A Winning Riesling from … Rhode Island!

Winemaking on the East Coast keeps getting better and better! This was on display last weekend at the 4th Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, when Best of Show was won by a 2007 Riesling from Newport Vineyards
in Rhode Island. This wine featured zesty lime flavors and great
acidity – a classic Riesling that had me convinced it was from the
Finger Lakes.

Newrieslingpicweb_2
I was one of 20 judges that swirled, sniffed and spit our way through
458 wines from 100 wineries in 12 states, and having participated in all
four contests, I can say this year’s field was the strongest yet. (Or
else my table was luckier than in early years.) The Best of Show
taste-off featured 19 wines among the 56 that received gold medals; the
judges awarded 117 silver and 153 bronze medals as well. (I wrote about
last year’s competition in the October 2007 issue of Washingtonian.)

Can three-quarters of East Coast wines be medal worthy? Yes, if you
consider wineries self-select by sending their best and many simply
choose not to participate. You can say all you want about these
competitions, but they provide a worthwhile barometer of how the market
is progressing. That’s precisely why the Vinifera Wine Growers
Association sponsors the event.

New wineries continue to do well. Maryland’s Black Ankle Vineyards (profiled in the August issue of Washingtonian)
scored four medals, including a gold for its 2006 Crumbling Rock
Bordeaux blend. Other local names that figure prominently in the medal
lists are Pearmund Cellars, Chrysalis, Horton and Barboursville. Kluge Estate wowed the judges with its 2004 rosé sparkling wine.

Some of these Virginia medal winners will be on display September 27
and 28 at the VWGA’s 33rd Virginia Wine Festival at the Prince William
County Fairgrounds in Manassas. If you want to snag a bottle of that
Best in Show Riesling, you might need to plan a trip to Rhode Island –
but hurry, before it sells out!

This entry was posted in Competitions, Eastern US, Riesling, Rosé, Virginia, Washingtonian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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