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David M. Bueker

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WTN: White Wines Galore (includes 2 excellent Rieslings and 3 hybrids)

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:09 pm

We visited with some friends last night and shared a number of wines. Some were very good, some very odd, and some just plain.

2004 Melville Chardonnay Clone 76 Inox (Santa Rita Hills)
This stainless steel fermented and aged Chardonay continues to be my favorite new world rendition of the grape. Lots of vibrant pear and apple aromas and flavors, juicy acidity and a long fruit filled finish. The 14.9% alcohol does intrude just a bit, but other than that it's a fine wine. Laura even liked this a bit. ($24 at winery)

2003 Simi Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay
Here's a horse of a different color. In fact it's a trojan horse...made of wood. There's some pineapple and melon fruit struggling to get out, but over all it's a pile of newly sawed oak lumber. It even smells like sawdust. Oof. Splinters. Why is this legal? ($18.99)

2005 Hans Wirsching Silvaner Trocken (Franken)
Ah, that's better, no oak. But what's thta bubble gum doing in my wine? Seriously this smelled like bubble gum. There's crisp lemon fruit on the palate, but the bubble gum thing is odd. Refreshing in its own way (especially after the Simi) but too strange to recommend. ($10.99)

2005 Vineland Dry Riesling (Niagra Penninsula)
Very shy nose and a bone dry palate. Was it ever actually there? A ghost of a wine. ($10.99)

2005 Rock Rabbit Sauvignon Blanc (Central Coast)
Grassy and melon infused nose. Similar, but sweet palate impression. Not bad for a cheap quaff. Pretty forgettable, but when it's 90+ degrees out this might just make a good, easy porch wine for the more Sauvignon tolerant. The sweet palate impression worries me a bit more than the fact that it's a Sauvignon Blanc. ($9.99)

2004 Torrey Ridge Winery Seyval Blanc (Finger Lakes)
Indistinct, jumbled fruit. Clipped, short finish. Totally forgettable. ($12.99)

2004 Bellhurst Sweet Cayuga (Seneca Lake)
Really not all that sweet. More like off-dry Cayuga. Fresh and nearly sharp acidity. Peachy to tropical fruit. Very vibrant on the palate (too vibrant for some). Short finish. Not bad. ($15)

2004 Amity Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley)
Basic but also bland Pinot Blanc. The kind that makes me wonder why they bother with this grape in North America. Nothing more notable than a touch of alcoholic heat. ($12.99)

2002 Hermann J. Wiemer Chardonnay (Finger Lakes)
The argument for over-oaking Charodnnay. If you do that it will at least taste like something. This was even more bland than the Amity. The cheap vodka of Chardonnay. (tasteless alcohol) ($16)

2005 Atwater Vidal Blanc (Finger Lakes)
Fruit salad (the canned kind) nose and palate. Just barely off-dry. Short finish. Simple. ($12)

2005 Vineland Semi-Dry Riesling (Niagra Penninsula)
SImple, fruity quaff. Easy to take apple and peach aromas and flavors. Good balance. ($11.99)

2004 Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Klosterlay Riesling Kabinett (Rheingau)
Vibrant, crisp, apple, peach and stone on the nose with a bracing, but balanced acidity on the palate. Long fruit flavored finish. Delicious. And by the way...the 2005 is better. ($14.99)

2001 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Spatlese Ap#14 (Nahe)
A bit premature for this bottle, but the the beginnings of a wonderful future are beginning to show. Smoke, petrol, peach, apple and pear on the nose. More integrated on the palate than the nose, as the fruit and smoke wash over a lush palate with enough acidity to keep it fresh and also totally drinkable. In fact this is one of those wines that is too drinkable. Another two years or so will see this fully in its prime, and then it is going to be stunning. ($17.99)

My favorites of the evening were the Melville, Leitz and WOTN Hexamer. The Bellhurst was pretty good too. Winemaking abomination of the night goes to the Simi.
Last edited by David M. Bueker on Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bill Hooper

