Lorentz 2001 Altenberg de Bergheim Riesling

September 21 2008 - 9:03 PM

I actually do sample a fair bit of New World bottles and wines, but most of the time I tend to gravitate back toward Europe.  Most of my New World purchases are leftovers from a few years ago when I got sucked into believing that tasting jammy fruit in wine somehow made it better.   One example was a 2004 Alder Brook Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, which tasted okay…until it was paired with food.    Another example was a 2004 grenache from Australia called Bitch.  Strong cherry and plum flavors and the usual fruit bomb taste with time in oak.  Robert Parker loved it, but I didn’t.  The press release from Parker said “the packaging was designed by someone with considerable imagination.”  I call the pink bottle a gimmick.  Forgettable.

For sure there are great New World wines that are subtle, food
friendly, and outstanding.   My friend brought over a West Coast Pinot
a few weeks ago that paired fantastically with our meal…well, anyway,
enough with the rant.

So, about the Lorentz.   My wife and I met a friend in pingpong, a
restaurant in Lakeview with bouncy castle a bar that allows BYOB.  I brought over a
2001 Lorentz Altenberg de Bergheim Riesling from the Alsace region of
France, near the German border.  Those of you who have not tried
Alsatian Riesling know that, unlike Germany which has off-dry
Rieslings, generally it is bone-dry (or nearly so), and higher-priced
rieslings (not always higher quality!) tend to be very viscous and
concentrated, with clarity of flavor.  Alsatian whites are great to
bring to the table with friends who don’t like sweet Rieslings.  (I
guess we can thank the cheap blue bottle German Rieslings for this
mindset, but we can thank the Germans for selling it because we can get
great Rieslings for much cheaper than say, great White Burgundy.)

Lorentz’s Altenberg de Bergheim Riesling did not  disappoint.  Our
table tasted lime, slate, and ginger.  The wine well complemented our
Asian seafood meals, and its long finish was truly delightful.  At
seven years old the wine may have a couple years left but is not
capable of serious long aging.

Gustave Lorentz 2001 Altenberg de Bergheim Riesling