My Fair Riesling

 

The evolution of North American Riesling offerings, from simple and sweet to dramatically aromatic and superbly dry make this a thrilling time for Riesling lovers. Newcomers to Riesling will find an array of expressions that were untapped until inspired winemakers championed the grape’s natural qualities in more extreme climates throughout North America.

Before the Riesling diaspora, California was considered the only region suitable for growing Europe’s noble grapes, with German immigrants planting acreage as early as 1857. Here, in the mild California winters, Riesling received a reputation for being soft, full-bodied, and cloying, a reputation that reduced the wine to mere picnic fodder rather than cellar-worthy fine wine. Meanwhile, viticuluralist Dr. Konstantin Frank aquired an underdog reputation of his own for his unusual ideas about growing vitis vinifera in the freezing cold climates of New York in the 1960s. Thankfully, a pioneering attitude was the perfect complement to Riesling’s high natural acidity and ability to rapidly develop high sugar levels in the below-freezing temperatures of the Finger Lakes.

 

 

In that spirit of Old Glory innovation, we have selected some of our favorites from wineries that showcase the versatility and unique character of this Old World variety. From our neighbors at Red Hook Winery who put an urban spin on their Alexandria School bottling to the lovely folks at Ovum who capture the spirit of Riesling’s Germanic roots, we look forward to seeing how these wines continue to develop and we hope you do too! Amanda Bowman & Lily Sears

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Dashe 2014 Potter Valley McFadden Farms Dry Riesling

Organic, bright, dry, chalky, Riesling from mountain slopes in California’s Mendocino county – what’s not to like? The 2014 Riesling has a mineral richness that I don’t usually associate with the west coast, but white wines from winemakers like Steve Edmunds and Michael Dashe have provided me with liquid evidence that I should reevaluate my biases. John Rankin

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic

Lo Fi 2014 Santa Barbara County Riesling

Michael Roth and Craig Winchester are two friends with a simple approach to making wine – less is more! The method to their madness comes to fruition through their 2014 Riesling. The grapes are harvested from the Coquelicot Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley, which practices sustainable and organic farming. The grapes are pressed whole cluster and spend four months in neutral oak preceding cold stabilization in tanks. This aromatic Riesling shows delicate peach and apricot stone fruit on the palate, which is met with crisp acidity but enough body to maintain balance. A fun and versatile wine to be served chilled. Lily Sears

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

Ovum 2012 Eola-Amity Hills Memorista Lon Star Vineyard Riesling

Ovum makes tiny amounts of delicious wine from some of Oregon's most interesting plots. The grapes for their Memorista Riesling come from a few tightly-spaced rows of Argyle Winery's Lone Star Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills. Zesty aromas of pink grapefruit, lime peels, and musky apricots, with a touch of sweetness (10.5g residual sugar) on the palate of peach, citrus zests, soft pink florals, and orange spice. Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

Red Hook Winery 2010 Seneca Lake Riesling School of Alexandria

Christopher Nicholson is a resident winemaker for Red Hook Winery and the mastermind behind the offbeat Alexandria School Riesling. It's the perfect merger of traditional meets urban winemaking. The grapes are sourced from the Ryan William vineyard located on the southeastern edge of Seneca Lake and aged in a combination of stainless steel and neutral barrels. It is dry and salty with a hint of toffee, medium-bodied, and shows a creamy texture followed by sharp acidity and a long finish. This Riesling would be an excellent pairing with roasted root vegetables. Lily Sears

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

Tripod Project 2013 Willamette Valley 'Deep Probe' Riesling

Pacific winemakers Thomas Monroe (Divison), Jesse Skiles (Fausse Piste), and Barnaby Tuttle (Teutonic Wine Company) make up the Tripod Project. Each year the triumverate picks one vineyard and one grape to create a hybrid of their signature styles. This year, the team chose Riesling sourced from the LaGae Vineyard in the Willamette Valley. Fortunately, the friends were able to get to the organically farmed vines before they were sold for development, unfortunately, this will be the last vintage ever from this site! Skiles and Monroe vinified dry with botrytized grapes, Tuttle went for a touch of sweetness. The synthesis is a balanced, slightly sweet wine with ginger and beeswax aromas. A viscous, supple body with firm acidity and a generous, mineral finish. This is a modern Riesling and a must-try for enthusiasts. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

Wiemer, Hermann 2014 Finger Lakes Riesling Dry

Mosel-native Hermann J. Weimer has produced world-class Riesling in the Finger Lakes since 1960. The grapes are pressed whole cluster then undergo cold fermentation for three months. The 2014s have minimal traces of residual sugar, this is an electric Riesling crackling with crisp minerality. Elegant aromas of white flowers and bright spring fruit lead to creamy tropical, citrus notes balanced by taut acidity. This refreshing style is an excellent pairing for shellfish or spicy Asian cuisine. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99