Sunday, November 4, 2012

Donnhoff Riesling and Crab

Yesterday was the official start of the 2012 California Dungeness crab season. I had the strong urge to celebrate this local crustacean tradition by heading to the great roasted Dungeness crab joint, Thanh Long in the Outer Sunset. I've been coming to this Vietnamese restaurant since the late 1980s, when it was still a tiny hole in the wall. Back then the Outer Sunset was so remote and obscured by the fog (it still is) that there was no reason to trek there except to dine at this restaurant. Thanh Long's foresight to set up shop in this bleak location proved to be genius. People from everywhere, including Hollywood celebrities, were drawn to its insanely good crab and garlic noodles, helping anchor the Outer Sunset's trendy food scene today.

Much as I look forward to my Dungeness crab season pilgrimage to Thanh Long, I also wanted to road test the 2011 Donnhoff Riesling Kabinett Oberhauser Leistenberg that just arrived at the store this week. A brilliant wine in any vintage, it is supremely gorgeous in 2011, a vintage hailed as one of the greatest in Germany. Almost dry, it has a superb elegance that downplays its richness. A perfect Riesling with the buttery Dungeness crab and the decadent garlic noodles.

Helmut Donnhoff said during harvest that the 2011 fruit was some of the best he has ever seen. Of course, no one should doubt the words of the master. But those looking for proof will certainly find it in this Riesling that he crafted from the Leistenberg vineyard. I'm glad it arrived just in time for crab season.

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