prefer their Riesling with a hint of natural sweetness Gerrit Walter’s 2012 Briedeler Riesling Spätlese feinherb is almost sure to please. It’s brimming with peach and blackcurrant aromas, is really juicy without being frankly sweet which means it would be ideal with spicy (also spicy and sweet-sour) Asian dishes. What about a green Thai curry and this wine to make you break a sweat and cool off? That question is also addressed to wine importers. Let me be blunt: why aren’t these wines available even in NYWC?

2012 Briedeler Riesling Spätlese trocken / feinberb is Euro 7 from

Weingut Walter

Hauptstraße 188

D 56867 Briedel

Tel.: (49) / (0)  6542 98690




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