A Riesling for all seasons is Richard's pick this week.
From €14.99, 145.74 Danish kroner, 22.50 Swiss francs, £24.99, $34.99
Shocking news! We almost went through the whole of 2019 without featuring a Riesling as wine of the week here on JancisRobinson.com. Let us remedy that immediately with this offering from Robert Weil, one of the most famous producers in the Rheingau, and certainly the most cosmopolitan, being owned by Suntory of Japan. See A yen for quality.
There's the slimmest of chances that some of you reading this don't actually like Riesling, and that's fine. In fact it's all too common, as Jancis observed in 2014 in Riesling - will it ever catch on?. This one is unlikely to change your mind, since it encapsulates everything that makes Riesling so distinctive.
You probably won't enjoy the flavours of lime zest and lemongrass that waft from the glass like citric sorcery. The exquisite contrast between gushing acidity and masochistic dryness will leave you unmoved. Its fractal complexity and cosmic persistence are entirely extraneous to your requirements.
Hyperbolic that may be, but not hyperbollocks, because few other varieties are so galvanising. I was reminded of Riesling's supremacy last month at a tasting held for Master of Wine students in which the quality levels of the VDP classification were closely examined.
This Kiedricher trocken from Robert Weil was an absolute standout. It is an Ortswein, meaning it is a blend of the best fruit from a specific village (Kiedrich, in this instance, as highlighted below on the World Atlas of Wine map). Trocken means it is dry not sweet, and in the hands of a highly prized producer such as Robert Weil, such wines offer the quintessential Riesling experience. Unbelievers are missing out on one of wine's greatest pleasures.
For Riesling converts, I need only remind you that Riesling should be a year-round pleasure. The price might prevent it becoming a daily drink, although I'd argue that it delivers far better value for money than any Chardonnay of comparable quality. This style in particular has the crisp refreshment suitable for al fresco drinking in the perpetual summer of Singapore where I am based, but enough savoury weight to comfortably match the hearty foods needed for northern Europe's current cold snap.
There is something especially pleasing about the balance of excellent Riesling, the way it combines ripeness of fruit with flinty salinity, and crackling acidity with rounded mouthfeel – and Robert Weil is a master of it, especially in such a good vintage as 2018. Our German specialist Michael Schmidt was similarly convinced when he scored this wine 17 in April this year, and I would venture that it will only improve in bottle over the next few years. See this guide to our copious coverage of Germany's 2018 vintage. Michael is about to add his tasting notes on Rheingau 2018 GGs, part 4 of his assessment of these smart dry wines.
Let the sceptics remain so – meanwhile the rest of us can feast on this exemplary Riesling whatever the weather.