Wine of the Week: Luxembourg Riesling
I have no real idea whether Abi Duhr's Riesling is typical of Rieslings from Luxembourg.
(I mean, how many Rieslings from Luxembourg have you tasted? It's a little tough to get a frame of reference for them.)
But I'd place a bet that it isn't typical, and that's mostly because I know Abi a little.
This was the first time I tried his wine -- at the Collisioni Festival this weekend in Barolo -- and it was full of ripe, luscious peach and honeyed nectarine. The body was round yet with an enviable, counterbalancing acidity. Simply gorgeous.
(You may have read that paragraph quickly but I wrote that it very slowly, remembering the wine and trying to pour unusual meaning into familiar words. The sum of this wine is far greater than the parts of those words.)
The wine's lusciousness wasn't Photoshopped. It was there, naturally, and not because Abi put it there. He let it be there.
Abi is a minimalist. His style is that it isn't stylized.
"I picked the grapes and then I waited until the wine was ready," he told me. He doesn't obsess. He doesn't micro-check on the wine every day. Every two or three weeks is more like it. That way, time-drawn-out lets him see how the wine has evolved.
Abi's way seems so simple and straightforward, and if you want to take that at face value, feel free. But know, anyway, that there's an awful lot of complexity underneath that simplicity. You get the sense that he's considered this process of wine so much that he's actually come out on the other side, full circle, back to simplicity.
Abi knows the rules. He knows there's a drummer. But he doesn't march to that beat.
It's liberating, actually, to see and taste right in front of you that there's a way to do something that isn't the way everyone else is doing something. And you could still end up with Beauty.