Weingut Ankermühle, Riesling "Gabriel", 2010
As the wine review I posted on Good Friday revealed a lack of spiritual cohesiveness with regards to what an appropriate wine for Easter should feel like, I have decided to play it safe on Easter Monday. Rheingau winery Ankermühle have moved away from the usual German approach of confusing customers with long and unpronounceable vineyard names and instead use snappy ones like "Jungfer" (spinster), "Maria" and "Hölle" (hell) - or today's Gabriel.
Admittedly, Gabriel's feast day is 29 September and not today, but I figured that going with a archangel would somehow be keeping in line with the easterly spirit.
Before we get to the wine, a quick word about the naming convention at Ankermühle. The "Maria"s and "Josef"s are not just a sign of the winemakers trying to be cute, the wines are named after actual vineyards, just shortened. The "Hase" (hare) Riesling for instance comes from the "Winkeler Hasensprung" vineyard, and "Jungfer" (spinster) from the "Hallgartener Jungfer". This approach keeps the name short and memorable but still does not give up the links to the German vineyard tradition. For the wines that are not associated with a single vineyard the names indicate whether they are more on the dry side (male names) or sweeter (female names).
And now for the archangel. The nose is floral and herbal with fresh citrus notes, a touch of vanilla and really juicy pear. This gives it a fresh playfulness, but there is also a touch of green sharpness, almost like vegetable, that works very well for enhancing the dynamic. The vegetable touch returns with similar effect on the tongue, playing nicely with the Riesling's good acidity, a creamy juiciness and a texture that reminds me of caramel candy. Ending with a decent finish this makes for a refreshing and very quaffable wine that may not be a religious experience to rival Easter, but would in now way disgrace a festive table on any holiday.