Weingut Siener, Riesling vom Rotliegenden, 2008

Weingut Siener, Riesling vom Rotliegenden, 2008

A few months ago I was browsing the web store of one of the Wine Rambler's favourite German wine merchants (Behringer). While going through the Pfalz selection, I came across a dry Riesling that despite having been rated at 90/100 by the German wine guide Gault Millau still sold at only €8. As I needed to resupply on dry 'everyday' Riesling anyway, I ordered a bottle to find out what the fuzz was all about.

The colour is an intense, slightly darker straw-yellow. When I first poured the wine, the nose was very closed and it took a little while to open up. Even later on, the Siener Riesling did not turn into a fruit aroma bomb, instead it was a little more reserved, but quite focussed. The palate featured lemon, herb and mineral (think flint), stone fruit (more apricot than peach) and a bit of grapefruit. This is a Riesling with very present and focussed acidity, seriously dry on the tongue, again with stone fruit and very zingy lime.

On the first day I shared it with some wine loving friends (a truly international crowd, including an American, a German, a Brazilian and an Englishman). They were quite impressed by the Siener Riesling's bone dry appearance and the zingy acidity, but interestingly no one asked for a second glass (which is why this story will continue into a second and third day). I guess my drinking companions probably expected a somewhat sweeter, more floral wine (think Mosel style), which the Siener clearly is not. We also tasted it directly after a lovely, juicy Pinot Blanc, which made the Riesling appear even sharper.

I tried the wine again two days later and it was as sharp and focussed as on the first day. However, without the contrast to the Pinot and with me now being in the mood for a wine like this, it made for a really enjoyable experience. I still don't think it is a revelation, but it is a damn honest wine for a good price.

If you like a dry, crisp, focussed Riesling, a no-nonsense flinty type with lots of acidity zing, a wine that is more like the young James Coburn and less than Cary Grant, this could be your friend.


Submitted by Julian Tuesday, 04/05/2010

There is a bottle of the exact same wine in my cellar, and its story, too, would have to begin with "a few months ago I was browsing...". I'm glad to hear this was a good, if by now unoriginal, choice.

Submitted by torsten Thursday, 06/05/2010

In reply to by Julian

Well, I guess that gives you the unique chance to open it in a year or later and report back on how it developed. This would then make it appear rather original, especially if we keep it a secret and pretend we planned this all along!

Submitted by Julian Sunday, 24/07/2011

In reply to by torsten

...which is exactly what I did tonight. And here comes the report: An additional year of bottle age has done wonders for this wine, which impressed me with a deep ripe-peaches-with-petrol-sprinkled-over-them smell of a dry Riesling in the first stages of maturity. The fruit open and expressive now, the acidity and minerality palate-tinglingly present. A suprise, and easily a deeper well at this particular stage.

Submitted by torsten Sunday, 24/07/2011

In reply to by Julian

Well remembered, old bean. I am happy that you did report back; looking back (I still remember the occasion when I opened this bottle) I am not surprised that the Riesling would develop nicely over another year, but I cannot claim that I foresaw how well it would do. So, nicely done! It would seem that in its current state the Rotliegenden Riesling is serious value too.