Wine & Cheese Pairings: Rustico with Black or Red Pepper & Leitz Dragonston Riesling 2010

by Leslie Stauffer on July 22, 2011

A contribution from our friends at Dreadnought Wines.


Cheeses: Rustico with Black Pepper and Rustico with Red Pepper.

Origin: Italy – From the Countryside of Rome.

Type: sheep’s milk. semi soft, rind-less, straw-like in color. Aged for 30 days. Rustico is a salty cheese, with a tangy taste yet creamy texture. The Red and Black Peppers give it a nice kick but not to overwhelming.

Availability: All Year Round

Form: Black Pepper and Red Pepper Rustico comes as a rind-less 3 pound wheel.

Rustico Red or Black Pepper Sheeps cheese & Leitz Dragonstone Riesling

Serving Suggestions: Black Pepper and Red Pepper Rustico is a wonderful addition to a traditional Italian Antipasto. Cube the Rustico and toss with your favorite Italian meats and vegetables. Also shave room temperature pieces of Rustico on top of your favorite summer salad.

Storage Suggestions: Wrap Black and Red Rustico separately in clear plastic wrap. Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. recommends investing in an air tight container where you can feel safe keeping your cheese fresh. Always store cheese at the bottom of the refrigerator.


Wine: Leitz Dragonston Riesling 2010

From: Weingut Josef Leitz

Located: Rheingau / Rheinhessen, Germany

“The latest installment of a proverbial hit, Leitz’s 2010 Rudesheimer Drachenstein Riesling Dragonstone continues (as its full name demonstrates) to come from a single vineyard, one from which by now Leitztakes a significant percentage of the crop. There has never been a better example of the electric intensityand uncanny balance Leitz is able to achieve in this site between taut, invigorating acidity and a high levelof residual sugar that comes off as barely sweet. Zesty lime, peach, pink grapefruit, and red currant allythemselves to cinnamon spice, salts, and wet stones, and finish with simultaneous penetration and delicacy.Enjoy this great value anytime over the next 3-4 years.” ~ Winery notes

Lively and scintillating the Leitz Dragonstone Riesling 2010 gives you fruit, citrus and spice and makes it allnice. It has the bright sweetness Riesling is known for while being crisp – much like a freshly picked apple.

“After a dozen vintages of what has long since become by far his largest-production wine; and followingsome very recent property acquisitions, Leitz now controls the better part of the Einzellage Drachenstein,and his 2009 Riesling Dragonstone returns to being entirely from that site as well as exclusively from estate-controlled acreage. (That Leitz is officially designated on the label as merely bottler (Abfuller) rather thanproducer (Erzeuger) is due to the technicality of this wine having to be blended in another facility that canaccommodate tanks large enough for a single 60,000 liter cuvee, which is then subjected to numerousbottlings, each receiving a separate A.P. number.)

At 45 grams of residual sugar, this year’s rendition is drierthan some recent installments and once again displays the remarkable ability of Riesling especially fromcertain sites to simply swallow up any sense of sweetness. Luscious yet tart peach, cherry, and rhubarb areseem suffused with salt, crushed stone, and shrimp shell savor in this bright, invigorating, irresistibly enticingand far from simple Riesling. Hints of inner mouth floral perfume and the piquancy of peach pit add furtherdepth to what has consistently counted as among the world’s most remarkable Riesling values.

Thus far, Dragonstone seems to keep well for 6-8 years, though I realize that few wine lovers will have the interestor the will power to test this assertion. Yes it was dry, says Johannes Leitz about the late summer and earlyautumn of 2009, but drought stress? Who said anything about drought stress? Evidently he either has adifferent definition for that condition or had different experiences from some of his colleagues, but I let thematter drop, and the quality of the wines here speaks eloquently both to Leitzs belief that nature delivered analmost ideal combination this year of near over-watering followed by dry heat (which he called the parachutethat saved us from a crash landing), and to his success in what for others was a manifestly challenging seasonon the Rudesheimer Berg. Leitz’s team began picking October 6 and continued for almost exactly one month.Incidentally, after working for nearly two decades from an expansion of his original cellar under the familyhome in suburban Rudesheim, Leitz will soon have completed a large new facility nearby.” -RP 90

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