Fire Roaring

I don’t normally associate Riesling with a wine I would drink while sitting in front of the fireplace, but that is exactly what we did. At least I get a little credit for serving a hearty cheese fondue in front of said fire, which is why we needed a white wine!

Riesling is what started my love affair with wine, but I haven’t seen a lot of it coming out of California. I gather the growing conditions aren’t exactly ideal and it works better in colder climates. But there are some wineries who dabble with it in CA, and Nelson Family Vineyards is one.

We purchased this bottle of 2005 Nelson Family Vineyards Riesling for around $17 when we were visiting Sonoma in 2006. It started to occur to me the other night that I probably want to clear out the remaining few older white wines that are hanging around in my cellar. It had a real cork closure and clocked in at 12.1% alcohol, with only 184 cases made.

On the nose the wine displayed honey, lemon, and orange blossoms. It smelled sweet. In the mouth I found honey with a bit of a citrus twinge, lemon, and orange blossoms. The wine was quite smooth and I’m glad we decided to haul it out of the basement, I’m not sure how much longer it would have been okay down there. This was a very different Riesling, probably, in my opinion, due to the fact that it was grown in CA. It did have the floral and citrus that I expect from a Riesling, but it wasn’t the dry wine that I’ve come to expect from this grape.

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4 Responses

  1. Next time you have a Riesling in your cellar, drink up another white wine and let the Reisling sit a couple years. Not only do they have the ability to age, but they really pick up some beautiful secondary aromas and flavors. I bet you’d enjoy that wine even more.

  2. What Jeff said, though French and German Rieslings generally seem to age better. There are quite a few CA Rieslings out there, my impression is many are low production and don’t make it east.

  3. Jeff, I’m not sure about the acidity structure in this one, if it had enough to age terribly long.

    El Jefe, probably true, we don’t get a lot of smaller production wines out here. And this is the only club that has ever shipped on to me!

  4. Our riesling tends to have a pH of about 3.0. pH is a good indicator of longevity. We expect this wine to go 25 years if properly stored.

    Over the passed two years, we have dried the wine out a bit. In ’05 it was 2.4% RS, ’06 1.9%, ’07 will be 1.5%. I think the balance is perfect around 1.5%. However, with the right meal…(spicy and a bit sweet), I prefer the higher RS.
    Cheers, Chris
    Nelson Family Vineyards

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