Thursday, October 1, 2009

American Riesling Wines

I have spent the last couple of weeks in Germany. It is now the time of wine festivals and wine presentations by wine estates. Thus, I had the pleasure of tasting an enormous amount of excellent German Rieslings. When you are in Germany, you forget that there is also good Riesling wine elsewhere. When I opened the on-line version of the NYT on Wednesday, I was happy to me reminded that there is also good Riesling in America.

Eric Asimov has a review in yesterday's NYT about American Rieslings. The panel tasted Rieslings from America’s four primary wine-producing states: New York, Washington, California and Oregon. They favored the Rieslings from Washington and New York.

Their favorite, the 2007 Eroica, is a collaboration between Chateau Ste. Michelle, the huge Washington winemaker, and Ernst Loosen, the eminent Riesling producer from the Mosel region of Germany. The wine is made at Chateau Ste. Michelle from grapes grown in the Columbia Valley. I fully agree that regardless of where the inspiration comes from, the wine is superb, graceful and tangy, full of mineral, peach and ginger flavors. It is not quite dry, meaning the wine has a bit of residual sugar in it, yet it was so balanced it didn’t taste sweet.

The other area that showed a strong performance was the Finger Lakes in upstate New work. This is a wonderful area with excellent wines. I concur with Eric Asimov's assessment that the Dr. Konstantin Frank estate and the Herrmann Wiemer estate, but also others, make excellent Riesling wines. Stuart Pigott has written a wonderful account of his trip to the Finger Lakes, which unfortunately did not make it into his recent book, but you can read it here.

You can read Eric Asimov's NYT column here and his blog posting here.

I am looking forward to be back in Washington D.C. to drink the delicious American Rieslings.

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