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January 6, 2017 / WineinTamiTime

We greet 2017 with zee Riesling

Like any somm worth her salt, I love sparkling wine. Whether it is grower Champagne, cava, pet-nat or sekt, opening a bottle makes a normal day a little more special. While we tend to reserve bubbles for special occasions here in the States, Germans open it daily. I am convinced that is why they make so many great, affordable bottlings. It helps that the cool grape growing climate in Germany produces high acid whites that are so delicious when crafted into bubbly.

Sekt is the German word for sparkling wine. There are a few ways to make sparkling wine, but the most labor intensive, expensive way is traditional method, also referred to as méthode Champenoise. The base blend of still wine is bottled with yeast and sugar, then crown capped so the yeast and sugar can do its magic and make those lovely bubbles. The bottles are turned, or riddled, formerly by hand, but in most larger production, with a machine called a gyropalette so all the spent yeast cells move down into the cap. Then the cap is removed, this is called dégorgement, the yeast is released, the wine is topped off and corked. This is the shortest possible explanation for the process. I share this with you so you can understand why Champagne from Champagne is expensive and why it is so awesome when we can score traditional method sparkling wine under $25.

The Barth (pronounced Bart) family has been farming in the Rheingau since 1948 and has been dedicated to wine grapes, mostly Riesling and Pinot Noir, since 1973. They were certified organic in 2013 and practice sustainable winemaking. They are founding members of the Charta association which advances the idea of site specific classification of dry Rieslings. They are also one of the most respected traditional producers of sekt.

On to the wine! I have enjoyed Barth’s sekt made from Pinot Blanc many times. It is sparkly, yellow apple deliciousness. Damon from Truly Fine Wines sent me home with this Brut Riesling this time and I am still dreaming of it. I opened it on New Year’s Eve for our toast. The nose, oh the nose… apple, lime and stones jumping into my face, like Riesling on steroids. On the palate, the body was full and round with fresh crisp acidity and the longest, mineral driven finish. And it is indeed a dry wine!

For more information on this wine and to experience it for yourself, click here:

Barth Riesling Sekt – Get Some!!

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