Solid entry-level priced Rieslings

I definitely enjoy drinking Riesling with food, I find it along with Champagne and Gamay seems to pair with almost anything. I’m seeking more low-priced wine to enjoy with meals and this seems a natural hunting ground.

Any ideas for easily available, sub-$15 and sub-$20 Rieslings? The only cheapies I’ve had are the Leitz Dragonstone and Selbach “fish bottle”, enjoyed them both (if the latter tasted a touch sweet). Not looking for crazy complexity but good accompaniments to food.


In the $15 to $20 range you can get Lietz Kabinetts so Dragonstone should not be your only option from them in your price range.

As a general answer to your question I would say avoid the “QBA” wines except from the very best producers and focus on the Kabinetts in that price range. You will usually find better value. And the price is cheap enough you can explore and find what you like.

What vintages should I look for?

2009 Long Shadows Wineries Riesling Poet’s Leap fits in that price range.

CT notes 2009 Long Shadows Wineries Riesling Poet's Leap, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley - CellarTracker

The Donnhoff Riesling QbA can be had for around $20 or less & is amazingly food friendly.

Merkelbach is a fantastic QPR producer - wines in the teens and low 20s that are refreshing and food friendly.

Schaefer-Frohlich’s Riesling Medium Dry is a favorite on my dinner table for a very fair price. I’m just now finishing off my 2004s.

Another Selbach-Oster wine you should consider is their Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken. You can get that for around $20 (or less, depending on store and vintage), and it’s great value.

All of these are also wines that ages well, so you can buy a case & drink it over a period of time.

Just seeing the vintage question, I would say that you can buy with confidence from 2007 and 2009, and also 2008 if you like a little extra acid zip in your wines.

Do you like rich and oppulent or racy and minerally? Or both?

Here is a rough take on recent vintages:

2004 - Racy and elegant. Some seem closed. Some wines have some teriary going on.
2005 - Very ripe and oppulent vintage. I like them alot more now that the baby fat has melted off.
2006 - Some are too sweet for me but some can be quite fun and exotic.
2007 - Medium ripe (by today’s standards) and very well balanced wines (for me).
2008 - Racy and electric wines. Im a huge fan of the vintage. More lemon than stone fruit flavors.
2009 - Oppulent and sexy wines. Love em. Great balance but don’t look for much elegance relative to 2008.

People like David Bueker drink more widely than I do so hopefully he can weigh in.

Lauer, Barrel X and pretty much anything else from Mosel Wine Merchant.

Dr. Loosen’s “L” bottling also is terrific and consistently good from 07-09.

Good call. I drink more Dr L than any other wine. I can find it for around $10

Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett - Usually around $20. I’ve gotten the past 3 vintages and my only regret has always been not getting enough.

Nice little vintage summary Berry. I’m not sure I would call 2009 opulent, except as compared to 2008, but that’s just a quibble.

If you’re looking for lower-priced wines to go with meals I would mostly steer clear of buying 2006 in quantity unless you taste one bottle first. The 2006 flavor profile is not for everyone. Lots of lower-level wines (e.g. kabinett) that are very rich and sweet, some with botrytis! Not sure you want that with dinner unless you’re having Thai food.

When poking further back I get leery of provenance.

+1…was going to be my suggestion. Bought two cases and 14 bottles are already gone. Also enjoy the Qba Donnhoff and JJ Prum, but the Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg has the best fruit and acidity balance for my palate in this price range.

Schmitges Red Slate Kabinett is my favorite QPR Riesling, i think it sells for $16~$17.

  • J

David - thanks for the reccos, good to see you posting again.

Berry - I should drink more white wines, when I do I prefer acid (like Chablis) to fatter/opulent whites. But I admittedly don’t drink many still white wines and am going to dry and do so more this year.

Thanks to others as well for the ideas.

Try some Austrian Gruner Veltlner as well. If you want value you can’t go wrong with things like the liter bottlings from Ecker, Berger, etc.

Also for something a little off beat, try to locate the liter bottling of Scheurebe from Gysler in the Rheinhessen (Germany again). Their liter bottling of Silvaner is also great value.

I love the Berger Gruner and their red, also in the liter bottle. Great values, I drink a lot of the red in the summer with a slight chill.

The St-Urbans-Hof Kabinett Ockfener Bockstein (I think that’s how you spell the vineyard) are very good and available in Newton at around $15/btl. Their straight riesling is even less $$.

the 2009 Selbach Incline is lovely for $10, as is the 2009 Willi Schaefer Estate for $20.

Another very good call. The 2009 Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett is fantastic!