Saturday, February 10, 2007

Liveblogging the Louis Guntrum 2004 Dry Riesling experience

Louis Guntrum 2004 Dry Riesling has an odd scent to it. Most wines I've tasted can be described in purely fruity terms; I've only once encountered a wine that I could describe by using terms other than those describing things kept in the crisper (that was a sauvignon blanc that I described as extemely grassy). That is, until tonight.

This Riesling's nose can be described as medicinal. Plastic. Sterile. I was actually hesitant to take a sip, so I've let my glass sit and settle for a while (after a few good swirls) and only now are some fruit scents coming through.

While I'm waiting to taste, I'm doing a bit of reading up on the vintner. The Guntrum family has been at it since 1648. That's a hell of a long time to be making wines that smell like medical supplies.

Okay, I've put it off long enough (seriously, the smell is not enticing at all). It's time to taste.


It tastes just like it smells, except there is a solid underlying structure that allows the weird taste to dissolve and give way to a more traditional Riesling finish — moderately long with hints of bright fruit, like apple and apricot. I wish the finish carried over into the initial taste, but I guess this wine doesn't work that way. That oddness, it's still there, upon every sniff and every sip. It's almost woody, in a way. Very organic. You know, it's almost grassy, the longer I sip on it. It just seems outdoorsy. And unlike any other Riesling I've ever had.

In fact, I'm wondering if this is because it's a "dry" Riesling. I suspect that most Rieslings I try are off-dry, meaning there's enough residual sugar in them to make them lightly sweet. This wine is supposedly bone-dry, though I doubt that its the dryness that is bringing out such an odd attribute.

Jesus, what if I'm ingesting arsenic?!?

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