1/20/2010

Quick Sip: Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve 2007


Hello Friends,

When I seek out Riesling wines, I usually look to the wine producing regions of Germany, France (Alsace), and Washington State to satisfy my sipping needs. In Virginia, there is not a lot of Riesling for the picking, even though it was far more popular twenty years ago than it is today. In my humble opinion, like Pinot Noir, Riesling is a cool climate grape variety that doesn’t generally do well here. It may make a decent overall wine, but the varietal character typically is not there. There are a few exceptions, like the Brad’s Stick Dog Riesling, but the true test is consistency from vintage to vintage. For cooler climate varieties, I look to cooler climate wine producing regions, such as the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The Willamette Valley is one of my top spots for delicious Pinot Noir wines. I have also taken a liking to some Riesling wines coming out of Willamette Valley, even though Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are the areas leading white wines today. That being said, the Willamette Valley produces some very nice Riesling offerings and the Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve 2007 is this weeks quick sip.

Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve 2007

The Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve 2007 displays a lemony-yellow color in the glass. The swirl & sniff offers citrus and tree fruit aromas with a soft hint of minerality. On the sip, the wine is mouth-filling, yet soft on the palate, with bright acidity and lemon and mild grapefruit flavors. The wine ends with a medium length finish with crisp subtle mineral notes. Now for my wine friends who buy this wine because of this review, don’t expect Germany in the glass. While very good, it lacks the stone fruit and elegant charms I have found in some well made German examples. However, the Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve 2007 is nicely done and reflective of the unique soils and climate of the Willamette Valley. If you have not tried an Oregon example, this is a very good start. This wine clocks in at 12.7% alcohol by volume, has a screw top enclosure, and retails for about $20. You can find it online at Wine Library or at the winery’s website. Enjoy this wine with seafood and poultry dishes or on its own. To visit the Chehalem website click here.

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Stay tuned friends ... Quick Sip at Kluge Estate Vineyard & Lovingston Winery!



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