Würtz Riesling Trocken 2008: Think Inside the Box
If you have talked to us or stopped in to browse our store, you hopefully know a few things about us -- that we take a lot of pride in our wine selection, that we taste every wine we bring in, and that we choose all our wines based on a combination of quality and value. All of that remains as true as ever, and visitors to our store this week will notice something new, in the form of sleek, black 3-liter boxes of German Riesling!
There are a lot of exciting things happening in the wine world, and many of the changes are making high quality wine more accessible and affordable to greater numbers of people. In short, the wine world is becoming a lot less intimidating and a lot more fun. Consistent with this trend is premium bag-in-box wine, which is growing in both popularity and production around the world. Italy now allows some wines that receive the government’s quality assurance label to be sold in boxes; there is wine in a stylish cardboard tube made by a top winemaker in Burgundy; there’s a good, old-vine Grenache from the Pyrenees sold in a box; and there is fantastic unoaked Malbec from organically grown grapes in Argentina now available in the United States thanks to the 1-liter TetraPak. This is not to advocate or argue that the traditional popping of the corks is a thing of the past (I hope not!). But premium bag-in-box wine has many positives, and I look forward to seeing more great wine boxed up.
Enter Würtz Riesling Trocken 2008 (3L) (Rheinhessen, Germany). This is a nearly bone-dry Riesling, with a nose of green apple, quince, and flint. The green apple comes through in the front and mid-palate with a nice more-middle Mosel-than-Rheinhessen white floral accent, finishing with flinty mineral, subtle tartness and very tightly wound sliced lemon citrus. The acid is mouthwatering. The color is pale and pure, much like a clean Chablis, and fans of crisp white Bordeaux and Viognier will love this. This is a very good wine at a very good price. At just over $20, the four regular bottles you get in this box come to less than $6 a bottle! Plus, you are getting high quality wine that you can keep "open" for weeks, and it will remain as fresh as the day you poured your first glass.
Dirk Würtz is an enigmatic young wine producer in Germany. Known as a fanatic for quality, Würtz gave up his job of over 6 years as winemaker at the acclaimed Robert Weil winery to begin his own project. He focused on quality and price, and sustainable, ecological agriculture. All the vineyards are farmed naturally, and his yields are significantly lower than many of his neighbors. The winemaking philosophy is one of minimal intervention by means of fermentation with natural yeasts and limited pumping, fining, or filtration.
For me, wine is always about discovery -- finding new exciting wines that often change they way you think about a particular region, varietal, or even the packaging. If you look for quality wine at a great price, as we always do, then this is a must-try. Leave a comment below and let us know what your think of the idea of premium bag-in-box wine.
Yup… one should think inside the box… good one