Heron Hill Single Vineyard Series 2013 Dry Rieslings
By Sally Kral
During the 2013 harvest, grape grower and Heron Hill Winery owner John Ingle and winemaker Bernard Cannac decided to experiment with how Rieslings grown on the winery’s five different vineyard lots would differ in taste and profile. After tasting the five samples side-by-side with the rest of the Heron Hill staff, they were struck by the differences and decided to share the experience with us, the lucky consumers.
I decided to take on the bold and brave challenge of comparing these wines and recorded my findings here, as well as some vineyard facts provided by Heron Hill that I found interesting. While all of these Dry Rieslings share some similar flavors, I was struck by the subtle differences in their overall structures, especially considering the grapes were treated nearly the same. What a difference terroir really makes!
Heron Hill Ingle Vineyard Dry Riesling 2013Vineyard location: West side of Canandaigua Lake Soil type: Howard gravelly and Aurora silt loam Harvest date: October 26, 2013 Residual sugar: 0.3%
Tasting notes: Strong green apple aromas give way to vanilla bean. On the palate, flavors of green apple, pear and subtle citrus. A light-bodied, very dry wine with good acid. Mineral flavors of stone and slate on the finish.
Heron Hill Estate Vineyard Dry Riesling 2013Vineyard location: East-facing slope overlooking Keuka Lake Soil type: Volusia silt loam with shale subsoil Harvest date: October 14, 2013 Residual sugar: 0.1%
Tasting notes: While the same green apple aromas as the previous wine are present here, there’s also aromas of stone fruits like peach and apricot. Similarly light bodied and dry with strong minerality and acid, this wine is slightly fruitier with green apple and peach flavors.
Heron Hill Morris Vineyard Dry Riesling 2013Vineyard location: East-facing slope overlooking the west side of Seneca Lake Soil type: Langford with Valois in loam glacial till Harvest date: October 10, 2013 Residual sugar: 0.19%
Tasting notes: The dominating aromas of this wine are citrus fruits, with green apple present as well. Green apple and lemon zest flavors lead to a dry, mineral finish with hints of peach.
Heron Hill Patrician Verona Vineyard Dry Riesling 2013Vineyard location: West side of Cayuga Lake Soil type: Glacially tilled Cazenovia silt loam over shale and slate subsoil Harvest date: October 19, 2013 Residual sugar: 0.3%
Tasting notes: Similar to the previous wines, green apple and citrus flavors dominate the aromas, but there’s also a hint of honey. On the palate, strong green and red apple flavors give way to peach. A very fruity wine. While still certainly dry, this wine is slightly less so than the previous wines.
Heron Hill Hobbit Hollow Farm Dry Riesling 2013Vineyard location: East-facing slope adjacent to Skaneateles Lake Soil type: Honeoye silt loam Harvest date: October 26, 2013 Residual sugar: 1.23%
Tasting notes: Though like the others this wine has aromas of green apple and lemon zest, it also stands most apart from the group in that it has more of a medium-bodied, unctuous mouthfeel with peach and apricot flavors leading to vanilla on the finish. The least dry wine of the group, but still certainly a Dry Riesling with good mineral and acid balance.
Sally Kral is the print and digital managing editor of Edible Finger Lakes as well as a freelance writer focused on national wine, beer and spirits trends.