Influence Wines is the project of Premium Wine Group production wine maker Erik Bilka. Now I have never met Erik, but this bottle arrived in my hands thanks in large part to Robin Epperson-McCarthy, assistant winemaker at Marth Clara Vineyards. Robin used to be the Lab director at Premium and has known Erik for years.
I first found out about this wine on a twitter tasting a long time ago were the object was to taste a Finger Lakes Wine Region Riesling. I had tasted Anthony Nappa Wines, Luminous, which was made with juice from the Finger Lakes. Robin at the same tasting, from the comfort of her home was tasting Erik’s Influence Wines 2009 Riesling. Two Long Island wine makers making wine with Finger Lakes juice.
It took a while for me to get my hands on it. It took even longer for me to try this wine. (I somehow was placed out of my sight). Here is what I found while I tasted Influence Wines 2009 Riesling.
On the nose I was picking up a heavy aroma of lime and rocky stoney minerality. There was some bright clean granny smith apple notes as well with a hint of grapefruit.
The grapefruit carried over onto the palate and was much more pronounced. Zinging acidity with lemon lime citrus juice with a stony finished the palate.
This Riesling was lively and kept the essence of Finger Lakes Riesling, after all it was made with juice from there.
My wife and I shared this wine with a roasted pork loin with asian spices and a soy marinade. The wine paired well with the meal.
I hope that Erik continues to make wines like this and expand his varietals. Not having your own fruit can be a problem, but working at Premium I am sure there is a good chance that some very nice fruit or juice comes Erik’s way.
Sláinte!Note: This bottle was given to me as a sample to review.