Tag Archives: Riesling

Ohio Yes’s and No’s.. and a comparitive german riesling… you know, for research.

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.


First review(s). It’s a Two-fer.


So to kick things off we have a YES and a NO. You know, just to get into the swing of things and get an idea for format or whatever.


A little bit of background for the first wine we’re about to take a look at..



There’s so much variety winemakers are able to achieve from this…variety… of grape. The range of flavors can be astounding. It’s no wonder a lot of people that are really into wine love rieslings.

There can be a lot to like, and there can, of course, be a lot to not like. Sometimes the petrol notes can get a little overwhelming. Or the dryness can get in the way of the overall balance. For me, I like a riesling with a nice balance between acidity and sweetness and a nice evolving chemistry between different flavors.

This is kind of where I get burned when reading reviews of Rieslings. Many of the top-reviewed, highly-scored Rieslings are a little too dry for me or have too much petrol or minerality going on. I like the peach/apricot/pear flavors to be a little more pronounced.

Riesling to me means Germany. And Mosel. (I love some of the stuff coming out of Ohio too… looking at you Chalet Debonne.) Dr Loosen really knows how to make a Riesling. Work your way through the entry level for about $10 and you’ll see what I mean. But the one I’m about to talk about is a Spatlese release. These Rieslings are a later harvest and usually sweeter wine than something like a Kabinett. Read up on Rieslings. It’s a good time. On to the wine!


Dr. Loosen – 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Rieslings Spatlese – 8.0% Alc – Mosel, Germany – About $30


The nice thing about white wines is you don’t have to give them a lot of time to open up. You just open them and BAM! They’re ready to go. This one is no exception. Overall, my girlfriend and I drank it over a 3 night span. There was no significant drop off or evolution between night one and night two, but it started to fall a bit by night three. Not a big deal but something to keep in mind. Served chilled from our fridge. 

The first thing that hit me when I took a whiff was petrol and rock. A few seconds later and a few more whiffs brought about some of my favorite things about this wine. THE FRUITS! Apricot! Peach! Pears leaping from the glass! Then an almost Creme Brulee/burnt caramel/cream kind of thing. That’s the stuff. Pretty wonderful.

The taste was more of the same, minus the petrol/minerals, plus a really awesome lactic sour note to balance the sweetness. I’m sure the petrol/minteral qualities were there.. somewhere. But it was damn hard to pick those out under the fruit and cream and sour then sweet. Every sip brought a different flavor. A different sensation. From start of the sip through the finish. Just tasty tasty stuff. Flavor and nuances for days.

Worth the price? Yeah. Taste good? Check! 

In a word, this guy’s a YES.


Now for Part 2 of the post. Sha-Bam-Bam.

I’ve heard a lot about the big, bold, full-bodied red wines of Douro. So I found one, supposedly. For reds, I’d usually go for something from Spain.. or Argentina. But I was feeling frisky, so here we are. I guess there’s not a lot else to say here so let’s talk about what we have.


Post Scriptum – De Chryseia 2010 – Red Blend – Douro, Portugal – 13% Alc. – About $20


We let it breathe for a little over half an hour before helping ourselves. Very deep, dark violet. Do I smell Oak? Yeah. A lot of it. It’s kind of hiding the dark fruits. Blueberries are the big one. But there’s so much heat it’s pretty difficult to get much else. There’s an interesting savory quality though. Almost like a steak on the BBQ. Makes me hungry for an actual steak. And that might give way to some other flavors from this glass, but I don’t usually pair a lot of wine and food. (Not like I’m against it but it just doesn’t happen often.) 

Right now I’m on day 2 of the bottle. Day 2 brings licorice on the nose. Pretty cool, but is it enough to save it?

Tasting it, the dark fruits come to play first. Then we get the oak/savory qualities. The finish evokes some dark chocolate which is pretty cool (and the licorice hits on the finish on day 2). There’s nice grip actually, but then there’s that heat coming out again. The balance is close but a little off kilter. Another sip and “hello again, Oak.” This guy shakes your hand every time you see him, even if you just talked to him 5 seconds ago.

Is it worth $20? Almost. But not quite. Nice complexity, but the heat is too much. Do I like it? Almost. But not quite. It’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t give it another go.

Unfortunately here, I’m gonna have to go with NO.