Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Diesel fumes

A friend gave me a glass of white wine to taste on Saturday. He hid the bottle from me, knowing that if I had seen the screwcap I would have said "Australian" and my prejudices would have engaged – "another blowsy, heavy over-manipulated bottle," I would have thought. In fact, this Australian riesling, Radford Dale 2004, was a beautiful wine. Zind Humbrecht riesling from Alsace was my first thought, except the circumstances weren’t right for a fifty-dollar bottle and my Zind Humbrechts don’t really taste good until I’ve cellared them for at least five years. (This Radford Dale is available for eighteen dollars at Big Red but not in large supply.) It’s a riesling with real class, a bright gold color, a clean but bitter flavor, and hints of lemon and grapefruit as well as that special minerally note that riesling-lovers unappetizingly call "diesel." I can only say that, if my old MB 240D had smelled like this, I’d have it still.