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Re: WTN: White Wines Galore (includes 2 excellent Rieslings and 3 hybrids)

by Bill Hooper » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:34 pm

Great post David,

The puzzeler of the bunch was the Wirsching Riesling. I love Franconian Riesling and have visited Hans Wirsching (I think they make better Sylvaner) but your bubble gum description is interesting. I've tasted some uniquely floral rieslings from them, but haven't tried the 2005s yet. Do you attribute the bubble gum to too much fruit? I know a lot of Germans who experiment with isolated yeast strains which might explain those flavors. Wirsching has been making terribly fruity Spatburgunder for a few vintages that tastes like GD Beaujolais Nouveau. Perhaps there's a connection?

Prost!
Bill
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: White Wines Galore (includes 2 excellent Rieslings and 3 hybrids)

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:00 pm

Thanks for the notes/updates. The wines from Vineland have been promoted up here and I am not too impressed as yet. I also tasted the Henry of Pelham Riesling with the agent who used to be a good friend!!!! I seem to have little luck with Ontario rieslings but know there are some good ones out there?
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Dan Smothergill

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Re: WTN: White Wines Galore (includes 2 excellent Rieslings and 3 hybrids)

by Dan Smothergill » Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:06 pm

I'm impressed by the geographical range of this report. Not many go so easily from Santa Rita to Niagara to Germany. I would make a plea to include prices. It's an important consideration for some of us in deciding whether to track down a wine that's been favorably reviewed.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: White Wines Galore (includes 2 excellent Rieslings and 3 hybrids)

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:04 pm

Bill: The Wirsching was a Silvaner. Not being all that experienced with Franconian Silvaner I cannot hazard a guess as to why there was a bubble gum note.

Bob: Agreed. Vineland seems to be pleasant Riesling, but not much else.

Dan: You want prices...I will edit them in.
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James Dietz

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Re: WTN: White Wines Galore (includes 2 excellent Rieslings and 3 hybrids)

by James Dietz » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:04 am

David.. I agree that the Melville Inox is pretty damned good!!! The Estate Chardonnay is not too far behind, either. And with any discounts (like you received), the prices are outstanding. It is because of these wines that I have begun to enjoy, look for, and even buy CA Chardonnay again.
Cheers, Jim
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: White Wines Galore (includes 2 excellent Rieslings and 3 hybrids)

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:14 am

James, you walked into this one!! Can you list some of the readily available CA chards?!!! The ones you might prefer naturally.
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James Dietz

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CA Chards

by James Dietz » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:25 am

At the risk of being skewered for not remembering someone's favorite Chard.. besides the Melville, which is pretty widely available (and if not, try their website), I have liked

Arcadian 2000 and 2001 Sleepy Hollow (yes. .these are older, but they taste amazingly fresh)

Miner Family

Novy


There may be some I'm forgetting, but these I have liked for their great crispness, nice acidity and absence of dominating oak flavors.
Cheers, Jim
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David M. Bueker

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Re: CA Chards

by David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:15 am

While I really like the Melville Inox, I don't much care for the estate Chard. I'm just not a fan of wood in my white wine. Even a little tends to bother me most of the time, and I found the 2 vintages of the Melville Estate I tried to have too much for my taste.
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Simi Chard

by wrcstl » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:52 am

David,
Someone pooured me a glass of Simi Chard a few weeks ago and I couldn't finish it. It is about as bad as it gets. If that is what white wine is supposed to taste like I would be drinking scotch
Walt
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Simi Chard

by David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:56 am

wrcstl wrote:David,
Someone pooured me a glass of Simi Chard a few weeks ago and I couldn't finish it. It is about as bad as it gets. If that is what white wine is supposed to taste like I would be drinking scotch
Walt


Neither Laura or I could drink it. My two sips literally did taste like sawdust. Blech.
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Re: Simi Chard

by James Dietz » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:46 pm

ditto on the Simi
Cheers, Jim

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