schloss-vollradsGermany is a beautiful little country, full of pleasant people who never do anything bad, and because of their steadfast anonymity, about whom history has nothing much to say. Thank goodness for their wine, or we might not even know Germany existed!

So it’s a pleasant surprise that the first wine in 2016 to get a 5-star rating here at Winepisser is a German reez, specifically Schloss Vollrads 2014 Qualitätswein Rheingau Riesling.

The paperbag swigging nob-jobs at may have rated it only 3 stars, but they clearly missed something with this delectable white wonder. This is balance perfected: sugar and fruit and tartness each dancing in perfect, relaxed steps, without any single one overtaking the other, but each poking a foot out for a quick wink at the dancehall audience. Remarkable in so many ways, this is drinkable by itself, and might seem timid until you pair it with a bold cheese, and the graceful adagio just turns into a scherzo. I always say the best wines pair with food to create a third flavor unique from either the wine or the plate, and this is true here.

Yes, there’s fruit, and yes there are minerals. But unlike some rieslings, this isn’t a mix of iron ore and pineapple. This is delicate when it needs to be, bold when called upon, and delicious always.

Highly recommended, and of course it’s always great to throw a little press at shy Germany, which has otherwise never done anything of notice before it mastered the grape.