Tasting Charles Frey Alsace Riesling Granite 2018

I bought this wine through WTSO.com, which I’ve been using off and on to pick up “nicer” wines, cheap. I love Alsatian Riesling, and got this at a very decent price of about $15. I opened it as part of an online wine tasting I did with some coworkers last Friday, and I’ve been sipping on it throughout the weekend. (The Morgan that I bought at the same time was… meh in the extreme. Sadness.)

Riesling is one of the great white wine grapes: full of interesting flavors and scents, and age-worthy. You can’t say that about many other white wines. It’s grown in lots of places — notably, Germany, where they have like 7 different designations for levels of wine sweetness. (If you like dry wines, look for the word “Kabinett” on the bottle.)

Riesling grown in Alsace, that mountainous French region on the border with Germany, is typically bone-dry and full of mineral character. This is because they grow grapes in the mountains, where growing seasons are short and it’s a “race to ripeness,” AND the soil composition there tends to support mineral character in wine.

This wine was grown in a granite-rich vineyard, which evidently produces wines that are “expressive when young.” This bottle is certainly expressive, so… sure, I’ll come along with you on that one, terroir enthusiasts.

Charles Frey was apparently one of the first wineries in Alsace to start making biodynamic wine. I’m not big into biodynamic, but I won’t turn up my nose at it either. From what they say on their website, this is a third-generation enterprise: grandad to dad to son. So let’s see what there gentlemen and their friends have concocted for us, shall we?

Friends, the nose one this wine is INSANE. The lime is positively electric, crackling with fresh zing. Intertwined with that brash citrus, though, is this generous, welcoming raft of floral aromas. Elderflower, with a top-note of haunting, honey-dipped jasmine just envelops your whole FACE, y’all. And then there’s a mineral undertone that puts the whole aroma gang on wheels, and it turns into a joyful roller derby team of scent that’s coming. for. you.

When you finally remember that you’re supposed to drink wine and not just smell it, you’ll find that the lime and honey carry over into the palate. The minerality goes and goes here, and this wine sneers at the idea that Riesling is sweet. “I got your sweetness right here,” it says, in this weird French-Bronx accent.

Huh, that got weird.

Any old how, this bright and complex wine will pair nicely with spicy or a zesty, but not creamy foods. Nearly any Alsatian Riesling will treat you this well; I encourage you to keep an eye out for that long skinny bottle that doesn’t fit well in your fridge.

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