The small number of wines I enjoyed over the past week were largely wines previously reviewed. So this week’s reviews come down to one wine.

I did have a bottle of Durigutti 100 percent Bonarda. I’ve reviewed that wine before and this past week’s bottle was just as good as the previous.

I also opened a bottle of Winderlea Pinot Noir over the weekend. Winderlea makes fabulous Pinot at the $40-$50 price range. A couple weeks ago I opened one that had been in my basement for a couple of years and it was beautiful. The one this past weekend, a 2006, had gone past its prime. I think that was accelerated by time in the basement.

Winderlea is a great bottle and I’d urge you to try it if you are anywhere that carries their premium lable. Here is a story I wrote in 2009 about Winderlea’s owners and winemaking.

But let’s get to this week’s one wine for review because it was a really nice white wine choice.

Helfrich 2009 Riesling – I started drinking Riesling when I started drinking wine. My interest in Riesling slowly disappeared as I drifted more and more to big red wines. But a trip to Michigan last summer, and tasting so many beautiful cool climate white wines, re-ignited my interest in this old noble grape.

The Helfrich name is one of France’s Alsace region icons. These wines are grown near the Vosges Mountains.

I had tasted a lot of American, and a few German Rieslings, lately and struggled with the sweetness in many. What I liked about the Helfrich was the nice crisp feel in the mouth with really nicely balanced minerality and acidity and hint of green apple. This wine is really a nice balance between dry and semi-dry. The nice balance of the long finish minimizes the bright fruit. What you end up with is a “not too sweet, not too dry” white wine.

The winemaker notes suggests trying Sushi, Asian foods, white meats, and smoked salmon with this wine. I think those are all fine suggestions. I had it this evening with some nice shrimp and pasta, gently seasoned with garlic and orange. The wine paired beautifully with food. It’s not so dry you couldn’t enjoy a glass alone.

(Helfrich 2008 Noble Varieties Riesling, SRP $14.99, Trade Sample, Highly Recommended)

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