When all is said and done, the aromatics of this gorgeous wine leave no doubt about its origin: the mountain of black Devon slate that the Romans named Bacchi Ara: the “Altar of Bacchus,” and the deepest, coldest cellar I know in Germany. At first, this saturated yellow-gold Riesling smells discreetly of green apples, salted apricot, lemon zest, and honeysuckle, with fleeting hints of fresh black truffles, Spanish broom, and fresh clean button mushrooms.
On the palate, the wine is juicy, filigree, and dry, with flavors of white peaches, grilled apricots, and fresh lime juice. And the flaky sea-salt, orange pekoe, and mint-seasoned finish goes on forever.
About this wine producer: Weingut Ratzenberger is in the beautiful town of Bacharach-Steeg on the left bank of the Rhine, about a half-hour from the Frankfurt airport. It’s our favorite first stop in Germany. The guest apartment is one of the most comfortable places we stay, with the view through the bedroom window dominated by a wall of Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) vines marching up the towering Steeger St. Jost.