Maybe it's because I work in marketing and understand why a winery would want to create of differentiation and exclusivity -- and often charge more for it -- but I often find myself taking a "prove that it matters" stance when I see a wine labeled as a single-vineyard one.
I'm not saying that single-vineyard labeling is the same as "reserve" labeling. I'm just saying I'm skeptical and need to be convinced.
Luckily, I'm convinced more often than not in the Finger Lakes. As Evan wrote about over a year ago, several wineries there are bottling single-vineyard wines these days and most do display the requisite unique character to warrant such designation. The single-vineyard rieslings from Hermann J. Wiemer are no exception -- especially if you taste them side-by-side which I did (look for a review of the HJW Vineyard riesling later in the week).
Complex and classically Finger Lakes on the nose, Hermann J. Wiemer 2008 Magdalena Vineyard Dry Riesling ($36) shows ripe peach aromas with notes of orange blossom, green apple, lime and just a little spring water minerality.
Anything but austere, this wine presents mouth-filling and similarly complex fruit flavors greet the palate -- peach, lime, kiwi and papaya -- with a delicate floral quality and minerality that begins mid-palate and carries through to the end of a long finish.
There is some residual sugar here, but also plenty of well-integrated acidity to bring freshness, balance and focus -- all of which point to an interesting evolution in the bottle over the next 5-10 years.
Producer: Hermann J. Wiemer
AVA: Finger Lakes