Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

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Marshall Manning
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#51 Post by Marshall Manning » July 29th, 2020, 10:36 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:59 am
FWIW, I have not yet had a US Gruner that I thought was worth buying with my own money, despite trying several.
Syncline's version is pretty good, as is Savage Grace's. Neither is a substitute for Knoll, Alzinger, etc., though.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#52 Post by JackW e i s s b e r g » July 29th, 2020, 10:38 am

This is a great thread. I understand the rant and frustration - it sucks to spend $20+ on something and be completely surprised and turned off by what's inside. Especially if it's labelled in a way to make you think it's for "you" in what you look for.

I learned early on in my journey (the one class out of 10 in wine 101 that focused on Riesling) that it's nearly impossible to tell completely what you'll get from the label itself, you can at best get a rough "sense" for what you'll get, and it seems that hasn't changed, even with that sliding scale this producer (or importer) is using. You can see clues in ABV or other words, but it won't ever be a guarantee. You're trying to get a sense true to yourself from marketing tools used for thousands.

I think maybe the best solution is to aim for a producer/bottling that works for you and stick to it if you want predictability, but even this can change in a particular vintage or how the wine came out for them that particular year. And that you're always taking a chance when you venture out into a new producer or new bottling. It's all in the game.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#53 Post by Marshall Manning » July 29th, 2020, 10:40 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 10:44 pm
But as of now, they're stealing my money by labeling a wine with a meter that pegs to complete dryness, using words like bone-dry in descriptors, when it's obviously not.
Also, you're a winemaker, Adam. If you have 2% Zinfandel in your Alicante Bouschet, are you stealing people's money because it's not pure Alicante?
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#54 Post by Mel Knox » July 29th, 2020, 10:54 am

I m with Adam. People are not saying the wine is dry, or dryish, but bone dry...steely dry...That implies no rs at the very least.

I've seen the same thing with other Alsatian wines. They say they are dry and they have at least 4 or 5 grams of rs. That's well above the threshold of perception.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#55 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 29th, 2020, 11:56 am

Ultimately the trend if Alsace is due to a couple of factors:

ZH wanna-be winemakers
Climate change

The bloom has long been off the ZH rose, but climate change is here to stay. Runaway ripeness and thereby runaway alcohol levels and the greater potential for notable residual sugar.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#56 Post by John Morris » July 29th, 2020, 12:06 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 10:33 pm
Oh, boy, am I gonna get it in the neck for this one. And I'm not even drunk, either, but I am pissed off. Those of you who get worked up over my Riesling rants, please read no further because this is the f-ing ultimate one.

Yesterday I had the 2018 Kuentz-Bas Riesling from Alsace. On the actual label from producer (or importer Kermit Lynch, I don't know who made up the fictional descriptors), the dryness scale arrow is pegged to the left. Like hard. Take a look at picture - it kinda can't go much more left than that. Then I read Wine.com's description:

"Bone-dry on the palate, it features intense clean aromas with excellent minerality."

OK. From importer Kermit Lynch's own website:

"Dry, steely Riesling"

It's like I'm in Jacob's Ladder or something where I'm the only one who sees the everyday monsters. "Oh, it's because you're mistaking alcohol levels for sweetness". No, I'm not. It's sugar - pure and simple. This is obviously sweet to everyone who has more than one taste bud and hasn't been living under a German/Alsatian Riesling tank all their lives. In no universe on this galaxy, or from under any rock, does this classify as "bone-dry".

It would all be fine if they hadn't taken my really hard-earned money yet again by using those buzzers: bone-dry, steely, etc - only to then serve up syrup. I'll take their word for it being "mineral" and having "clean aromas", because all I tasted was sugar, thanks. I mean, this is Kermit Lynch for chrissakes - if we can't trust professionals to know what bone-dry means, then what hope is there for humanity?

But this annoyance is good. It makes the objectives crystal clear moving forward. From now, I will dedicate my life, my faculties and my strength to the the production of bone-dry Rieslings! [wink.gif]
You make wine. Have you done a lab analysis? One's perception of sweetness is dependent on the acid level, and vice versa. (I learned this at a components tasting at a lab in Napa a long time ago, where they took the same wine and manipulated sugar and acid to make the point.) Perhaps this is high pH/low acid and comes across as sweet.

That said, Alsatian "dry" rieslings shifted toward a lower acid/RS style a few decades ago. I've heard that the trend is back toward dry. I don't know because I lost interest in the category in the 90s when many went all flabby and sweet.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#57 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm

DanielP wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:16 am
CJ Beazley wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:06 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 9:18 am


This is a really good post Larry.

