The #1 Wine on the 12 Wines of Christmas is…

Let’s take a moment and look back at the 12 wines of Christmas list. The idea was to highlight 12 bottles of wine from throughout the year that might make up a nice little case of holiday cheer. Average price of the 12 wines of Christmas came out to about $25 a bottle, so you don’t have to spend a bunch of loot to drink well. By the way, just for reference check out last year’s 12 Wines of Christmas.

The #1 wine on this year’s 12 Wines of Christmas list shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who follows me on Forkly. I have an addiction to the wines of Weingut Knoll of Austria. The Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners are are available and very reasonable prices for the quality. This particular wine sells for about $23.

Without further adieu I’d like to introduce you (or reintroduce you) to the 2009 Knoll Loibner Riesling from Austria’s Wachau region where Emmerich Knoll farms the land where 3 generations of Knoll’s farmed and made wine before him.

Drinking a Knoll wine is much like driving a Mercedes C-Class Coupe which is to say it’s not the most expensive one out there, but it’s overflowing with style, finesse and impeccable precision. Ripe and cooked golden apple, Bosc pear, lemon and even a bit of quince jam do the tango across your palate with their dance partners white peach and apricot.

Riesling’s complexity is at its best when there’s slate driven minerality batting in the clean up spot. Here, earth and non-fruits of white carnations, jasmine, fennel, summer honey and a bit of smokey saffron are folded neatly with hospital corners and put in their proper place. Some Riesling geeks look for a flinty petrol note in their Reislings, but that’s not necessarily a marker of quality. Knoll’s Loibner has a bit of it to keep those Riesling lovers happy, but it’s not overbearing.

There’s plenty of life ahead in the bottle—after another ten years this gem is going to emerge out of a cocoon as a beautiful butterfly, but why wait? This year, we’re tucking some away and drinking some now because the #1 wine on the list will go with a wide range of holiday foods.

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