Winery/Vineyard: Akash Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Riesling
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
How They Describe It
This new varietal to our collection is quite charming and offers the perfect balance between fruit and minerality. Dry in style, Akash Kühl Rielsing shows floral and citrus aromas followed by juicy flavors of white peach, apricot and mandarin. This superb drop finishes with a mineral and crisp citrus zest.
How I Describe It
Before reading this review, take a look at Matt Kettmann’s short write-up of Akash’s 2018 vintage for Wine Enthusiast (link above). Compared to last year, the 2019 Kühl Riesling is much closer to the mark for what we should expect from the varietal.
There’s a slight golden hue which overcasts the clear, pale lemon yellow of the Akash 2019 Kühl Riesling. Wine Folly’s Madeline Puckette calls this color “pale straw”.
The most prominent fruit aromas coming from the Akash 2019 Kühl Riesling are pineapple, Asian pear, tangerine, and white peach. Complexity comes from the undertones of peach blossom, wet stone, and sweet crêpe batter. The petrol scent which is characteristic of Rieslings is incredibly subtle, serving more as a reminder of the varietal in your glass as opposed to an overbearing stench.
An absolutely fascinating flavor and mouthfeel of beeswax is balanced by tart pineapple, pear, and Meyer lemons. Tangerine hits on the mid-palate along with granitic stone, crêpe batter, and nectarine. Hints of lychee and melon linger to the finish.
So there’s no ambiguity, the Akash 2019 Kühl Riesling is a terrifically well-balanced wine. It’s dry, while retaining fruitiness. Acid is high, but is necessary as a counterweight to the waxy mouthfeel. Alcohol is a medium 13.1%, which lends to a less viscous, medium-level body. Flavor intensity is a well-defined medium, where flavors a clearly identifiable but not explosive. And the finish is medium-plus.
Why is This Wine Special?
Riesling is what’s called a terroir-expressive varietal. In other words, the wine displays different characteristics based on where it comes from. While Riesling is Germany’s premier grape varietal (it’s been cultivated since the 1400’s), it is also commonly produced in France’s Alsace, Austria’s Wachau, throughout Central Europe, and has a rapidly growing following in the US and Australia.
The Akash 2019 Kühl Riesling displays characteristics you’d find in both German and Alsatian/Austrian versions. The green pear is reminiscent of cooler climates, while the tropical and stone fruit are common in later-ripening regions.
If you were to parallel the 2019 Kühl to German wine standards (as we’ve done in the past) it would likely fall in the Spätlese or Auslese quality categories. One might say what German’s prize most from their late harvest Rieslings grows with ease in Temecula’s warm, sunny climate — though I might be biased.
Also, if you were curious, kühl literally translates to “cool”. Whether Akash was referring to Riesling’s cool climate origins or just trying to be hip, it’s a pretty kühl play on words.
In full disclosure, the bottle described here was donated by Akash Winery. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.
When & How I Would Drink It
If I was going to open this bottle next to any particular food, it would Thai tom yum soup. The hot and sour spice and lemon grass components would blend perfectly with the wine’s citrus and acid, while allowing the honeyed beeswax to balance the flavors.
Frankly, many Thai and Southeast Asian foods would pair well. The saltiness of chicken satay with peanut sauce would amplify the 2019 Kühl’s fruit flavors. Pho’s complex salty-sugary-savory broth would pair well with the wine’s fruit-forward and floral aromas. And the natural sweetness of yellow curry’s coconut milk base would complement this Riesling’s body perfectly.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $35.00
Cases Produced: 193 cases
Have you tried the Akash 2019 Kühl Riesling? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.