Over the years of pouring the field blend and Riesling from Whistling Ridge for visitors, it became apparent that while most people perceive “dry” based upon the balance of acids and sugar, a small set of tasters seem to perceive sugar independently. A wine with 5 grams rs but a pH of 3.0 will be perceived as dry by most tasters. But for some the presence of rs is still overwhelming. 5g/liter would be dry in Germany, and with a TA of 8.0g/liter this wine would be definitely dry by the IRF scale as well.
For some perspective, does anyone know if there’s any actual RS in say...Kendal Jackson reserve Chardonnay?
Looks like 9 g/L, if the LCBO site is to be trusted

https://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/kenda ... yGtJrcpB-E
I remember many hearing years ago that the original KJ Vintner’s Reserve had a a bit of RS from a stuck ferment, and that the bit of RS appealed to many people.

It’s my belief that there are plenty of modern red wines with higher Brix fruit and shorter ferments will be “dry” at 3-6 g/l.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#58 Post by Sean Corbett » July 29th, 2020, 12:35 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 8:58 am
Synchromesh (Okanogan) - screechingly austere in a great way.
Just their Storm Haven black label.

Their other rieslings are delicious, but very fruit-flavored and intense. Thorny Vines vineyard, for instance, is TA 9.85 - RS 75.52 g/l.

But yeah, Adam should definitely give the Synchromesh Storm Haven black label riesling a try. Maybe skip the 2018 vintage because, again while very tasty, it is the least dry of that sku in the last few years.

Maybe also check out Scout and Little Farm rieslings as well (both from the Similkameen).
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#59 Post by A G Aguirre » July 29th, 2020, 1:02 pm

There’s RS in a lot of “dry” wine, whites and reds. It’s just often at imperceptible levels. I think this fetishization of 0.0 is interesting. It’s akin to the conversation about dosage in champagne. In my view, as I’m sure is the case with many others on this board, it’s all about balance. Within a certain range, the specific RS numbers are essentially meaningless. I agree that the fruit profile of Riesling must enhance the feeling of sweetness for you. All the classic dry Rieslings of the world with a modicum of typicity will have some RS. It’s the fringe experimental stuff that doesn’t. So... why not just drink something else.

I’ve had one 0.0 riesling. It was from Scribe. Not sure if they still make it. Absolutely ripping acid. Would be curious to age one.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#60 Post by Thomas Keim » July 29th, 2020, 1:30 pm

TimF wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:01 am
What’s the ABV on this wine?

Count me in the group that strongly dislikes dry Riesling.
I'm with you, Riesling is such a wonderfully exotic grape, and really needs to be in that 1% to 2% residual sugar to show all it's colors in my opinion. I do appreciate Aussie Dry Rieslings and German Trocken Rieslings as well, just not near as much as the Kabinett or Feinherb style -
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#61 Post by Matt K » July 29th, 2020, 1:49 pm

John Morris wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 12:06 pm
Adam Frisch wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 10:33 pm
Oh, boy, am I gonna get it in the neck for this one. And I'm not even drunk, either, but I am pissed off. Those of you who get worked up over my Riesling rants, please read no further because this is the f-ing ultimate one.

Yesterday I had the 2018 Kuentz-Bas Riesling from Alsace. On the actual label from producer (or importer Kermit Lynch, I don't know who made up the fictional descriptors), the dryness scale arrow is pegged to the left. Like hard. Take a look at picture - it kinda can't go much more left than that. Then I read Wine.com's description:

"Bone-dry on the palate, it features intense clean aromas with excellent minerality."

OK. From importer Kermit Lynch's own website:

"Dry, steely Riesling"

It's like I'm in Jacob's Ladder or something where I'm the only one who sees the everyday monsters. "Oh, it's because you're mistaking alcohol levels for sweetness". No, I'm not. It's sugar - pure and simple. This is obviously sweet to everyone who has more than one taste bud and hasn't been living under a German/Alsatian Riesling tank all their lives. In no universe on this galaxy, or from under any rock, does this classify as "bone-dry".

It would all be fine if they hadn't taken my really hard-earned money yet again by using those buzzers: bone-dry, steely, etc - only to then serve up syrup. I'll take their word for it being "mineral" and having "clean aromas", because all I tasted was sugar, thanks. I mean, this is Kermit Lynch for chrissakes - if we can't trust professionals to know what bone-dry means, then what hope is there for humanity?

But this annoyance is good. It makes the objectives crystal clear moving forward. From now, I will dedicate my life, my faculties and my strength to the the production of bone-dry Rieslings! [wink.gif]
You make wine. Have you done a lab analysis? One's perception of sweetness is dependent on the acid level, and vice versa. (I learned this at a components tasting at a lab in Napa a long time ago, where they took the same wine and manipulated sugar and acid to make the point.) Perhaps this is high pH/low acid and comes across as sweet.

That said, Alsatian "dry" rieslings shifted toward a lower acid/RS style a few decades ago. I've heard that the trend is back toward dry. I don't know because I lost interest in the category in the 90s when many went all flabby and sweet.
This is my knee-jerk suggestion as well, if I don't trust the bottle, I bring it into my lab. Hell, if you're that worked up about it but don't have a full lab, you can send it out to someone else for a full analysis!


