High elevation. Great natural acid. Super at age twelve. Very long. Nose of honey and Babcock peach. Match this wine to spicy tuna roll with sweet mustard and tempura flakes.
California can do world-class Riesling. Not many, and not every year. Still, a handful of producers have proved the potential over decades. The hardship is their best examples are better with six or seven years of bottle age. And consumers just don’t get that concept. The result is a cohort of soda-like, eminently forgettable Rieslings from the rest of the CA pack aimed at the mass market. Riesling should not be a mass market wine. Let the masses drink Pepsi. Or Arbor Mist.
Wine Tasting Class
The 1996 Madroña Riesling (winery owned by Stanford Alum, Dick Bush) was tasted in a Varietal Series class, which are held the second Friday evening of each month in Nevada City, CA (see Wine Education Vacation). It’s a great way to start off a romantic getaway in the mountains. Nevada City is the cultural centerpiece of the Sierra Foothills ~ live music, good food, palpable history, original art, quaint shopping, wonderful scenery. And several good wineries to discover. Call it The Liquid Gold Country.
One portion of the class compared this bottle-aged Madroña with two older Rheingaus: a 1992 Robt. Weil Spätlesen and a 1988 Domdechant Hochheimer Hölle Spätlese Halbtrocken. The Weil had the lightest color and the most acid. Its aromatics were all green apple, even at 17-years-old. It continued to develop throughout the weekend, and was even more fragrant on Sunday. The Hochheimer smelled more of caramel, but also had some Pippin apple in the flavor, and it was the least sweet of the group. Neither German wine walked on the Madroña...
To read this post in its entirety, including wine descriptions and suggested food pairings, go to the Wine Lab website.
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