Prepare to be amazed. Beloved by sommeliers but woefully underrated by the establishment wine press thus far (90 points from Wine Enthusiast is the highest score we could find), we think this is easily one of the greatest white wines for $15 out there. Rieslings from Austria, when they hit the mark, offer a rarified drinking experience that makes it hard to put down the glass. First of all, this is not sweet, like most people’s perception of Riesling. But it is lip-smackingly juicy with the exquisite acidity of young mango. The wine’s texture is pure and clean and luxurious, with focus so clear like Lalique crystal and minerality that brings life and energy to its singular personality. There’s aromas of wet stones and tropical fruit and an evocative note of grassy knolls. That’s a lot packed into one white wine.
HUBER proprietor and winemaker Markus Huber is a young talent—he’s part of Generation Y a.k.a. Millennial—and is one of the prominent figures in the contemporary Austrian wine scene, and this 2013 Terrassen Riesling is reflective of a restless and committed creative spirit, making it a fascinating pairing with state-of-the-art modern cuisine. The Traisental Valley winemaking region of Austria is the country’s youngest, and smallest, and beloved for its uniquely aromatic and expressive fruit, and the wine very purely reflects where it came from. The Terrassen Riesling manages to be hip and relevant, yet bearing classical traits. There’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and equal parts Wolfgang Puck. –J.M.
Great Wine: Dashe “Les Enfants Terribles” Zinfandel, McFadden Farm