WBW #45 – Old World Riesling

May 7, 2008

Time for another Wine Blogging Wednesday. This one (the 45th edition) features Old World Riesling.

Nice! I now have a good excuse to spend some money on my favourite white wine grape. And I ‘have’ to stay within Northern Europe, a part of the wine world I’ve come to love. This will be fun!

After much deliberation (OK, not really), I chose the 2006 vintage of the H. Lun Riesling, from the Südtirol region of Italy’s Alto Adige. It’s available at DeLuca’s for around $24. The winery is the oldest in the Südtirol, and is now owned by a cooperative (although it’s operated as an independant winery). For more information, the H. Lun website is here (fair warning though, it’s an annoying Flash site).

Not untypically for the region, H. Lun works with many “international” varieties, and has a strong German influence, growing popular grapes like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, along with unusual local varietals like Schiava Grigia and Lagrein.

Enough winery talk. What about the wine?

Well, in the glass, it was pale gold with a hint of green, just like most Rieslings I’ve tried. The nose was underwhelming and not nearly as aromatic as I’d expect from a Riesling, but it did have hints of fruit (of indeterminate variety) and some musk.

But there was no petrol, no green apples and no minerals. In other words, nothing I’d associate with Riesling. I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into!

But once the glass hit my lips, I was much happier. Crisp Riesling goodness poured across my tastebuds, which always makes life better. Oddly enough, the first thing I noticed was an interesting musky flavour, almost earthy in a way. It sounds weird but it worked really well. 

This was balanced against some typical minerally Riesling flavours, with a hint of peaches right at the beginning. It was dry with just a faint touch of sweetness, but this was well-balanced with lots of acidity and a nice long finish. It paired really nicely with Szechuan take-out from the new place just down the street.

I wouldn’t call this a typical Riesling, but it was very good – and well worth trying again. I haven’t tried any Italian Rieslings before, but if the H. Lun is any indication, there are some good wines out there.



  1. Thanks for your entry. Sounds like an interesting wine even with some lean aromas.


    Tim Elliott

  2. Sounds like you had as much fun with your Riesling as I did on this Wine Blogging Wednesday!

  3. I did indeed! Any day where I get to drink Riesling is a good day. Your Auslese sounded pretty good too!

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