2005 Potter Valley Riesling
Potter Valley is the source for our Riesling because it is a growing region with similar characteristics to the grape’s Northern European origins. Riesling is not well adapted to warmer climates, which are more appropriate for Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, because under those conditions it has a tendency to grow too vigorously and ripen too early. Potter Valley’s moderate days and cool nights allow the grape to ripen slowly, and to develop mature flavors without excessive sugar and alcohol levels. And, happily for us, it turns out that 2005 was an ideal vintage.
Riesling's delicacy makes it an interesting challenge for
winemakers. Careful handling is essential. As the fruit comes in we
carefully press the grapes one of two ways: either by whole cluster
to achieve delicacy and avoid bitterness; or by crush and de-stem
to enhance the variety's spicy nose and fruit flavors. The juice is
then settled for clarity prior to fermentation to avoid any vegetal
notes. Following this we put it through a slow, cool fermentation
in stainless steel to add complexity, and to bring the maximum
amount of fruit forward in the developing wine. It seems like such
a simple wine to make, but actually it requires precision
winemaking techniques worthy of this noble variety.
The wine has a nice bright yellow gold color, exceptional for
the usually pale Riesling. The nose is a delicate blend of
honeysuckle, white melon, and mild tropical star fruit. There is
also a refreshing, and simply very inviting, scent of fine Riesling
- the way just a hint of a perfume is often most appealing. In the
mouth there are perfectly refined, carefully balanced fresh fruit
flavors, good structure, and a crisp refreshing acidity. It
finishes bright and fresh, very likeable and sprightly on the
palate. Enjoy this wine at your patio or pool in spring and summer,
or next winter for a perfect après-ski lift.
||October 19 & 20, 2005