I think we can all agree that the grape best associated with the Finger Lakes region is Riesling. Last week it occurred to me that I’ve been tasting through almost all of the wines from Shaw Vineyard including the LiBella Pinot Grigio, but I’ve never tried the Riesling. In fact, I had only tasted two other Finger Lakes Rieslings - Hermann J. Wiemer and Dr. Konstantin Frank - and both of those, I tasted blind.
So a few nights ago, I got to taste the 2008 Shaw Vineyard Riesling. And much like their other wines that I’ve tasted, it’s nothing short of awesome. It’s straw colored and light, with characteristics of just a hint of citrus, mostly soft orchard fruit notes (peach in particular), floral notes, and cool mineral. There’s some sweetness for sure, but there’s also a nice underlying acidity as we’d expect from a good Riesling, a clean feel, and lovely overall.
Aside from the obvious good quality (and I know I’ve mentioned in other Shaw posts that I appreciate the aging of the Shaw wines before release, just one more thing that sets them apart from lots of other wines) - the wine is clearly expressive of its region. I first noted that in December when I tasted the Shaw Sauvignon Blanc (my first taste of a Finger Lakes wine) and while it definitely has the aromas and flavors of Sauvignon Blanc, it’s different from those of California, France, and New Zealand. The Riesling is equally as expressive of its region - it’s not like a Mosel, Rhein, Alsace, or Washington Riesling. It’s different in texture, the mineral characteristic is unique, and it very clearly tells us it’s from the Finger Lakes.
TA 9 g/l
Aged on the fine lees 3 years
300 cases produced
Shaw Vineyard Seneca Lake property
Grapes harvested late October 2008