I had an in depth conversation on this topic with a very passionate Riesling winemaker two weeks ago... His frustration mirrored yours, and his takeaway was the only way to return the compass needle to honesty on what's in the bottle is label your sugar/TA content, no more sliding scale!
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#62 Post by maureen nelson » July 29th, 2020, 3:05 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 5:47 am
[wink.gif]
Exactly what I was thinking.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#63 Post by Adam G » July 29th, 2020, 3:17 pm

Not sure why so many are jumping on your back for what, to me, is a legit gripe for a wine labelled explicitly as "bone dry". I like Rieslings of all sweetness levels at different times, but I'm super pissed if I open one expecting it to be dry and it's got any perceptible RS.
In any case, here are some rather dry Rieslings with what I'd call bracing acidity:
-Julien Schaal Alsace Grands Crus that K&L brings in. I've had the Sommerberg Granite, not the others. I was irritated with the price hike from the tariffs, but they're still under $30.
-Red Newt from the Finger Lakes has some very dry Rieslings. (Their Cab Franc rosé is amazing, too.) My CT note on a 2012 single block Riesling was: Wow. Laser-like acidity, despite the 1.6% RS. Lemon, mineral, and lots of acid. Quite good.
-Sybille Kuntz from the Mosel makes trocken Riesling at a variety of ripeness levels. I've only had the Kabinett trocken so far, but have a bottle of Spätlese trocken to try as well.
-Te Whare Ra from NZ also makes a dry Riesling that twice I've now commented is truly dry. K&L brings this in also.
-You'd probably also have some luck with Riesling from Niagara. I've never had one there labelled "dry" that I ever thought was otherwise. Cave Spring and Featherstone come to mind.
-Müller-Grossmann from Kremstal, Austria also was very dry.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#64 Post by m. ristev » July 29th, 2020, 3:47 pm

i think it is just a bit uninformed to expect a riesling, even if classified as dry to have zero residual sugar. trimbach's cuvee frederic emile is about as dry tasting as it comes for the grape imo, and the rs is all over the place depending on vintage. for instance the 2000 has 5 g/l while the 2007 has .07 g/l rs. even the clos ste hune has 7.59 g/l in 2012. i doubt an experienced taster would claim these wines are anything but dry. not to mention, aiming for a target number year in year out would just be a poor winemaking decision.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#65 Post by Wes Barton » July 29th, 2020, 3:52 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:28 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 4:28 am
Anyway, I actually think you don’t like fruit, but that’s just my perception based on your posts.
Maybe, but I don't think so, because it became a point the other night when I had a Grüner Veltliner from a very respected US producer (I won't say who, because they make great wines and like them a lot). Both me and my wife thought it was the worst of two varieties - it lacked the zesty, green, malic apple fruit aromas of a Riesling, but had picked up that medicinal, slightly bitter thing from Chardonnay at the end. So I missed that fruit from Riesling. That said, to your point, that sweeter Rieslings do have much fruitier and exciting noses than the drier ones, I'll certainly give them that.
I didn't see a comment on this, but could your aromatic perception of sweetness be the issue? You can't smell sweet, but that fruity aroma can have a dramatic effect on your perception. There are bone-dry wines that people think are sweet.

It would be nice to see the actual RS of this wine.

I absolutely agree that if the wine isn't truly bone dry, the scale on the label shouldn't be pegged to the left. There are zero RS Rieslings, so implying that one is when it isn't would be deceptive.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#66 Post by John Morris » July 29th, 2020, 3:58 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 3:52 pm
I didn't see a comment on this, but could your aromatic perception of sweetness be the issue? You can't smell sweet, but that fruity aroma can have a dramatic effect on your perception. There are bone-dry wines that people think are sweet....
On the other hand, many truly dry rieslings are hard to recognize as riesling because they have little or none of the fruity aromas we associate with the grape -- just faint minerally note.

Jamie Goode wrote something saying that the reason is that, when there is significant amount of sugar in a wine, fruit esters come out of solution very quickly, giving the wine a powerful aroma.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#67 Post by Wes Barton » July 29th, 2020, 5:23 pm

John Morris wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 3:58 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 3:52 pm
I didn't see a comment on this, but could your aromatic perception of sweetness be the issue? You can't smell sweet, but that fruity aroma can have a dramatic effect on your perception. There are bone-dry wines that people think are sweet....
On the other hand, many truly dry rieslings are hard to recognize as riesling because they have little or none of the fruity aromas we associate with the grape -- just faint minerally note.

