Riesling is known as one of the best white wine grapes for expressing terroir. Best grown in moderate to cool climates similar to those found in central Europe, the grape is now found all over the world, in many styles from bone dry to super sweet. To make picking out a bottle easier, we’ve picked our favorites from better-known Old World regions like Germany and France as well places you may not think of like Oregon and New York. Here are the bottles you are going to want to have on hand for refreshing sips this summer.
Trimbach 2014 Sélection des Vieilles Vignes Riesling (Alsace); $38, 95 points. The chamomile lift of development is only a hint right now amid the lemon tanginess on the nose. On the palate this is racy with uncompromising lemon freshness. Tension characterizes the taut, slender but very concentrated body. Underneath all this, a vein of fluidly golden lemon richness reverberates throughout the precise palate. With this kind of freshness, this wine is restricted to acid-loving adults only but they are certainly in for a thrill. Drink now–2035. Esprit du Vin.—Anne Krebiehl, MW
Domaine Ostertag 2016 Fronholz Riesling (Alsace); $48, 95 points. A closed nose gives little away but the palate reveals still tightly coiled layers of lemon freshness. Zesty purity suffuses the ultraclean palate and hints at an inner well of boundless lemon zest. This wine needs to develop but promises thrilling pleasure with its concentrated, whistle-clean and dry palate. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Cellar Selection.—A.K.
Wagner-Stempel 2016 Siefersheim Porphyr Riesling Trocken (Rheinhessen); $39, 94 points. Smoky mineral and spice notes accent fresh apricot and tangerine in this succulent, penetrating dry Riesling. While light footed and fresh, it’s a lavish wine that builds in volume and texture on the palate. Racy acidity and an intensely mineral finish cap things off. Delicious already but it should improve through 2025 and hold further. Rudi Wiest Selections. Editors’ Choice.—Anna Lee C. Iijima
Wechsler 2016 Riesling Trocken (Rheinhessen); $28, 93 points. Skeins of wax and pollen, lemon and lime collide in this taut, elegantly composed dry wine. The palate is bold, offering penetrating citrus flavors marked by hits of steel and an airy white-blossom perfume. It is a juicy, pristinely fruity wine that finishes on lingering notes of honey and lime. Valckenberg International, Inc. Editors’ Choice.—A.L.C.I.
Hermann J. Wiemer 2016 Magdalena Vineyard Estate Bottled and Grown Riesling (Seneca Lake); $36, 93 points. This wine is sourced from a 24-acre vineyard on the northwestern part of Seneca Lake. While exuding ultraripeness in its plush stone fruit, pineapple and white blossom tones on the nose, there’s still great deal of balance and finesse. The palate is broad and expansive in flavors of soft yellow apple, juicy apricot and white plum, with a fresh line of acidity maintaining focus. White tea tannins offer some grip and astringency on the midpalate, extending into the long, lingering finish.—Alexander Peartree
Viento 2016 Retro Old Vines Riesling (Columbia Gorge); $22, 92 points. “Retro” may be winemaker Rich Cushman’s reference to this wine’s sweet style, since it clocks in at 24 g/L of residual sugar. It’s a pungent take on the grape, with a piney aroma and massively concentrated fruit. Peach, apricot and papaya flavorscome into play, with balanced acidity. The finish is deep, pure and long. Editors’ Choice.—Paul Gregutt
Pewsey Vale 2017 Single Vineyard Estate 1961 Block Riesling (Eden Valley); $25, 92 points. A new release from Pewsey Vale’s oldest vineyards and fermented on native yeasts, there is a long life ahead of this wine. Right now, it’s young, eking out notes of apple skins, blossoms, grapefruit and talc. The balance is spot on, and while this would be delicious now with shellfish, it’d be even better with some time in the cellar. Drink now–2032. Negociants USA–The Winebow Group. Cellar Selection.—Christina Pickard
Willm 2017 Réserve Riesling (Alsace); $13, 90 points. This conveys just a smidge of lemon aroma on the nose. The palate, however, gives the citrus its due space, filling the mouth with sprightly freshness and the ripe freshness of high-season lemon. The body is light and refreshing, the finish is dry and clean. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Best Buy.—A.K.
A to Z 2017 Riesling (Oregon); $15, 90 points. This reliable value producer makes a thoroughly enjoyable dry Riesling inflected with plenty of lush fruit. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, it brings apple and peach notes forward, with lingering lemon meringue flavors, boosted by bright acidity. Best Buy.—P.G.
Château Tanunda 2017 Grand Barossa Dry Riesling (Barossa); $23, 90 points. On the brighter fruitier side compared to the previous vintage, this likable dry Riesling offers up tangerine, lemon-lime, and stone-fruit notes on both the nose and on the juicy tangy palate. This would be a tasty poolside sipper as well as a decent palate cleanser at the start of the meal. AUSA Pacific.—C.P.
Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler 2016 Riesling (Mosel); $11, 89 points. Plump yellow-peach and apricot flavors lend a plush, sunny tone to this light-bodied Riesling. While delicate in mouthfeel, brisk acidity and concentrated fruit flavors lend a punchy, invigorating appeal. The finish is quite long, marked by hints of earth and blossom. Miller Squared Inc. Best Buy.—A.L.C.I.
D’Arenberg 2017 The Stump Jump Riesling (Adelaide); $13, 89 points. This wine shows lemon-lime, peach, florals and a touch of honey on both the nose the palate. There’s just a bit of residual sugar to balance out zippy citrusy acidity. This could develop in bottle for a few years but is drinking perfectly nicely now. Old Bridge Cellars. Best Buy.—C.P.
Last Updated: July 12, 2023