For our upcoming March/April 2015 issue’s Wines of the Season column, we asked local winemakers to send us wines that fit into the category of light, fresh varietals that they’re excited about for spring. Hosted at Coltivare in Downtown Ithaca, the EFL staff and a number of other wine professionals and enthusiasts tasted the submitted wines. Below is one of the wines that made our final list of favorites. For the full list, be sure to pick up a copy of the issue!
Wagner Vineyards 2012 Dry Riesling Caywood East Vineyard
By Nicholas Baldwin
The Caywood East Vineyard site at Wagner is steep, comprised of gravel soil, and as of 2005, it has been entirely replanted with Riesling grapes. It is no surprise this single vineyard 2012 Dry Riesling has won multiple gold medals and was voted Best Dry Riesling at the Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge.
Wagner produced just over 1,000 cases of this Riesling. It has a pale lemon colored hue and perfumes of Meyer lemon, vanilla bean, honeysuckle, tangerine peel and white peach, with subtle flinty mineral undertones. Upon the first sip, the high acidity attacks the palate from the sides, yet finishes pleasantly smooth. It only has 0.5-percent residual sugar left after fermentation, but that is just enough to keep this wine in perfect balance while remaining delicate to the palate.
This first single vineyard release from Wagner shows off their versatility with Riesling. Their Caywood East Vineyard Dry Riesling will pair nicely with fresh local goat cheeses, heirloom tomato soup, vegetarian dishes, and light poultry and seafood dishes. For sale under $20 a bottle, this is a must try Finger Lakes Riesling. Add this to your collection and watch it evolve beautifully over the next 10-12 years.
Nicholas Baldwin has worked in the wine and spirits business for more than 12 years and traveled the world visiting vineyards. He holds numerous wine certifications.