Jamie Goode wrote something saying that the reason is that, when there is significant amount of sugar in a wine, fruit esters come out of solution very quickly, giving the wine a powerful aroma.
That's interesting. Though also, some fruity aromas aren't esters and there's all sorts of other stuff at play. Note that Adam said he's fine with some at .9 and 1.0. It depends on the wine, but a typical non-musky non-Riesling seems dry at about 1.0. Fermenting a wine dry, where it stops on its own and tastes dry can often have a little sugar, as well as unfermentable sugar. My experience with dozens of varieties, as well as some fruit wines, doesn't show it normal that a wine fermented dry would be mute in aroma. I can see someone picking for a dry Riesling on the early side, looking for a lower final ABV to keep things in balance, and getting a very austere wine. I've had Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Viognier like that. Perhaps sugar would bring out the aromas. But, I've also had bone-dry normally ripe versions of those that were very aromatically expressive. My experience adding sugar is with fruit wines. Fermented dry, then sweetened to taste. Many are stern, harsh, out of balance bone dry. Sugar is more to balance things out, and to meet sweetness expectations of the fruit, but also adds body to the palate and nose. Not sure anything is added to the nose, as they're quite expressive, but the breadth of what's there is expanded.

The only example at moderate ripeness that goes the other way that I can think of was my Tinta Cao. Wimpy wimpy wimpy. It's a blending grape for aromatics. Not much there all along. I got enough of its pretty floral character when I racked it to get an idea what its about, but not much there. I test blended in a little Touriga Nacional and it exploded. That added body, acid, tannin, complexity, bringing it up to a light red. At 20%, the Touriga is definitely there, but that very different Tinta Cao florality is much more prominent and very pretty. If it wasn't being "brought out" by something, it would be dwarfed. I wouldn't be surprised if the TN had much higher RS than the TC, and would actually expect it, but it couldn't have been more than 1.0.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#68 Post by Kris Patten » July 29th, 2020, 6:31 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:59 am
Adam Frisch wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:28 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 4:28 am
Anyway, I actually think you don’t like fruit, but that’s just my perception based on your posts.
Maybe, but I don't think so, because it became a point the other night when I had a Grüner Veltliner from a very respected US producer (I won't say who, because they make great wines and like them a lot). Both me and my wife thought it was the worst of two varieties - it lacked the zesty, green, malic apple fruit aromas of a Riesling, but had picked up that medicinal, slightly bitter thing from Chardonnay at the end. So I missed that fruit from Riesling. That said, to your point, that sweeter Rieslings do have much fruitier and exciting noses than the drier ones, I'll certainly give them that.
FWIW, I have not yet had a US Gruner that I thought was worth buying with my own money, despite trying several.
Carlisle and WT Vintners are quite good.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#69 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 29th, 2020, 6:34 pm

I have had the Carlisle. Meh.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#70 Post by Kris Patten » July 29th, 2020, 6:51 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:34 pm
I have had the Carlisle. Meh.
Definitely not Pichler, only had 2011 Steiner, so cooler vintage probably helped it shine, but was really good.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#71 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 29th, 2020, 6:54 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:51 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:34 pm
I have had the Carlisle. Meh.
Definitely not Pichler, only had 2011 Steiner, so cooler vintage probably helped it shine, but was really good.
I have had the Carlisle three times, and prefer the entry level Schloss Gobelsburg ‘Gobelsburger’ Grüner Veltliner for less money.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#72 Post by Neal.Mollen » July 29th, 2020, 7:09 pm

TimF wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:01 am
What’s the ABV on this wine?

Count me in the group that strongly dislikes dry Riesling.
Me too. Also dislike the sweet Riesling. And the stuff in the middle. And all points in between. I just came in for the rant. [popcorn.gif]
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#73 Post by John Morris » July 29th, 2020, 8:03 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 5:23 pm
John Morris wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 3:58 pm
On the other hand, many truly dry rieslings are hard to recognize as riesling because they have little or none of the fruity aromas we associate with the grape -- just faint minerally note.

Jamie Goode wrote something saying that the reason is that, when there is significant amount of sugar in a wine, fruit esters come out of solution very quickly, giving the wine a powerful aroma.
That's interesting. Though also, some fruity aromas aren't esters and there's all sorts of other stuff at play. Note that Adam said he's fine with some at .9 and 1.0. It depends on the wine, but a typical non-musky non-Riesling seems dry at about 1.0. Fermenting a wine dry, where it stops on its own and tastes dry can often have a little sugar, as well as unfermentable sugar. My experience with dozens of varieties, as well as some fruit wines, doesn't show it normal that a wine fermented dry would be mute in aroma. I can see someone picking for a dry Riesling on the early side, looking for a lower final ABV to keep things in balance, and getting a very austere wine. I've had Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Viognier like that. Perhaps sugar would bring out the aromas. But, I've also had bone-dry normally ripe versions of those that were very aromatically expressive. My experience adding sugar is with fruit wines. Fermented dry, then sweetened to taste. Many are stern, harsh, out of balance bone dry. Sugar is more to balance things out, and to meet sweetness expectations of the fruit, but also adds body to the palate and nose. Not sure anything is added to the nose, as they're quite expressive, but the breadth of what's there is expanded. ...
I'm not sure that Goode limited it to esters.

