The way to my heart is through dry Riesling and Gewurtz, and this one certainly turns all my wheels. The icy crispness in the nose lays flat over supple savory fruit and mineral, an almost nutty patina from neutral barrel reduction on magnificent Thompson Seedless and Crenshaw fresh deliciousness edged with weedy briar. Squeezed lime spritz on top and the dusty, lazy roundness this variety exudes so effortlessly firmly anchoring the bouquet.
And then you taste it. At 50°, it is a rock-hard tannic little bish, tight and austere, but the grainy citrus and bitter structure still manage to explode in your mouth. Cradling the glass quickly to 60°, the round, full nature of the fruit and cellar-definition creates a voluminous center-section, but it is still PURE tight young bone-dry Riesling, showing all the things that make this arguably THE most prestigious white variety among the wine 1%. On one hand, there’s a Welch’s white-grape-juice deliciousness to it, but it is a fleeting pattern pressed down quickly mid-palate where the excitement goes far dustier and danker with moldy straw, muddy puddle, and dripping iron faucet splashing rust and barnyard against a shrill stone fall. Petrol plays an important role–both slightly initial in the nose and late-middle-palate–a gritty, greasy, sweaty-brow-wiping sunlight moment true fans of these varieties recognize, cherish, and becomes a near-placemark of enjoyment. And of course a tannic finish where actually the richness of the fruit shines through the most, poking its head out through the holes in the structure, fulfilling and completing it.
It is near-perfect expression, Riesling–and Anderson Valley–represented nicely. Nearly bone-dry–I’m gonna guess .6-.8?–and the ABV confirms this. These are extremely limited-production wines which sell out, and this is easily one of the best dry Rieslings I have tasted from California recently. I would handily put this in a line-up of the top 5 or so in the state. It just pushes ALL the buttons.
2018 TERRAGENA VINEYARD Riesling Wiley Vyd Anderson Valley 13.1