The vinebar team has searched high and low to bring you 10 of the top-rated, best tasting rieslings for under $26.00. All of these wines have been reviewed by our contributors to ensure these are the best of the best and the tasting notes are included to help you select your next wine. To assist in your purchase, these wines are available on Amazon.com so you can easily take advantage of “free shipping” offers.
A few things went into our selection criteria for this list. First, the wines had to appear on a minimum of three wine lists, which eliminated many widely available American Rieslings, or any hard-to-find bottles. (Some of the selections are brands you may be familiar with. Others are from less-well-known labels.) In addition, the wines had to carry a modest price tag. With those criteria in mind, we settled on 10 wines from 10 states, with a wide range of flavors, from citrusy to oaky, dry to sweet, and everything in between. (If you’re looking to spend more on a bottle of Riesling, head to our guide to the Top 10 Rieslings Under $50
From the east coast to the west coast, American Riesling is the perfect companion for any picnic. The high acidity of Riesling in combination with different degrees of sweetness – from dry to juicy – allows for endless combinations with dishes.
The citrus and green fruit tones of sparkling dry Rieslings go well with grilled chicken salads with fresh vegetables and light savoury bites like hard boiled eggs. The slight sweetness present in the undried and semi-dried Rieslings brings notes of citrus, flowers and peach, making them ideal for refreshing spicy dishes. The semi-sweet and intense sweet versions go perfectly with delicious desserts, from grilled peaches to lime pie.
These ten Rieslings come from Oregon and New York and can be enjoyed from aperitif to dessert.
Trefethen 2019 Estate Grown Dry Riesling (Oak Knoll District); $26, 94 points. Completely fermented in steel tanks, this white wine has a lively taste and pronounced aromas of fennel, apple, lemon and apricot. Fresh and complex, it stands alone but can also accompany many dishes. -Virgini Boone
Montinore 2019 Almost Dry Riesling (Willamette Valley); $18, 93 points. Harvested from old vines with an average age of 37 years, this excellent wine is at its best when not too fresh. Fermented entirely in stainless steel with a German yeast strain, the wine is soft and supple, with round flavors of apples, citrus, pears and kumquats. The long finish adds a note of breakfast tea. Editor’s Choice. -Paul Greggutt.
Fess Parker 2019 Rodney’s Vineyard Riesling (Santa Barbara County); $25, 92 points. Aromas of imprinted granite and gravel give a very stony start to the bright nose of this varietal, which also offers dense apple peel flavors. The palate burns with acidity and captures the mineral tension, allowing the distinctive flavors of stone, lemon zest and lime to fight for the attention they deserve. Drink now until 2039. Selection in the basement. -Matt Kettleman
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2019 Riesling (Columbia Valley); $9, 91 points. The fragrance is intoxicating with notes of white peach, lime, jasmine and flowers. Then come the sweet, not-so-dry flavors of stone fruit and Nestea lemon iced tea, with strong acidity. The balance and intensity are excellent. That’s all you can ask of this species. Best buy. -Sean Sullivan.
Poet’s Leap 2018 Riesling (Columbia Valley); $20, 91 points. Bright aromas of pear, flowers, Meyer lemon and grass are offset by the dry, medium-bodied flavors of Nestea Iced Tea. The bright acidity enhances it and makes it more interesting. It’s wonderful, but give it time to develop. Editor’s Choice. -C.S.
Weis 2019 Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes); $18, 91 points. Vibrant flavors of lemon and lime peel combine with white flowers and pear peel in this dry, tart Riesling. The medium-bodied palate has good weight, with lingering juicy fruit flavors supported by high acidity. A slight stony character creeps in to give it a base and finishes with a slightly bold and tongue-tingling finish. -Alexander Pertrey.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2019 Riesling (Willamette Valley); $14, 91 points. The back label says this is a medium-bodied wine, but it is so perfectly balanced between sugar and acidity that it is barely dry and pairs well with a spicy Thai noodle dish or any other peppery dish. Honeysuckle, juicy apple and white peach come together in a round, sweet wine that is an instant crowd pleaser. The finish remains lively and acidic. Best buy. -P.G.
Anthony Road 2019 Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes); $18, 90 points. Intense aromas of lime peel, fresh thyme and kerosene develop into a medium-bodied flavor. The flavor is that of lightly candied citrus peel, but the brittle texture and tangy note of the cracked salt offer just enough balance. Towards the end, the wine becomes dry, spicy and lifted, creating a spicy Riesling that would do well at the dinner table. -A.P.
We recommend it:
Zalto Denk’Art White wine glass
Riedel Sommeliers Wineglass Montrachet/Burgundy white (1)
Lakewood 2019 Riesling (Finger Lakes); $15, 90 points. This is a well-balanced semi-dry Riesling with juicy apple and yellow peach notes and a hint of lemon. It is rich in fruit, but also has a nice relief that gives it a lively and refreshing finish. Best buy. -A.P.
Pacific Rim 2019 Sweet Riesling (Columbia Valley); $11, 89 points. Bright aromas of tangerine peel, flowers, dried rose petals and citrus fruits are offset by sweet, full citrus flavors and high acidity. There is a good sense of balance in it. Hints of dried rose petals linger in the finish. Best buy. -C.S.
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