Still, I've had lots of very dry rieslings -- mostly German and Austrian, some Alsatian, and some from other regions -- that were lovely wines but had none of the highly aromatic, fruity aromas characteristic of even slightly sweet rieslings, or only faint, faint traces of those. And Alsatian and Austrian rieslings tend to be pretty full bodied wines made from fairly ripe grapes. There's more variation among the Germans in ripeness/body/alcohol.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#74 Post by Ben M a n d l e r » July 29th, 2020, 9:07 pm

DanielP wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:16 am
CJ Beazley wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:06 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 9:18 am


This is a really good post Larry.

Over the years of pouring the field blend and Riesling from Whistling Ridge for visitors, it became apparent that while most people perceive “dry” based upon the balance of acids and sugar, a small set of tasters seem to perceive sugar independently. A wine with 5 grams rs but a pH of 3.0 will be perceived as dry by most tasters. But for some the presence of rs is still overwhelming. 5g/liter would be dry in Germany, and with a TA of 8.0g/liter this wine would be definitely dry by the IRF scale as well.
For some perspective, does anyone know if there’s any actual RS in say...Kendal Jackson reserve Chardonnay?
Looks like 9 g/L, if the LCBO site is to be trusted

https://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/kenda ... yGtJrcpB-E
I can't speak to KJ specifically. But if you take box wine Chardonnays from the big brands - these are wines that have pretty consistent core chemistry (alcohol, pH, TA, free and total SO2, malic acid, glucose+fructose) and so are widely used as method validators by in-house winery labs - it is common to see 5-10 g/l RS.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#75 Post by K N Haque » July 29th, 2020, 9:31 pm

Adam, I love your wines, but I am not sure I'd want to try a Riesling made by you!

As far as bone-dry, as others have pointed out, the left of the scale is still a range, so without actual RS numbers, you are never going to know what you'll get. I have two suggestions at opposite ends of the price spectrum (though the higher one is just because I know the producer's other wines which are clearly "Trocken," but "Trocken" meaning less than dry for you.

1) Zind-Humbrecht, their basic Riesling Turckheim. The RS is usually just above 1 g (and their website is good about listing info for the past ten vintages).

2) At the high end: 2017 Bürklin-Wolf Ungeheur G.C. I don't know if it is always this dry, but that year is 0.7g RS (https://www.buerklin-wolf.de/files/stan ... 20G.C_.pdf) (In German). Of course, I see it runs $90 or so. To me, Bürklin-Wolf produces dry wines, but the lesser sites I know have more RS, though still within what many, including myself, consider dry.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#76 Post by Robert Sand » July 30th, 2020, 12:48 am

I agree that quite a few wines (Riesling et al) are indicated incorrectly reg. taste/sweetness, in Alsace as well as in Germany - and I say that as being German.
You should complain to the importer - or better still to the producer, which shouldn´t be any problem nowadays via internet.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#77 Post by Claus Jeppesen » July 30th, 2020, 2:19 am

Please explain why the OP singles out Riesling.
Ignorance?
I have had plenty of bone dry Rieslings aged between 2 and 40 years
And many "dry" red and white wines made from other varieties with identifiable RS
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#78 Post by Robert Dentice » July 30th, 2020, 3:25 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:54 pm
Kris Patten wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:51 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:34 pm
I have had the Carlisle. Meh.
Definitely not Pichler, only had 2011 Steiner, so cooler vintage probably helped it shine, but was really good.
I have had the Carlisle three times, and prefer the entry level Schloss Gobelsburg ‘Gobelsburger’ Grüner Veltliner for less money.

I agree on Grüner I have had many from all over the U.S., Italy and even one or two from Germany and none have come even close to a basic Grüner from Austria.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#79 Post by kmason » July 30th, 2020, 4:47 am

Hi Adam
If you can find it try the dry Rieslings from Weingut Tesch in the Nahe. Dr. Martin Tesch is strongly anti RS in his dry Riesling wines.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#80 Post by Sean S y d n e y » July 30th, 2020, 6:27 am

What percentage of the wines in the WORLD truly have < 2g/L RS? You would struggle to find much wine with that metric, much less Riesling.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#81 Post by Otto Forsberg » July 30th, 2020, 7:09 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 6:27 am
What percentage of the wines in the WORLD truly have < 2g/L RS? You would struggle to find much wine with that metric, much less Riesling.
This exactly. Some wines can go down to the ballpark of 0,5-1 g/l RS, but most wines hover around 1-4 g/l, even red wines. Most of the time if you want to go sub-1 g/l, you need to use quite aggressive yeasts to go down there reliably. If you do spontaneous ferments, it's often just pure luck.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#82 Post by Charlie Carnes » July 30th, 2020, 6:05 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 8:35 am
Charlie Carnes wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 7:46 am
To me this just comes across as that's as dry as they will make the wine. There is no 0 on that chart on the back of the bottle. The labeling laws for so many areas always leave a little room for imprecision.

