Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top 5 under $12: Riesling

It's not easy finding great Riesling under $12, in fact it's a particular challenge since producers can always rely on their favorite crutch, sugar, when producing Rieslings. After working through over a case of value priced Rieslings I was becoming a bit discouraged, and then I hit on a series of wines from Washington state that made me take notice.



Washington is often overlooked when it comes to find wines, though I don't know where that leaves Michigan and the NY Finger Lakes who also produced a solid entry for this list. It's undeniable that Washington seems to be emerging as a great source for Riesling, though the marketplace has yet to take proper notice, meaning that it remains a lands of great values. So dive in here and take a look at today's Top 5 under $12: Riesling.



To see the full list of wines tasted please visit

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Washington Hills Riesling (2011)
Comments: Fairly sweet smelling on the nose with apple fruit accented by hints of jelly candies that recall blackberries and lime. This is noticeably sweet though there is plenty of acidity to help keep this balanced, if not bright. This trades some brightness for richness of fruit and depth of flavor. It’s a bit of a fruit bomb but I like the combination of orchard fruit with citrus and berry accents. Super fun to drink with a finish that is moderately long and continues the fruit flavor interplay while layering on a nice hint of minerality. Bing Bing Bing, we have a winner. 88pts
Average price: $12.69 from 3 stores
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2 Murphy's Law Riesling (2010)
Comments: This smells of mineral and lime, a touch muted perhaps but distinctly Riesling with a lovely base note of sweet/sour apple fruit. Bright and fresh in the mouth, this has a gentle sweetness that is well balanced by firm acidity all wrapped in a rather lightweight, fresh package. The palate delivers light apple fruit with a nice mineral edge that rolls over the moderately long finish. This is a find at this price. 87pts
Previously available for $13.99
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3 Standing Stone Vineyards Riesling (2011)
Comments: Lots of dried fruit on the nose here lends this a rather toffee note with dusty dried floral tones and a hint of quince paste. This is very bright with huge acids throwing down on the modest sweetness. Raw and a bit untamed, there’s plenty of pithy fruit here along with under-ripe apricot and some fine suggestions of river stones on the back end before this body slams your tongue on the finish with the acidity. The finish is long and shows some sweet tea character. A lot going on, possibly too much for some folks but I give this an A for effort. 86pts
Previously available for $11.99
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4 Chateau Grand Traverse Riesling Semi Dry Riesling (2011)
Comments: Honied lime and spicy herbal notes show up on the somewhat simple nose along with hints of apple butter and toffee. This is fairly sweet in the mouth with good acidity keeping it lively but the texture is a touch viscous and the flavors leans towards the treacly, dried fruit end of the spectrum with hints of dried figs, mango and a little strawberry notes that pops on the backend and drives through the modest finish. It’s good in its style, just be prepared for sweetness. 86pts
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5 14 Hands Riesling Washington (2010)
Comments: Pretty on the nose with light notes of iris, lime pith and some heather honey toes. Medium bodied and while this is lightly sweet its also light and elegant. I would like to see a little more acidity here, but this does have a nice texture as it is and delivers some gentle jasmine, apricot and crab apple flavors. The finish is nicely clean and fresh with a hint of balancing bitterness and surprising length. 86pts
Average price: $8.99 from 112 stores
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