So we took an actual trip to Ohio about a month ago… or a couple weeks ago (who’s counting?). And while we were there we picked up some wines from one of our favorite Ohio wineries. Kristy had the idea to review several of their wines so here we are. Yay for good original post ideas!
We have 4 wines tonight. so they are going to be kind of shotgun style. I’ll insert some pics as we go (as per usual) and we’ll talk about the wines and whether they’re worth it. Not sure why I put that last part in since that’s kind of the usual format but I like to have more than a couple sentences before we get to the reviews.
These were all consumed over the last week. Here we go!
Chalet Debonne – River Rouge Semi-sweet red – Madison, OH – 12% alc – about $8
Looking into Chalet Debonne there’s a pretty unanimous consensus that their reds aren’t quite as good as their whites. And here we can see that in action, unfortunately. It’s pretty much grape juice with alcohol. Overly sweet. Not my thing.
Chalet Debonne – Holiday Rouge – 12% alc – Madison, OH – about $8
This used to be one we would look forward to for the holidays. Pretty much showed the same as the River Rouge but with added cinnamon flavor… from the cinnamon and other spices they added to it. Better than the Rouge but only just.
Chalet Debonne – 2012 Riesling Reserve Lot 907 – 11% alc – Madison, OH – about $15
Pours pale straw yellow. Slightly mineral on the nose with some peach and apricot and light acidity. Taste is all peaches and cream. Clean and refreshing with medium body. Not super complex but super drinkable. Good stuff!
Georg Albrecht Schneider – 2011 Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spatlese – 10.5% alc – Nierstein, Germany – about $17
Pours a medium deep golden. First scent is light petrol, then sweetness and acidity. Light citrus and cream with slight pepper. High levels of sweetness on the drink. Very creamy with medium acidity.
Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full and quite creamy. Finish is medium-long, with a random light dryness coming through. Cream cream cream. Almost like whipped cream or vanilla pudding maybe.
I’m a fan. Especially for the money. Nice solid Spatlese that’s not closer to $30? Sign me up every time!
Side note, between the Ohio riesling and the German Spatlese I’d give the nod to the German. Slightly more complex and just a little more Oohmph. And the petrol thing it has going on is really nice.
Next thing I’m planning is a couple of showings from Bordeaux.
The Girlfriend Addendum: This is just my (Kristy’s) tidbit about the aforementioned wines. Feel free to skip this if you’re sick of reading or its already past your bedtime or you hate people from Ohio.
Iain generously gave me some space at the end here to give my two cents. First of all, you are all lucky that you are experiencing this road trip from afar. I’m originally from Northeast Ohio so we end up there at least a couple times a year. Over the years we’ve noticed a pattern. As soon as we cross state lines into Ohio Iain becomes 20% more argumentative (in a silly way).
We really do enjoy our trips to Ohio, mostly spending time with my family and old friends. My mother happens to work at a beverage distributor in Ohio, and she originally introduced us to the wines of Chalet Debonne. We have also had the chance to visit the winery, which was a good time . That being said, it’s disappointing to admit that I agree with Iain’s decision in regard to the reds. They were very, very sweet. In the past I might have enjoyed that, but the more wine we try, the more I find myself appreciating dry, bold reds. I am actually sad that I didn’t enjoy the Holiday Rouge because I was really looking forward to it. It tastes like someone added cinnamon to grape juice. It was drinkable, but not something I would spend my own money on in the future.
Chalet Debonne’s Rieslings are a different story altogether. All of their rieslings are enjoyable, but the Riesling Reserve Lot 907 is the best of the bunch. It’s sweet without being cloying, but admittedly less complex than the Spatlese mentioned in this post.
Now a quick word on the 2011 Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spatlese. Iain has been trying for a while now to find a Riesling I enjoy more than the Chalet Debonne Riesling Reserve Lot 907. I will not give him the pleasure just yet of finding said wine, but I do like this Spatlese quite a bit. I found it sharper than Chalet Debonne’s Riesling Reserve. The sweetness was noticeable but concise, and it was definitely more complex.
I also want to mention that yesterday when we cracked open the Spatlese we got very excited when we realized it was imported from the Wine Seller in Niles. We thought “Niles, OH! Great! This gives us a link to the whole Ohio theme!” But tonight we realized that it was Niles, IL. So there goes the fluidity and our feeble excuse for including it in this post.
3 thoughts on “Ohio Yes’s and No’s.. and a comparitive german riesling… you know, for research.”
German Riesling? Count me in! And from right next to my home village?? Even better! I have had the Schneider wines before and thought they were pretty good! Glad you liked it too.
Where are you guys located, given that you can just drive into Ohio? I’m in Ann Arbor, MI.
We’re in Chicago. We have family in Ohio an Pittsburgh.
And we love Riesling. Especially those from the Mosel region but pretty much from anywhere. Gewurtztraminer too.
Ah, cool. I’m in Chicago rather frequently (my wife has family there), and love the city…
Mosel is the best. I lived along the Mosel for over 10 years, best years in my wino life: weekends spent with winemakers, tasting affordable, delicious Rieslings. It just sucks they’re so expensive here in the States.