Adam, are you wanting a wine with 0rs, or just a label that says as close as possible the rs?
No, I don't need it to be at 0. I know that's almost impossible and prob not even desirable. Grosset Polish Hill felt truly dry for me and that was at 0.9 g/L. Paetra is around 1g/L and and felt the same way. Biggio Hamina's as well. Empirically, I'd say up to 2g/L RS should be it's own classification (bone-dry), and then the German 2-9g/L could be just like it is today.
Hey, Adam, I think I'll take back my take back of Uli Stein. I think you should try one of his trockens. No label issues, and he hates German wine laws. RS? Yes. Perceptually dry and tasty as hell? Yes.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#83 Post by Todd Hamina » July 30th, 2020, 7:39 pm

Marshall Manning wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:24 am
Markus S wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 6:46 am
If you want something with screeching acidity, no fruit, and zero sugar, I'm sure there are plenty of people making wines that would suit your palate.
Muscadet from a cool vintage might work?
I made a 0 rs, full Malo, unfiltered Melon de Bourgogne too...

If you have healthy lees the mid palate will fill out and folks will believe there's rs even when there isn't. The full malo drives it home.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#84 Post by Wes Barton » July 30th, 2020, 8:17 pm

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 2:19 am
Please explain why the OP singles out Riesling.
Ignorance?
I have had plenty of bone dry Rieslings aged between 2 and 40 years
And many "dry" red and white wines made from other varieties with identifiable RS
Did any of those show a scale on the label and indicate a specific point, not "range", at the extreme of dryness? He wanted to try something specific. This wine was advertised as what he was looking for. People are beating a dead horse about the subjectivity of the terms used by both sources on the wine. He knew that. But the scale on the label backed up those words, indicating no to extremely low RS. So, either the label is deceptive or he's perceiving sweetness from factors other than sweetness.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#85 Post by DanielP » July 30th, 2020, 8:37 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 8:17 pm
People are beating a dead horse about the subjectivity of the terms used by both sources on the wine. He knew that. But the scale on the label backed up those words, indicating no to extremely low RS.
The wine may very well be low or higher RS, it's impossible to tell from OP's perception. Adam has previously perceived certain wines as sweet that others would perceive as bone dry or close to it.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#86 Post by John Morris » July 30th, 2020, 8:38 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 8:17 pm
Claus Jeppesen wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 2:19 am
Please explain why the OP singles out Riesling.
Ignorance?
I have had plenty of bone dry Rieslings aged between 2 and 40 years
And many "dry" red and white wines made from other varieties with identifiable RS
Did any of those show a scale on the label and indicate a specific point, not "range", at the extreme of dryness? He wanted to try something specific. This wine was advertised as what he was looking for. People are beating a dead horse about the subjectivity of the terms used by both sources on the wine. He knew that. But the scale on the label backed up those words, indicating no to extremely low RS. So, either the label is deceptive or he's perceiving sweetness from factors other than sweetness.
FYI, the same labeling issue exists with "sec" Vouvray. I ran a blind tasting once of eight, and they ranged from tart and bone dry to slightly but noticeably sweet. There was no way of telling from the label. Of course, the dryer ones tasted crappy next to those that were "rounder" and those that were out and out sweet.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#87 Post by Claus Jeppesen » July 30th, 2020, 11:02 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 8:17 pm
Claus Jeppesen wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 2:19 am
Please explain why the OP singles out Riesling.
Ignorance?
I have had plenty of bone dry Rieslings aged between 2 and 40 years
And many "dry" red and white wines made from other varieties with identifiable RS
Did any of those show a scale on the label and indicate a specific point, not "range", at the extreme of dryness? He wanted to try something specific. This wine was advertised as what he was looking for. People are beating a dead horse about the subjectivity of the terms used by both sources on the wine. He knew that. But the scale on the label backed up those words, indicating no to extremely low RS. So, either the label is deceptive or he's perceiving sweetness from factors other than sweetness.
Was the label indicating percentage RS?
The dry/sweet indication line is only for wine-newbies.
Again
Why is Riesling singled out??
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#88 Post by Lars Carlberg » July 31st, 2020, 1:37 am

John Morris wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 12:06 pm
Adam Frisch wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 10:33 pm
Oh, boy, am I gonna get it in the neck for this one. And I'm not even drunk, either, but I am pissed off. Those of you who get worked up over my Riesling rants, please read no further because this is the f-ing ultimate one.

Yesterday I had the 2018 Kuentz-Bas Riesling from Alsace. On the actual label from producer (or importer Kermit Lynch, I don't know who made up the fictional descriptors), the dryness scale arrow is pegged to the left. Like hard. Take a look at picture - it kinda can't go much more left than that. Then I read Wine.com's description:

"Bone-dry on the palate, it features intense clean aromas with excellent minerality."

