May picks

While most West Coast Rieslings are on the dry side now, a few have a hint of sweetness.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Johannisberg Riesling 2003 (Columbia Valley, WA), $9. A touch of sweetness, plus enticing flavors of jasmine, nectarine, and grapefruit. Great with guacamole.

Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen "Eroica" Riesling 2003 (Columbia Valley), $20. A well-regarded Washington winery partnered with a famous German vintner, to produce the best Riesling in the state. Light pear and apple aromas give way to a pure bolt of lime and litchi.

Firestone Riesling 2003 (Central Coast, CA), $10. Halfway between dry and sweet, with jasmine and litchi aromas.

Smith-Madrone Riesling 2003 (Napa Valley), $17. An elegant dry Riesling, more austere than fruity. Subtle pear tart flavors with light spice and mineral notes and fresh, bracing acidity. A great aperitif with cheese.

Washington Hills Riesling 2003 (Columbia Valley), $8. Thoroughly dry and snappy, with light nectarine and citrus flavors.

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