As a resident of the great state of New York resident, I have at least somewhat ready access to a plethora of great local Rieslings. German -- particularly those from the Mosel -- are
my absolute favorites, but the Finger Lakes region is
responsible for what I consider to be the best bottles this side of the
Truth be told, vinifera grapes shouldn't succeed in central New York. But, the narrow, deep Finger Lakes gather and hold enough heat in the summer to stretch the growing season into the fall and stave off early frosts.
As anyone who has ever visited the Finger Lakes knows, quality varies greatly from producer to producer. You might have to taste five or ten sweet, one-dimensional Rieslings before getting to one like this 2005 Dry Riesling from Sheldrake Point .
A light yellow in the glass with a subtle greenish tint, the nose is fresh with ripe, crisp apple and lemon zest aromas accented by brown spice notes. Balance is the key to any great Riesling and winemaker Dave Breeden achieves that here.
This is a dry, light, clean wine with citrus flavors up front that turn to green apple and pears on the finish with just a little mineral quality. Fresh, palate-cleansing acidity balances the substantial fruit flavor here. Very well done and a great choice with anything from Thanksgiving turkey to Chinese takeout to Mexican food (a new favorite pairing).