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Howie Hart

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WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Howie Hart » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:31 am

NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

I apologize for taking so long to post this. Although the plans were to do this blind, the absence of Ed Draves, due to stomach flu, left us in a bit of disorganization. In fact, one of Ed's coolers, that were deliverd by his wife, never was opened, resulting in 2 wines that never were put on the table; Freelings Creek from Johnson Estate and Presque Isle (PA). By committee, we decided to just line them up and taste the 24 wines for dry to sweet. We used the AWS 20-point scoring system.

DRY
’04 Tierce – Finger Lakes a concerted effort by 3 wineries, Fox Run, Anthony Road 17
’05 Ravines Finger Lakes 14
’05 Treleaven – Finger Lakes 17
’02 Inniskillen - Ontario 13
’04 Left Foot Charley - Michigan 17
’04 Flat Rock - Ontario 17
’03 Stonechurch - Ontario 17
’04 Hart’s (my home made – bad bottle – Ontario) 0
’04 Ch. Grand Traverse - Michigan 15
’03 Dr. Frank – Finger Lakes 16
’03 Hermann Weimer – Finger Lakes 11

OFF-DRY
’04 Dr. Loosen - Mosel 16
’00 Urziger Wurzgamer Kabinet - Mosel 15
’04 Lovers Leap - Kentucky 13
‘04Turning Point - Kentucky 10
’04 St. Urbans Hof Mosel 15
’04 Koehler-Ruprecht – Germany ({falz), Halbtrochen 16
’05 Hobnob (made by one of the students in the winemaking class I taught) – NY State 14
’04 Firelands – American (Ohio winery) 12
Peninsula Cellars - Michigan 15
’04 Ch. Grand Traverse - Michigan 16

SWEET
’76 Weingut G. Breuer, Auslese Rudesheimer Berg Rottland - Rheingau 19
’04 Ch. Des Charmes Late Harvest 18
’00 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese - Mosel 15

In addition, there was a vertical of Trius Riesling from Hillerbrand Estates, NOTL, Ontario, 1990, 1991 & 1992. The '90 was amber, no fruit - old tasting. The '91 still showed lovely acidity and fruit and maintained its light straw color. The '92 lacked proper acidity ans was starting to resemble to '90.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Ed Draves » Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:12 am

Thanks for the notes Howie, I'd have loved to be there (I was really looking forward to it). I am not familliar with the scale, was the 11 Weimer got an "off bottle" or was it a reflection of the wine in good shape?
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Howie Hart » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:12 am

With the exception of the bottle of my home made, non of the bottles were "off". They all seemed technically sound, as in not corked, oxidized, etc. My recollection is that the Weimer that it had a short finish, weak nose and could have used a bit more acidity. Of course, I'm waiting for the others who attended to chime in, as I'm sure their scores would not be the same as mine.

The AWS scale awards up to the following points:
3 - appearance
6 - Aroma/Bouquet
6 - Taste/Texture
3 - Aftertaste
2 - Overall IMpression

Total Scores are regarded as:
18-20 Extraordinary
15-17 Excellent
12-14 Good
9-11 Commercially acceptable
6-8 Deficient
0-5 Poor or Objectionable

I actually scored 15 of the 24 as Excellent or better.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Victorwine » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:14 am

Hi Ed,
Here is the guide lines for total scores posted on the back of the AWS Wine Evaluation Chart:
18-20 Extraordinary
15-17 Excellent
12-14 Good
9-11 Commercially Acceptable
6-8 Deficient
0-5 Poor and Objectionable
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Randy Buckner » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:45 am

Looks like some of the Eastern dry Rieslings did pretty well....
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Howie Hart » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:59 am

And the one sweet one from Ch. Des Charmes was impressive as well.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Victorwine » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:12 pm

Hi Howie,
You beat me to the submit button!!
Congradulations for a job well done, (from the Photo-Show and reports) seems like everyone had a great time at NiagaraCOOL. Good showing of Riesling, especially from the eastern US.

Salute
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Howie Hart » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:50 pm

Thanks! In spite of the dis-organization (Among other things, I forgot to cook peppers and onions fr the Italian sausage.) it was a lot of fun and a very memorable day.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Paul B. » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:20 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:Looks like some of the Eastern dry Rieslings did pretty well....

Truth be told, I've always thought we do really good dry Riesling in our part of the world. I was also impressed by one of the Kentucky Rieslings, and although it wasn't dry, it still had plenty of definition.

