When we visited the Finger Lakes last spring, our differing preferences arose at nearly every winery stop -- if the winery had more than one riesling. For the most part, I preferred (and prefer) the drier, more minerally styles and she preferred the semi- and off-dry wines. It isn't so much about the sweetness, but she prefers the richer fruit flavors -- the peach, tropical fruit, etc. And we both want riesling with racy acidity.
That brings us to this wine, Heron Hill Winey's 2005 Riesling Reserve ($30). Winemaker Thomas Laszlo is perhaps best known for his ice and ice-style wines, but he also makes a few different table wines from the Finger Lakes region's signature variety, but this is probably my favorite. And Nena's least favorite.
This wine is made from 100% Heron Hill Estate Vineyard-grown fruit from vines that are more than 30 years old. Yields are kept low. The vineyard is also sustainably farmed with herbicides or chemical insecticides strictly avoided. 192 cases were made.
Extremely pale yellow-green in the glass, the nose is driven by intense mineral-slate aromas with just-ripe pear, lemon and lime zest and even a bit of petrol. A surge of slate and minerals greets the palate as well, with more pear and citrus zest flavors. Bone dry and light-to-medium bodied, the mouthfeel is lively with great acidity. It seems like a wine that has many years ahead. I'm glad that I have a couple more bottles in the cellar.
Nena on the other hand, didn't like the intense mineral character here. But that's purely a stylistic preference, this is an under-rated wine from a winery that had a large, and varied portfolio.
We served this wine on Thanksgiving, and I thought it worked extremely well, as quality riesling often does with a wide array of foods.
Producer: Heron Hill Winery
AVA: Finger Lakes
Rating: (3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious)