Riesling Night


Tasted April 13, 2018 by jgreco with 111 views


Last month, I tasted over fifty wines (most of them Riesling) from New York state at the NY Drinks NY wine tasting event. I have tasted few, if any, serious wines from New York over the years, but I was struck by the quality of a few of the Rieslings from the Finger Lakes region. They stood out to me as comparable with mid-tier Alsace. The best part is that they are all relatively affordable. Even the best Rieslings can be had for $25. After the event I purchased a case from a few of the wineries I enjoyed the most.

I was hoping to enjoy the Rieslings as soon as the weather warmed up. But mother nature has not cooperated. New York has had a long and cold winter that continued into early April. On April 13th and 14th though, we were fortunate to have a brief respite of two back-to-back 80-degree days.

So, what better way to celebrate the coming Spring than with some Riesling? Four of us blind tasted Rieslings from Mosel (1), Alsace (1), and the Finger Lakes (2) and one Sylvaner from Alsace.

Flight 1 (5 notes)

2014 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
88 points
Wine #1. Tasted blind. Honeyed nose. Smooth and creamy on the palate. A long fruity finish. Slightly sweet, but not overly so. This wine would pair well with a spicy Chinese dish. Definitely the Riesling from Mosel.
2016 Hermann J. Wiemer Riesling Dry Reserve USA, New York, Finger Lakes
92 points
Wine #2. Tasted blind. Honeyed, floral, wet stone, pepper on the nose. Very mineral on the palate. A few green notes which makes me think it needs a few more years to more fully come together. Off-dry. Is this is the Alsace Riesling?
2015 Domaine Ostertag Sylvaner Vieilles Vignes France, Alsace
86 points
Wine #3. Tasted blind. Layers on the nose: earth, floral, green notes, wet stone. However, everything fails to connect on tasting. The wine is unfocused with what feels like two competing visions. Perhaps this will come together after further development, but I doubt it.
2013 Red Newt Cellars Riesling Tango Oaks USA, New York, Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake
93 points
Wine #4. Tasted blind. Stone, citrus, and a little funk on the nose. Lovely finish with a lot of acidity that goes on forever. Very dry. Likely Finger Lakes. Our favorite of the night. Is this the Wiemer?
2014 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Fronholz France, Alsace
92 points
Wine #5. Tasted blind. This wine has it all. A fruit filled (pears) nose. Mineral, acidic, and a long lasting finish. Maybe this is actually the Alsace Riesling? Super dry.


My suspicions about the relative quality of the Finger Lakes Rieslings has been confirmed. The Red Newt Cellars and Hermann Wiemer were fantastic and easily stood up (if not surpassed) the Alsace and Mosel Rieslings. We'll be ordering a lot more.

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