This year’s Girl kicks up the Riesling rapture

Riesling rules. If you don’t know it, you should take steps to change your perspective. Pronto.

Don’t fret, there’s actually plenty of time and I’m only sending you up – somewhat. My approach to wine is decidedly, well, yielding. Knowing it’s a richer world than I can only imagine mastering, I try to refrain from peddling absolutes and trafficking dogma. Yet there’s one truth I cannot diminish and that’s the flat-out fineness of Riesling, an absurdly affordable, livewire wine.

A recent stop at the Ardmore PLCB store stirred the passion again as I saw her, welcoming all comers. It was a cheap exchange that brought me back to my first date with Kung Fu Girl, earlier this year in St. Petersburg. Once again, it was an easy decision: I picked her up and brought her home. Tasting the 2010 Charles Smith Wines “Kung Fu Girl” Riesling was further affirmation of the sovereignty of this grand grape.

Smith, the main man in this Girl’s life, has a personality that’s out there like his wonderfully graphic labels. He professes a “kick ass attitude,” and doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously. Reason one to like him. Reason two comes in the form of his Riesling, sourced from a single vineyard in Washington’s Columbia Valley.

2010 Kung Fu Girl Riesling

Let’s get to it. The KFG pours pale yellow from the bottle. It’s lean and a touch dry and opens with a very pretty, almost floral, nose. There’s good acidity, plenty of tropical-fruity-meets-green-apple-and-citrus-ness and a satisfying sustain on the finish. It’s almost sharp, in the way cheddar is sharp, and reminds me of an Aussie Riesling. Honestly, I preferred Smith’s 2009 effort but you’re not going to snub this year’s Girl.

And if you do, it doesn’t matter as long as you continue (or start) to plumb the riches of Riesling. Try a Trimbach from Alsace, a Dr. Loosen from Germany, a Yalumba from Australia, a Chateau Ste. Michelle from Washington, a Standing Stone from the Finger Lakes or a Domane Wachau from Austria. For good measure, throw in a late harvest Riesling from California’s Arrowood.

Then again, scratch all of that and try any Riesling from anywhere, anytime. Chances are it will kick ass.

2010 Charles Smith Wines “Kung Fu Girl” Riesling is currently available in select stores in the Philly area for $11.49.

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