Jeff’s Corner 10-19-18

Wowser! After commentating last week that it was “a slow news week”, Jeff’s Corner is suddenly cluttered with lots to talk about. We will be releasing five new vintages in the next few weeks, so I’ve got a ton of brutal tasting and typing in my future. In the next few episodes, we’ll check out our 2017 Muscat Canelli, Cabernet Blanc, Cuvee Blanc, and the ’16 Rendezvous.


Today, however, we’ll take a peek at our 2017 Texas Riesling. First, let’s check out a little history of one of the world’s greatest grapes. It dates back at least 500 years, and perhaps as many as 2000. Most likely, Riesling originated in the Rhine River Valley of southwestern Germany, and was documented in Alsace as “Rissling” in 1477.

The full name of the “true German” grape is Johannisberg Riesling, and we should know that there are many ”false Rieslings”. Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are the most common, but we also see wines labeled Franken Riesling, Sylvaner Riesling, Sonoma Riesling, and more. These are not the real thing.

Perhaps my favorite white grape, I always mention during tastings that if bees made wine and not honey, it would be Riesling. This lovely wine should be on that celebrity dancing show; it would win hands down. The fruit for this charmingly delicate wine is from the Texas High Plains, and the residual sugar is consistent with the last two vintages at 2.9%. The ABV is 10.8%.

The color is a bright light yellow/green with a clean, transparent rim. Aromas are ethereal and complex, featuring Granny Smith apples, pineapple, and apricot dancing with floral notes of white carnation and honeysuckle. There is also an intriguing undercurrent of evergreen and minerality that appear as the wine begins to open up.

The palate is very crisp and lively, boasting high acidity juxtaposed with a rich, velvety texture. Fruit, acid, and sugar are so well-integrated; the wine is seamless from the front to back of our palate. The finish is long and lingering, and maintains the excellent balance of this extremely graceful wine.

The incredible versatility of pairing Riesling with food is often overlooked. Dry Rieslings are delightful with rich shellfish entrees, while a semi-sweet wine such as ours is a wonderful match with spicy foods such as a piquant Thai or Vietnamese dish.

We’ll see you next week with another new wine. In the interim, hasta la pasta…