Riesling’s Slutty Sister: Bet You Can’t Resist Her! 05/10/11
I throw the word sexy around an awful lot on this blog, most often as a vaguely positive descriptor applied to wines possessing a measure of some undefinable yet undeniably salivatory aesthetic. But every so often a wine comes along that I can only do justice through the verbatim meaning of the word: a wine that I quite literally want to have sex with.
Unfortunately, I won’t be speaking about one of those today, but I will be sharing my notes on a rather sexy bottle, if I do say so myself: the Geil 2007 Scheurebe Kabinett, which ran me $18 at the PA state store I frequent. I’ll admit to a bit of newbishness on my part in procuring this wine; I hilariously thought that “Scheurebe” was a place, and that the wine I had purchased – being white, and from Germany – was a Riesling.
As it turns out, I wasn’t too far off: a genetic cross of Riesling and Silvaner, Scheurebe was described to me on Twitter as “Riesling’s slutty sister,” which really does tell you everything you could possibly want to know about the grape: she was sweet, and she was forward. What’s more, Geil is actually German for horny, which is…probably just a coincidence.
Anyway, in the glass, this poured a very pale straw color, almost completely transparent around the rim. The nose was powerfully aromatic, suggesting liberal use of perfume on this lady’s part: orange, peach, and after some breathing, passionfruit. The palate repeated these notes, for the most part, with peach and passionfruit being most prominent, alongside some white pepper on the finish (which was sufficiently long for me to make a note of it – nice).
The wine was rather sweet – and you know how I feel about residual sugar – but still had enough complexity and balance to keep me compelled. Most interestingly, though, there was a bit of effervescence involved: enough even for my dad, who has no palate whatsoever, to claim that the Scheurebe reminded him of Champagne. I don’t know this wine had the requisite CO2 pressure to qualify as semi-sparkling, but the bubbles were noticeable. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I award the Geil 2007 Scheurebe Kabinett thumbs up – good, sure, but she came on a little strong for my tastes.
ADDENDUM: Thanks to the wonderfully knowledgeable Meg Houston Maker (@megmaker on Twitter), it has come to my attention that the sparkliness of this Scheurebe was likely the result of a winemaking error. I’ve transcribed her tweets into less-abbreviated language (and also, added links to Wikipedia where necessary): “More likely not enough sulfur at bottling (leaving viable microbes in solution for secondary fermentation). Also possibly the wine was unfiltered, with no SO2, but hadn’t gone through complete secondary (malolactic fermentaton). Any residual sugar will ferment.”
Incidentally, you can find Ms. Maker’s own review of a (probably much better Scheurebe) here.
But even with all this in mind, my score remains a respectable thumbs up. I did enjoy the wine – and it wouldn’t be fair to change its rating now, just because I’ve been educated a little…would it?