- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chateau Ste. Michelle, Riesling, Columbia Valley, 2007, $10

Here’s an outstanding bargain, one of the best I’ve found this year. This youthful wine fairly bursts with succulent peach, apricot and citrus fruit flavors. Beautifully balanced, it’s perfect for warm weather sipping.

Wine drinkers sometimes shy away from Riesling, fearing that the wines will taste saccharine or sappy. Good examples, though, carry enough acidity to provide harmony, so seem refreshing rather than cloying. They come in a wide range of styles, everything from bone dry to overtly sweet.

This one is off-dry, meaning sweet but not sugary, so will show best with savory foods, not with dessert. Try it with spicy Asian or fusion dishes, or even light Cinco de Mayo fare. The slight sweetness will provide an attractive counterpoint to any heat coming from peppers or spice.

Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington’s leading winery, has made a serious commitment to Riesling, promoting the varietal as a specialty of that state.

To be fair, excellent Rieslings are being produced elsewhere in the country these days (particularly in the Finger Lakes region of New York), but not in the same volume or at the same price as this one.

At $10 a bottle, this definitely is a wine to buy by the case.

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