I have to admit, I really don’t get into the residual sugar stats and details when it comes to Riesling. By saying that I may have just lost my wine geek credentials.
I know that in the past I have said that I like my Riesling to have around 1.5% of RS, then I turn around and have a Riesling that is hanging out at about .3% and it blows my socks off. Or I may have one that is at 5% and it is so lush and delicious, that I finish the bottle way to soon. What is it that blows my socks off? What is it that makes that bottle finish right before you eyes? Could it be the RS percentage or the alcohol percentage or what the TA level was at or where the brix was at harvest? Things that when first looking at a wine, I honestly don’t pay any attention to. (I look at those things after the fact.)
What matters above all is taste. And for the challenging year that Long Island had for their grape growing season, the 2009 wines — the whites to this point, have been tasting deliciously good. This Riesling from Martha Clara Vineyards is another of my favorites.
This Martha Clara Vineyards 2009 Riesling ($19) is a perfect example of how important the nose and the taste is to me. On the nose I was picking up some grapefruit and citrus zest with a little hint of apricot. There was also an aroma of pear and granny smith apple skin. A hint of white tea and some stoney minerality rounded out the nose as the wine warmed in the glass.
The taste is where this wine got me. Zippy and zingy with wonderful play between the residual sugar and the acidity brought flavors of tropical mango, melon and pineapple. White grapefruit and lime zest filled my palate too.
As the wine evolved there was some elements of tropical flowers and orange zest.
Unfortunately, this is sold out. You can find this at local wine shop, I did and picked up a few extra bottles. Go out and pick up a bottle, you will enjoy this Riesling and don’t worry what the Residual Sugar is, just enjoy the taste and the flavors that evolve in your glass and palate.
By the way, the RS on this Riesling is 1.7% — if that means anything to you.
Sláinte!Note: This bottle was given to me as a sample to review.
In my mind your wine geek ‘Creds’ stand! Not because of your great review (well maybe a little bit) but because you taste first. Then look at statistics. Riesling is all about balance. Balance is something you taste not something listed on the back label.
Some years 1.7% is enough to balance the acidity other years it is too much or not enough. The amount of residual sugar is contingent on the acidity. Is there a formula? No, it’s taste dependent. Deciding on when to ‘shock’ (drop the temp causing the yeast to go into shock and DIE) the ferment means tasting a couple times a day (I love my job) to decide when the wine comes into balance. Most of these colder ferments naturally slow down on there own and sometimes stop themselves. When that happens we typically let it stop on its own rather than forcing something dry and potentially stripping some of the aromatics.
I hope you put a couple of bottles of the 2009 Riesling away, otherwise there is a futures list for the 2010 Riesling, already!
Thanks for the kind words and allowing me to keep my wine geek passport. It comes in handy sometimes. 🙂
I often feel that sometimes it is best if no on knows the stats. It can take the enjoyment out of it. It also may steer someone away.
I do have a bottle or two of the 2009 left. I plan on holding on to them for a while. I was shocked to hear that the 2009 was sold out, not that it did, but so soon. I was hoping to pick up some more, but lucky me, my local wine shops have them in stock.
A futures list for the 2010 and it’s probably just finished fermenting. Crazy! Those 2010 are going to be amazing, I cannot wait to taste them.