Jeff’s Corner 6-25-22

Howdy, Howdy, Howdy!

Today we are going to take a peek at our lovely new 2021 GCV Riesling and this will wrap up our discussions of the four ’21 off-dry wines in our portfolio.

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked when guests come into our tasting room is whether or not we have “sweet” wines. Well, “sweet” is very subjective, but we can put some definition behind it by talking about residual sugar in wine.

As we know from reading Jeff’s Corner, residual sugar in wine is the number of grams of sugar in a liter of wine. It can also be expressed as a percentage. For example, our sweetest wine (Cab Blanc) is 43 grams per liter, or 4.3% RS.

It gets confusing, however, because we hear phrases like “semi-dry,” “semi-sweet,” and “off-dry,” but they do have definitions based on their residual sugar. Keep in mind these definitions vary based on our source, but let’s go with some that are pretty standard.

Dry wines have very little, and sometimes imperceptible, residual sugars of 4 g/l or less. A wine considered semi-dry ranges from 4-12 g/l, and semi-sweet between 12 g/l up to 45, and wines are considered sweet if they are above 45 g/l. Off-dry has no legal definition, but generally refers to wines that are semi-dry and semi-sweet. All 4 of our “sweet” GCV wines would be considered semi-sweet.

In the United States, it’s difficult to tell how sweet a wine is because it’s rarely included on the label. This is not always the case with old-world wines. In France, a wine might be labeled sec, demi-sec, or doux (dry, off-dry, or sweet). In Spain, they would be seco, semi-seco, or dulce, while in Italy secco, semi-secco, or dolce.

Riesling is one of the world’s great white wine grapes, and ours is one of my favorite GCV wines. One of the main reasons for this is its incredible versatility; it can range from super dry to super sweet. Dry Rieslings are some of the most graceful and elegant wines in the world, while ice wines average around 220 g/l of sugar.

Our 2021 Riesling is a brilliant, pale yellow/straw with an ABV of 11.7%. The off-dry residual sugar is 25.7 grams/liter (2.57%) or about 4.8 grams of sugar in a 6 oz glass. Let’s serve this cold, around 45*.

The nose yields subtle aromas of white cherry, apricot, and nectarine along with hints of nutmeg and lemon curd backed by an intriguing wet-stone minerality. Brisk acidity transitions the sugar to the back of our palate for a clean, well-balanced finish.

Riesling is a wonderful match with cheese, and a semi-sweet Riesling such as ours would be great with semi-hard, medium-aged cheeses such as mild cheddar, Havarti, Jarlsberg, or Monterey Jack.

Cheers, everyone, we’ll see you soon…