2008 Potter Valley Riesling

The year 2008 was an interesting one for Riesling up in the Potter Valley. Between the spring frost and the North Coast wildfires, those vines dodged some pretty wild extremes. But in grand style the noble vines proved their resilience and produced another excellent crop of Riesling grapes.

vintage weather

Despite the weather anomalies this year - indeed in any year - the higher elevation Potter Valley is a great place for growing Riesling due to the cooler nights and long growing season. We see some of the longest hang time of any of our vineyards there, and as a result it is normally the last load of grapes to arrive here at the Chateau each year. That long hang time not only gives us excellent flavor development and true Riesling character, but it also allows a small amount of Botrytis growth. We did see a nice amount Botrytis in 2008, so look for those resulting great honeysuckle and apricot notes.

tasting notes

In the glass this Riesling has a bright pale yellow hue with good depth of color. The nose is clean, rich and inviting, opening with fresh honeysuckle and apricot jam followed by peach and candied orange notes, riding over a slight hint of oak. The mouthfeel is soft and fleshy, and is dominated by great big peach and apricot flavors along with good firm acidity. It has a nice full length with lots of lichee and a hint of clove on the finish. This Chateau Montelena 2008 Potter Valley Riesling can be likened to a Renoir: big, round and fleshy with soft edges; it is elegant, well composed, and utterly enjoyable.

Harvest Date October 8, 2008
Bottling Date March 2009
Release Date Summer 2009