Immich-Batterieberg Riesling Kabinett C.A.I. 2011

When I was first introduced to Immich-Batterieberg, I think it was 2008, I reasoned pretty quickly that their wines would take my Riesling predilection to a new level. For starters, the person who introduced me was the sommelier of NYC’s Hearth, the restaurant of Paul Grieco, he of Terroir fame and founder of the Summer of Riesling. Reason enough to take the leap.

Then there’s the label. We, of course, are supposed to be agnostic to the cosmetic charms of a wine bottle – let the juice speak for itself – but how can one resist a cute image of cherubs firing a cannon into the sky over Riesling vines? I hear there’s a story behind the label, related to blasting the slate rock of the vineyard site back in the day, but that’s for another time.

immich-batterieberg-riesling-kabinett-caiMore to the point, for anyone looking for a food-ready, femur-dry representation of the regal Mosel white grape, this bottle just might spark your wick.

The Immich-Batterieberg Riesling Kabinett C.A.I. 2011 is the weingut’s offering of a prädikatswein, or a top quality wine by official German standards. These wines cannot have additional sugar added to them, by the way, and though the “Kabinett” on the label might lead a drinker to believe there’s sweetness bottled here, consider the following.

Swirling the pale yellow liquid in the glass releases the faintly sweet odors of the fruit, but from first pour the wine meets the lips with a thoroughly dry address and light effervescence. Think steely, stony and bracing. It’s unquestionably lean but the tongue detects traces of light residual sugar poking through in the form of lime and apple, though the notes of saline, rock and petrol cannot be denied. With some body, it also boasts medium-plus acidity and good length.

Day two is more of a revelation and additional confirmation of the importance of decanting white wines. It’s with more aeration that the pretty floral tones, light peach and grapefruit emerge more boldly – and the Riesling’s significant pleasures unfold.

At $22.99 in Pennsylvania, it’s priced a couple bucks higher than elsewhere but it’s not a wine that’s found widely, so bear that in mind. 11.5% ABV with Stelvin screw top.

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