2007 Abbazia Novacella Kerner, Alto Adige

Last night my wife asked me to grab a bottle of Riesling from our wine fridge. I looked in and only one had the familiar slender shape so a pulled it out and glanced at the label for a second and opened it. After the first sip I figured that I had grabbed a really expensive bottle by mistake.

It had nice crisp citrus and apricot tastes and good minerality. The finish was rich and slightly floral. While it was very similar to a dry Riesling, it was apparent that it was not one.

The label, the one I glanced at but did not read, told us why. This was a Kerner, a grape that I had never come across before. So, my wife dug out the notes from the wine club that sent this very tasty bottle to us. It seems that Kerner is a cross between Riesling and an obscure red grape, Trollinger, and was named after a 19th Century composer of drinking songs. Okay…

Anyway, we found this to be a very enjoyable wine. It is loaded with fruit, crisp, slightly dry and is great with food. In fact, it works so well with food that it was enjoyable with a meal that was not even a very good match. Hatch Chili chicken sausages and corn fritters. It wasn’t a bad match for the fritters, but the chilis were probably a much stronger flavor than this wine should have been paired with. However, it still tasted great.

The 2007 Abbazia Novacella Kerner, Alto Adige has 14% (one of the biggest clues I hadn’t grabbed a Riesling) and is nowhere near as expensive as it tastes. The wine club that sent it, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants, has it for $25.00 ($21.25 for members). Give it a try if you are a fan of Rieslings.

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