So, the 2010 Bex Riesling Nahe marks Riesling’s return to this site! Regular readers may know by now that it is hard for me to walk past a bottle of Riesling on a display shelf without at least looking at it. There are some wines that I have not bought and am not considering buying (most of them come in blue bottles or play with German umlauts on the label in weird ways…), but when I saw this bottle I checked it out: A 2010 (a vintage I am very fond of for its acidity and because Nina and I got married that year), a German Riesling, a pretty cool looking bottle, grapes sourced from the Nahe region which I know hardly anything about, and the price tag of around $8 were the principal reasons.
I ended up buying it and opened the screwcapped wine the other night when we were in a Riesling kinda mood (when is that not the case you might rightly ask). The screwcap is by now no longer a sign of cheap(er) wines. A lot of German winemakers have switched to either screwcap or glass lids for their wines simply because the chance of a cork spoiling the wines is greater than with these closings. I miss the cork sound, but appreciate a winemaker’s decision to sell his wines in a way that better ensure I get to enjoy them.
I tried to find out more about the producer of this wine but it turned out to be tricky: The website shows clearly that it is meant for the party crowds without interest in who made it. It makes absolutely no mention of a producer, curiously labeling itself “Bex Winery”. The talk on the website is marketing gibberish deluxe (Sample: “A powerful departure from the norm, BEX Winery specializes in Riesling of unparalleled quality and flavor.”). Luckily, German wines have to have the A.P. Nr. printed on their labels, a code making every filling unique and therefore one can discern who made the wine (I wrote more about that here). Unfortunately, this number is only meant for the wine authorities’ use so there is no online database to check it for consumers. However, a Google search showed that the “280” in this wine’s A.P. Nr. stands for Moselland eG, one of the largest German wine cooperatives.
Now, it could seem weird that Moselland, which is located at the Mosel (duh) would produce a wine with grapes from the Nahe region, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Many big producers do that. Moselland makes a ton of different wines of varying degrees of quality and owns other cooperatives in the Palatinate and Rheinhessen. When I found out they produced this wine, I actually had mixed feelings…
But to the wine: The website states it has 9.5% ABV, 8.5g of acidity per liter and 2.9% of residual sugar (whatever that means, I am used to g/liter). Apparently, the Tasting Panel Magazine gave it 90 points. A comparison with its 2011 brother shows that that wine has less acidity (7g) but the same amount of residual sugar which one could have assumed given 2011s lower acidity levels in general.
The 2010 Bex Riesling Nahe was quite light in color, slightly greenish. In the nose, I got grapefruit and other citrus aromas. It was quite refreshing. On the palate, the wine felt rather heavy actually with a viscous mouthfeel (not what I expected at all). It is dry with a healthy acidity and aromas of grapefruit and lychee. The finish was quite peachy and nice. I actually enjoyed this wine quite a bit. Not complicated, refreshing, the acidity doing a good job. Nina however, did not like the wine very much. She ventured out and grabbed a bottle of 2010 Dr. L Riesling. I couldn’t blame her. While this wine was decent, there definitely are better wines around from the same year and around the same price point. Still, if you are looking for an affordable German Riesling that delivers rather typical flavors, this is a good starting point.
Very interesting about the codes! Thanks for that. I agree with you on Rieslings. They’re hard to pass by.
We picked up a wine from your relatives the other day (Balthasar Ress, right?). They produce an entry level Riesling for the international market called Rheinkilometer 501 (I think). Will redetermine this and let you know!
Oh, I hope you like it! I love the their Kabinett. Look forward to your review.
I have not had the good fortune to try any of their wines before. They created quite the ruckus with their top level labels in the last vintage. Some of the wines were not accepted in the category they should have gone into because apparently they were too different…the German blogosphere was going nuts over it for a while…
Very nice review, Oliver.
As an aside, regarding your comment re stoppers other than cork, I just love glass lids: I find them not only effective but also very elegant. Problem is, I think, they are likely more expensive than a screwcap which maybe is one of the reasons why you do not see many of them around…
They are more expensive than the screwcap, a winemaker friend of mine (Mario Schwang at Reuscher-Haart, I have reviewed their wines) wrote his thesis about glass lids (and now only uses them). I think the screwcap is around 10 cents/piece while the glass lid is up to 1 euro (you also need special bottles that allow that lid). I find them extremely elegant and I love that “plupp” sound when you open them. Mario likes them because the exposure to plastic is much more miniscule compared to the screwcap that has a plastic-foam coating.
I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one. Sounds like a nice wine for $8!
Yes, I think it is a decent entry level, big producer wine.
I hate that weird umlaut thing they do, too.
I could sure go for a nice riesling right now, but it’s too cold to head out to get one (brain-freezing cold, seriously), and we didn’t pack wine when we traveled.
If that meant you got to drink most of the wines before you left, that would be awesome…
Before we left Wisconsin… (we didn’t take any wines to TN–no place to store them; sold an awesome red wine collection to a collector before we moved)
Ouch, that hurts…:(
Sometimes I miss the cellar, but mostly, it felt like time to move on to a different kind of life.
The good news is, there is a decent wine shop just a few blocks from us, with reasonable prices. (BTW, I’m going to send you a picture of Ken. You can compare it with your imagined idea of what he looks like).
I get what you mean: I had that epiphany when reducing my 1,500 plus library to 200 or so that I decided had to cross the Atlantic with me. Very liberating in a sense.
And yay for the photo! I did not dare to ask…:)
And I am glad you found a decently priced wine store. We both know how hard that can be in the US.
very impressive investigative work, nice!
Thanks, Anatoli! I told you the AP Nr. was good for something! :)
I almost thought you stopped drinking Rieslings. Has been a while since you reviewed one hehe ;-)
Haha, you are so right. It is winter though, so my riesling consumption usually goes down…
Decent riesling for $8! Sign me up!