I must admit — there is a small place in my heart for Riesling. That small space is growing. My first love will always be Gewürztraminer. Sauvignon Blanc is a close second. Thanks to my visit in May to the Finger Lakes Region for TasteCamp 2010, I became a Riesling stalker.
When I first tasted Palmer Vineyards 2009 White Riesling ($19), it brought me right back to the Finger Lakes. This wine is from Palmer Vineyards estate in Aquebogue, hand harvested, crushed and pressed with no skin contact and then cold fermented. According to Miguel Martin, winemaker at Palmer Vineyards, “The juice was fermented cold (52F) in stainless steel tanks using an aromatic yeast strain, QA23 to maximize the vibrant varietal character of the Riesling. The wine was kept cold in a full tank to preserve the delicate flavors before bottling.”
On the nose, I was picking up tropical fruits, lemon, lime, grapefruit and river rock minerality. Some apple and floral notes started to shine through too. As the wine warmed, I picked up loads of apples, granny smith and green apple — like an apple orchard. This was a beautiful aromatic wine.
When I tasted it, and if I had tasted it blind, I would have thought I was back in the Finger Lakes. Zesty lemon and lime jump right out at you with some grapefruit at the back end with just a touch of a floral note. I also picked up some river rock minerality on the palate with this zinging acidity.
The finish was moderate with the apple flavors at the end.
I may be sticking my neck out here a bit as I state this: I think that this Riesling happens to be the best Riesling I have tasted from Long Island this year. It’s how I am starting to like my Riesling –aromatic and apparently on the dry side — apparently my palate is evolving. While some may say that this is not for their liking — they may prefer the semi-dry style and some may consider this out of balance because of the lack of residual sugar. However, this wine has a wonderful bouquet and palate and shows loads of fruit and classic Riesling flavors.
Go give it a try yourself and let me know what you think.