Balthasar Ress Von Unserm Rheingau Riesling Trocken 2015

Hundreds of years of winemaking must make a difference. That, and the riesling grape, of course. German precision, too. Those hillsides. The slate.

It’s all there in the bottle, in an eye-opening glass of wonderment combining river, rocks, rain, rays (if they can find them) and the irresistible restraint of the winemaker. Perfecting a craft might be among humans’ most impressive achievements – all the better for the end product being wine.

So, it’s a good thing, this one. To begin a layered nose of unripe white peach, very mild tennis ball and barely-there jasmine. Instantly on the tongue is the lime-y acid that slides to either side in something less than a pucker and more than a how’s your father? Henceforth the minerality, the defining character of this wine after the fruit. Cool, slate-y and decidedly juicy. Perhaps we’ve coined another riesling rejoinder?

My experience of quality riesling is that sipping a glass has the same feel as eating a beautiful piece of stone fruit. In this case, let’s call it a peach. I have a knife, and I slice slowly from the skin to the stone and eat each piece, skin and all. The flavor varies with each individual mouthful, the skin, the middle flesh and the inner flesh all subtly different. The orchestration of these sweet and sour notes, the acids and the flesh makes the experience simultaneously simple and complex.

One naturally understands that each piece of fruit is different, and appreciates every one as the fruition of many years and many inputs. So it is with a glass of wine…well, a glass of wine like this one.

Zesty lime in the complete and yet lingering finish are simply terrific.