Itā€™s always fun to compare wines of the
same grape but from different countries or regions. Tonight for dinner
(smoked pork chops from the Amish market, sautĆ©ed with onions and
mushrooms) we opened two Rieslings, just for fun. We probably drank them in the wrong order, but oh well.
First up was Lemelson Vineyards Adria Vineyard Dry Riesling 2003,
from Oregonā€™s Willamette Valley, a producer better known for its
rich, fleshy Pinot Noir. Weā€™d tasted this wine two years ago when it
was young and crisp; now the acid has softened and the stone-fruit
flavors have broadened ā€“ fattened even, in a good way. There was
delicious peach, apricot, papaya and still a hint of tropical mango,
with good minerality ā€“ not the ā€œpetrolā€ character of Riesling so
much, but wet stones after a cleansing spring rain. Lovely wine.
We followed this with Craggy Range Fletcher Family Vineyard 2005
from Marlborough in New Zealand. A year-and-a-half younger than the
Lemelson, this still had its bracing, refreshing acidity that dominated
but could not conceal a core of apricot and citrus flavors. Tight,
focused, mineral and young. Thatā€™s four words (not counting the
conjunction). In a single word, delicious. (Imported by Kobrand Corp., New York, NY.)
Now, if Iā€™d been less lazy about washing wine glasses, Iā€™d have
tasted them side-by-side and had even more fun comparing. But Iā€™m
still going to sleep happily tonight.
No matter how cold it is outside (and tonight is bitterly cold here in
DC), I just love Riesling ā€¦
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