OK. From importer Kermit Lynch's own website:

"Dry, steely Riesling"

It's like I'm in Jacob's Ladder or something where I'm the only one who sees the everyday monsters. "Oh, it's because you're mistaking alcohol levels for sweetness". No, I'm not. It's sugar - pure and simple. This is obviously sweet to everyone who has more than one taste bud and hasn't been living under a German/Alsatian Riesling tank all their lives. In no universe on this galaxy, or from under any rock, does this classify as "bone-dry".

It would all be fine if they hadn't taken my really hard-earned money yet again by using those buzzers: bone-dry, steely, etc - only to then serve up syrup. I'll take their word for it being "mineral" and having "clean aromas", because all I tasted was sugar, thanks. I mean, this is Kermit Lynch for chrissakes - if we can't trust professionals to know what bone-dry means, then what hope is there for humanity?

But this annoyance is good. It makes the objectives crystal clear moving forward. From now, I will dedicate my life, my faculties and my strength to the the production of bone-dry Rieslings! [wink.gif]
You make wine. Have you done a lab analysis? One's perception of sweetness is dependent on the acid level, and vice versa. (I learned this at a components tasting at a lab in Napa a long time ago, where they took the same wine and manipulated sugar and acid to make the point.) Perhaps this is high pH/low acid and comes across as sweet.

That said, Alsatian "dry" rieslings shifted toward a lower acid/RS style a few decades ago. I've heard that the trend is back toward dry. I don't know because I lost interest in the category in the 90s when many went all flabby and sweet.
So much depends on the acidity and the pH. I'm glad that John points this out. A Mosel wine with, for example, 8 g/l RS, 10 g/l TA, and a pH 3 or under tastes drier than many wines that have barely any residual sugar. He also brings up the point that residually sweet wines tend to give off more aromas than dry wines.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#89 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » July 31st, 2020, 5:01 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 11:02 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 8:17 pm
Claus Jeppesen wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 2:19 am
Please explain why the OP singles out Riesling.
Ignorance?
I have had plenty of bone dry Rieslings aged between 2 and 40 years
And many "dry" red and white wines made from other varieties with identifiable RS
Did any of those show a scale on the label and indicate a specific point, not "range", at the extreme of dryness? He wanted to try something specific. This wine was advertised as what he was looking for. People are beating a dead horse about the subjectivity of the terms used by both sources on the wine. He knew that. But the scale on the label backed up those words, indicating no to extremely low RS. So, either the label is deceptive or he's perceiving sweetness from factors other than sweetness.
Was the label indicating percentage RS?
The dry/sweet indication line is only for wine-newbies.
Again
Why is Riesling singled out??
Riesling is "singled out" because that's the wine the OP is having a problem with. He's not having problems with other wines that also might have some RS.

The thread springs from Adam's personal experience trying to find a Riesling he perceives as dry, his disappointment when even supposedly dry Rieslings seem sweet to him, and his frustration that the Riesling labels don't seem to reflect his experience. He's not frustrated by other wines with RS currently. This is one person talking about his own experience and frustrations with a particular kind of wine (Riesling), and others jumping in to discuss and advise and theorize. Adam did not start the thread as an academic discussion on the failure of wine labels in general to express the reality of how much sugar is in the bottle.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#90 Post by Claus Jeppesen » July 31st, 2020, 5:40 am

So we can (finally) conclude that there is nothing wrong with Riesling but with the OP champagne.gif
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#91 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 31st, 2020, 7:30 am

Charlie Carnes wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 6:05 pm
Adam Frisch wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 8:35 am
Charlie Carnes wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 7:46 am
To me this just comes across as that's as dry as they will make the wine. There is no 0 on that chart on the back of the bottle. The labeling laws for so many areas always leave a little room for imprecision.

Adam, are you wanting a wine with 0rs, or just a label that says as close as possible the rs?
No, I don't need it to be at 0. I know that's almost impossible and prob not even desirable. Grosset Polish Hill felt truly dry for me and that was at 0.9 g/L. Paetra is around 1g/L and and felt the same way. Biggio Hamina's as well. Empirically, I'd say up to 2g/L RS should be it's own classification (bone-dry), and then the German 2-9g/L could be just like it is today.
Hey, Adam, I think I'll take back my take back of Uli Stein. I think you should try one of his trockens. No label issues, and he hates German wine laws. RS? Yes. Perceptually dry and tasty as hell? Yes.
FWIW, I thought it was a good suggestion (to begin with). The 2017 Palmberg Trocken (at a little over 2 g/l I believe) has very high acidity and is bracingly dry to my palate. It’s still available at retail.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#92 Post by matthew c » July 31st, 2020, 9:05 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 8:58 am
Todd’s wine is 0g rs. That’s the first 0 in his 0-0 post.

It’s kind of challenging to talk about perception of Riesling as dry without working rs and pH(or TA) as a ratio.

.2-.9 grams is a pretty functional but even 6-9g/liter can show sweetness in new world fruit with moderate acidity.

