2004 Gerhard Al Alba Vinceró Riesling Kabinett Trocken (Germany, Rheingau)
Should be in the $15 range at Dee Vine Wines. Pleasantly dry without being austere, this is Gerhard's seafood wine, and the chalky/eggshell notes come through loud and clear. Well, at least as loudly as possible in such a delicate wine. Normally I would go with white fish, but I'm not in charge of wine pairings this time, and Chef Kinch serves three different preparations of tuna. The braised tendon with ponzu and citrus is a cute little snack, and the almost beefy seared cheek bows politely to the Vinceró, but it is the "headcheese" that sings. A tartare of the meat from the head of a fatty tuna, it is mixed with sesame seeds and minced keiffir lime leaves. The lime leaves contrast perfectly with the Vinceró's purity, and my whole mouth feels like it's shining from within. Apologies for the hyperbole, but that's what it felt like. By itself, Very Good. With the right food, Excellent.
I'm a Gerhard fan (he's a terrific guy who makes terrific wine), but this wine and this pairing at Manresa really went over the top. Surprisingly, this wasn't even the best pairing with a Rheingau riesling of the evening!