Rieslings are usually sweet — even “dry rieslings” are sweet to me — and this one is no exception, although it is less sweet than many other rieslings under $20.
The key word here is balance. Bree is light, a bit sweet, and a little bit tart, both in subtle ways. It doesn’t reach out and grab you like a super-tart sauvignon blanc. Instead, it just waits there quietly and invites you back for another sip. True, Bree is not very complex. But if you want a complex wine, you normally won’t go for a riesling anyway. Somebody who is just beginning to experiment with wine will probably find Bree riesling to be an easy and especially enjoyable introduction.
Comparing this German white to the King of Inexpensive U.S. Rieslings, Chateau Ste. Michelle (now only $8), the Bree comes out ahead. The Bree tasted more balanced, and lighter. It also felt consistent and whole. In comparison, the Chateau Ste. Michelle tasted heavy and had some non-sweet flavors that “stuck out”. These results make sense if you believe the conventional wisdom that Germany is THE place to go for riesling. However, Bree is a full 50% more expensive, so it’s not really a fair comparison. On its own, the Chateau Ste. Michelle still works.
Finally, I was blown away by the bottle. It seems like it should hold $80 worth of vodka rather than $12 of white wine.