I’m not sure that there’s such a dire shortage of good bone dry Riesling as your post suggests. As you noted, Grosset(and Mt. Horrocks) do the job.

Also:
Tantalus and Syncromesh(Okanogan)-screechingly austere in a great way.
Trimbach
Leeuwin Estate (and many, many other Aussie Rieslings)


Plus the rather obvious German Trocken and GG wines.

And most of Austria, although alcohols can get higher than I like in the Smaragd class.
As a Canadian, I buy the Tantalus and Synchromesh offerings often as a great, affordable drinker. The Tantalus base level at $20CAD is hard to beat price/quality wise, and thats saying a lot since Riesling is so inexensive to start with.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#93 Post by Robert Sand » July 31st, 2020, 9:46 am

The discussion is going into the wrong direction.
I know some Kuentz-Bas wines - and they are almost never tasting "bone dry" - if dry at all.
So it's not about Adams taste, but about mislabelling by the producer and wrong description by the importer.
DRY legally can go up to 7, even 9 gr/l with apropriate acidity, but these wines never taste bone-dry, and the scale on the label must not be on the far left, period.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#94 Post by Adam Frisch » July 31st, 2020, 1:16 pm

The Trimbach that I enjoyed had the perception of being the most austere out of the wines I drank, yet showed these stats: 2.4g/L RS, pH 3.09 and a TA 7.82g/L. The Grosset Polish Hill had 0.9g/L, pH 2.97, TA 7.3 g/l, but felt less austere. Maybe it went through malo and that softened it? Or the slightly lower TA has that effect? It is very interesting in any case.

I thank those who have come with suggestions for low RS Rieslings, I will see if I can find any of them.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#95 Post by Otto Forsberg » July 31st, 2020, 3:26 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
July 31st, 2020, 1:16 pm
The Trimbach that I enjoyed had the perception of being the most austere out of the wines I drank, yet showed these stats: 2.4g/L RS, pH 3.09 and a TA 7.82g/L. The Grosset Polish Hill had 0.9g/L, pH 2.97, TA 7.3 g/l, but felt less austere. Maybe it went through malo and that softened it? Or the slightly lower TA has that effect? It is very interesting in any case.
Or had more fruit? Or had flavors leaning more toward ripeness? Or had a different ratio of malic / tartaric acids? Or had less phenolic structure that could contribute to the austerity in the Trimbach wine?

Tons of variables here.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#96 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » July 31st, 2020, 4:59 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
July 31st, 2020, 1:16 pm
The Trimbach that I enjoyed had the perception of being the most austere out of the wines I drank, yet showed these stats: 2.4g/L RS, pH 3.09 and a TA 7.82g/L. The Grosset Polish Hill had 0.9g/L, pH 2.97, TA 7.3 g/l, but felt less austere. Maybe it went through malo and that softened it? Or the slightly lower TA has that effect? It is very interesting in any case.

I thank those who have come with suggestions for low RS Rieslings, I will see if I can find any of them.
Try to cross check with Canada’s LCBO website as it seems to be a reliable source for RS percentages. I went to the Kuntz-Bas site and it didn’t list RS levels.

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#97 Post by Marc Hauser » July 31st, 2020, 8:18 pm

I’m just waiting for someone to claim that Kuentz-Bas has “lost their mind”.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#98 Post by Paul Fountain » August 1st, 2020, 5:19 am

I absolutely understand where Adam is coming from. While I drink and taste Riesling more widely these days, my introduction to Riesling was pretty much Clare Valley, and I think as a result just about anything from anywhere else seems a little sweet to my palate.
I agree that there is more to it than just the RS level, but because I am a bit bored and don't have anything better to do at the moment, I got curious and spent some time looking up what some of the Australian Rieslings I regularly drink are. The first thing I found is that it often isn't reported in the technical specs. Everything I found data for from the Clare Valley was 2g/L or less (as long as it wasn't listed as off - dry or a sweeter style) and there were certainly a few Eden Valley Reislings below 2g/l as well. The other area I tend to think of as producing really dry Rieslings is Great Southern, in the bottom part of Western Australia, and the little data I found on the RS for those wines bore that out too.

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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#99 Post by m. ristev » August 1st, 2020, 9:16 am

perhaps another thing to consider is how riesling with or without rs ages. a kabinett of a certain age can definitely taste dry.
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Re: Bone-dry meaning is completely lost. Major rant. Riesling. Again.

#100 Post by Chris Seiber » August 1st, 2020, 9:28 am

For me, the solution (albeit a difficult one) is drinking Riesling with 15+ years of age. All young Riesling tastes too sweet to me, and too similar to each other. A tasty grape beverage, but not, to me, enough of a wine experience.

You want bones, mineral, slate, maybe earth, with a modest layer of tart fruit on it, you need to wait until the Riesling gets older. That’s where the balance and the magic is, for my palate.

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