Rieslings for the Summer that Never Was
Yesterday my wife asked me what the weather is going to be like for the rest of the week, we have friends stopping by on Saturday and in the summer we like to hang out on the back deck as often as possible, so she has a vested interest in knowing. Now I looked on Sunday and it said rain only on Wednesday. By Monday, the forecast had changed to rain on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday… what happened to my week of sunshine – ah the heck with it.
I had hoped for a full week of hot sunny weather so I could roll out my list of the ultimate summertime wine – Riesling, but since it never seems we’re going to get a sustained summer, I thought it best to drag it out now, before the snow flies – and looking at the weather forecast, I think that could be next week.
Tawse Quarry Road Riesling 2012 ($23.95 – winery only for the moment)… I’ve tasted a number of 2012 Rieslings already and for a hot vintage, they have surprisingly high acidity, which is unusual for hot weather Riesling, but time will tell if they have the longevity to go with it. This offering is from Tawse and is downright mouth-puckering: lemon-lime leads the charge with a peach softness and good minerality. That acidity is spot on with freshness and there’s a beautiful green apple-like tart finish. Put simply, it’s exciting for Riesling fans to see Riesling like this out of such a hot vintage. (****½)
Cave Spring 2011 Riesling ($14.95 – winery only)… My wife is the Riesling fan of the two of us – sure I like Riesling, but I drink all kinds of wine. My wife is almost exclusively Riesling. This means we’re always on the hunt for her next Riesling-fix… and this 2011 Cave Spring number is it. Nose is apple, pear and tropical fruited while the palate doles out plenty of fruit of its own, with just a touch of sweetness, plus there’s nice acidity and a mild mineral character added into the mix. (****)
Featherstone 2012 Black Sheep Riesling ($16.95 - #80234)… Riesling’s from hot vintages don’t get much better than this… and there aren’t many Rieslings of this quality at this price point, and incredibly, Featherstone continues to deliver it year after year with its Black Sheep Riesling. According to winemaker/owner David Johnson, he picked the grapes three weeks early to retain the vibrant acidity that you’ll find in the bottle. The nose is apple/lime while the palate has a lemon-lime grip on the tongue with lots of mineral and green apple tartness and a long stunning finish. (****½)
Coffin Ridge Bone Dry Riesling 2012 ($17.00 - #232744)… A two-vineyard blend of Niagara-based fruit goes into this Meaford winery’s Riesling. Grapes from Ridgepoint and Foxcroft find their way into the bottle and when it says "Bone Dry" on the label, they do mean bone dry: mineral and tropical fruit battle it out on the palate along with some interesting lime on the crisp finish. There’s a nice intensity to the wine that makes it perfect for hot weather enjoyment. (****)
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