The off-dry Rieslings were sound and representative of their genre, but I have preferred and will always prefer the completely dry ones. That said, I also think the same thing about our Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs, which are made dry with far more regularity than Rieslings are (many wineries seem to make the off-dry versions more regularly than the dry).
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:00 am

Paul B, the Vineland semi-dry Riesling has just arrived in these parts so will give it a taste asap. I am going to taste that Sovereign Opal again on tuesday as we at the Grill have a whole bunch of wines to go through for the new winelists. Tough job but someone has to do it!!
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Carl Eppig » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:34 am

We popped two of the '04 Weimer Semi-dry Rieslings yesterday for our Fathers' Day get together with extended family (only four of us drink wine, so two was enough!). They were lovely giving citrus and green apple on the nose and upfront, with nice complexity, heavy fruit, and sweetness in the middle, with a lingering finish. The sweetness matched perfectly with the chickens we smoked over peach chips. Two glasses from the first bottle showed a little spritz, but the other two glasses didn't. None showed in the second bottle. Both bottles tasted the same and those with the spritz found nothing negative. Great meal.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Howie Hart » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:54 am

Sometimes one has to second guess. In all fairness, the '03 Dry Riesling from Weimer was tasted after 5 consecutive excellent wines (the exception of my home made), so perhaps the 11 I awarded it may have been a bit harsh. The '04 Semi-dry sounds good. I've never used peach wood for smoking - sounds interesting. I usually use apple, as I have an old apple tree in my yard, but sometimes get my hands on some hickory.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by David M. Bueker » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:13 am

Chateau des Charmes seems to be doing some good things. The winemaker was just here Saturday pouring the wines. I did like the Late Harvest Riesling (and Vidal eiswein) quite a bit. The Vineland Riesling was ok. It had an astringent/grassy character to it that actually was reminiscent of Howie's Riesling from last vintage. I guess it must be a terroir thing.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Howie Hart » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:42 am

David M. Bueker wrote:Chateau des Charmes seems to be doing some good things. The winemaker was just here Saturday pouring the wines. I did like the Late Harvest Riesling (and Vidal eiswein) quite a bit. The Vineland Riesling was ok. It had an astringent/grassy character to it that actually was reminiscent of Howie's Riesling from last vintage. I guess it must be a terroir thing.

Was that Paul Bosc, Jr.? I'm not sure if he's the wine maker, but he's the son of the founder and was our host during our visit there for last year's NiagaraCOOL. He also graced us with his presence at the picnic, but had to decline attending this year's, as there was a big tasting event throughout the Niagara Peninsula that weekend. I'm not sure exactly where Vineland is and I'm also not sure where in the Niagara Peninsula the grapes were grown that I used to make my '04 Riesling, but it could be a terroir thing. I believe there are about 4 or 5 distinct growing areas in the Niagara Peninsula.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by OW Holmes » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:30 am

Bob, if you have the 2005 Vineland semi-dry, you are in for a treat. When going to NiagaraCOOL we went thru NOTL, and had dinner at Lake House. I had a by-the-glass Vineland 2004 semi-dry that was good, so we stopped down there to see them. We compared the 04 and the 05, and the 05 is really a nice wine - superior to the 04 by a goodly measure. No notes, and too much riesling consumed after to remember why I was so impressed, but I was.

Howie, I don't think you were unkind to the Weimer. Honestly, it did not stack up well in that crowd. I had purchased a bottle of the 03 Wiemer on our trip thru the FL in 05, and it was disappointing then. Presumably their newer releases are better.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by OW Holmes » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:05 pm

Vineland is pretty far south of the QEW, south even of Kings Highway, and I think right at the escarpment. Quite hilly there. It is SW of Jordan a bit.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by OW Holmes » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:24 pm

Did Robin ever post his notes on NiagaraCOOL? If so, I missed them.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Paul B. » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:26 pm

OW Holmes wrote:Did Robin ever post his notes on NiagaraCOOL? If so, I missed them.

I missed them too, so I guess he didn't ... other than the post with Chef Howie's picture behind the grill.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Robin Garr » Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:26 pm

OW Holmes wrote:Did Robin ever post his notes on NiagaraCOOL? If so, I missed them.


You want notes? I've got your notes right here ...

Uhh ... I've got 'em. The good news is that I took all my notes in the PDA, so I can skip the usual deal-breaking transcription stage. It's still taking a while to block out time to edit the photos and clean up the PDA dump and HTMLize it, though ... I came back home to backed-up work on several fronts. I'll make every effort to get to it this week, though!
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by Dan Smothergill » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:11 pm

I didn't get my ratings to Howie. For the record, I liked the Treleaven best. Full disclosure: I brought it.
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Re: WTN: NiagaraCOOL Riesling Taste-Off – my results

by OW Holmes » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:22 pm

I had it tied at the top with two others, the two Brian Ulbrich wines from old mission peninsula in Michigan. Full disclosure - I brought them. These were, however, the only three rieslings that were completely emptied.
-OW

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