Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 44

YEAR'S BEST US RIESLINGS
Our blind panels tasted 234 US rieslings over the past 12 months. Our critics rated 77 as exceptional (90+) and 38 as Best Buys.
Joshua Greene covers California's North Coast; Patrick J. Comiskey covers the rest of the US.
Find a complete list of wines tasted and all reviews at wineandspiritsmagazine.com.

CA L I FO RN I A
520441

91 | Stirm

520268

92 | Hosmer

N Y: F INGER L AKES
$26

2018 Santa Barbara County Kick-On Vineyard Riesling ^ This wine comes from one
of Santa Barbara's westernmost vineyards,
a cool, inhospitable site that's hospitable
for riesling. Ryan Stirm makes it in a natural vein, with 48 hours of skin maceration,
native yeasts and no added sulfur. It isn't
so much rich as built up, with a diesel scent
adorning brown sugar and pineapple flavors,
all of it squared off by mild tannins, with the
stuff to cellar. (160 cases) § -P.J.C.
520343

90 | Handley

$26

90 | Trefethen

$26

S PA R K L I N G
520173

91 | Bellangelo

$30

2018 Seneca Lake Gibson Vineyard Sparkling Riesling ^ A tiny production, this sparkling riesling is bright and youthful, bearing
a lean, wheaty scent with a bright citrus bite.
The flavors are creamy, firm and mouthwatering. If you can get some, pour it for truffle
fries. (30 cases) § -P.J.C.

DESSERT
520498

93 | Trefethen

$50

2018 Oak Knoll District Napa Valley Late
Harvest Riesling ^ Clean and zesty, this
wine delivers its generous flavors in layers of apricot, nectarine, litchi, gooseberries and persimmon. All that beautiful fruit
comes together in a luscious texture, as rich
as vanilla custard, the sweetness relieved by
notes of straw and hazelnut. One panelist
remarked that it doesn't taste like riesling,
while another responded, "I don't care what
the grape is. It's delicious." § -J.G.

44

WINE & SPIRITS

JUNE 2020

SENECA LAKE

CAYUGA LAKE

2018 Anderson Valley Riesling ^ This wine's
zingy lime-pith flavors open into richer notes
of apricot and orange blossom with air. Drink
it now for its freshness, or give it a few years
of age to let the supple fruit develop. (300
cases) § -J.G.
520497
2018 Oak Knoll District Napa Valley Dry
Riesling ^ With its orange-water scents and
the clarity and freshness of rain water, this
wine carries its tart fruit with light tension.
It's not a big presence, but what's present is
good, especially if there's Cantonese-style
flounder with ginger and scallions steaming
on the stove. § -J.G.

$17

2018 Cayuga Lake Dry Riesling (Best Buy) ^
Youthful and bright, this smells of apple skin,
grapefruit and bread crumbs. It's generous in
flavor, all lemon gumdrop and apple, with a
biscuity savor and graceful balance. Still very
young, with much promise; pour it for scallop ceviche. (180 cases) § -P.J.C.

520459
520269

95 | Hosmer

$25

2017 Cayuga Lake Limited Release Riesling ^ Julia Hoyle typically makes a tank selection on exceptional lots for Hosmer's Limited Release program, and in 2017, one block
was so pristine she waited to harvest it until
the end of October. The fruit produced just
20 cases of this wine, a rare riesling of exceptional purity. It smells like a spring day in a
fruit orchard, like orange blossom, wheat and
cracked sunflower seeds. And the texture is
textbook Finger Lakes, with an almost synesthetic quality: It gives an impression of
streaming water, of a brook rushing over
stones, slatey and pristine. (20 cases) § -P.J.C.
520270

93 | Hosmer

$17

2018 Cayuga Lake Semi-Dry Riesling (Best
Buy) ^ This is only slightly richer than its dry
counterparts in this issue, with a sweetness
that gets revealed only briefly, like a drop
of honey in a glass of lemonade. The additional sweetness, however, unleashes a kind
of plush, tropical richness to play off its brisk
green-herb notes, creating a sweet-and-sour
tension for lemon pasta. (650 cases) § -P.J.C.

93 | Hermann J. Wiemer

$20

93 | Hermann J. Wiemer

$45

93 | Hermann J. Wiemer

$35

2018 Seneca Lake Dry Riesling (Best Buy) ^
A dry riesling that doesn't feel dry, this is
pungent and tropical, with scents of peach
and orange. Yet it's surprisingly light, with
clean flavors and exquisite balance, satisfying
and elegant. (5,000 cases) § -P.J.C.
520460
2016 Seneca Lake HJW Bio Riesling ^ Bio
is drawn from a small parcel that Fred Merwarth replanted and farms using biodynamic
practices. It's savory and firm, with a smoky
mezcal scent and hints of oil and tar. Concentrated apple flavor fills out the palate, needing time to meld, but the wine is fascinating
in its current state. (70 cases) § -P.J.C.
520461
2018 Seneca Lake Magdalena Vineyard
Riesling ^ This warm site often yields some of
Wiemer's most luxurious rieslings, and this
feels rich at first. Then it immediately gathers
itself with brisk, sneaky acids, the wine's caramel-apple flavors reading as tart and nutty
at once. It's youthful, and will integrate with
time. Lay it down for at least half a year; then
decant it to let it unfurl for pork tenderloin.
(340 cases) § -P.J.C.


http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com https://www.wiemer.com/wines/riesling/ https://shop.hosmerwinery.com/riesling-c6.aspx

Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 3
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover4
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