2011 Poet's Leap (Long Shadows Vintners) Columbia Valley Riesling

SKU #1108945 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* This shows lively acidity, with ripe but tart fruit and an alcohol leveljust slightly above 12%. The grapes used were sourced from the Benches (German clones) and old vine plantings at Dionysus. It's a lush Poet's Leap, lightly tasting of honey, and loaded with pretty flavors of Meyer lemon, ripe orange, and candied pineapple.  (12/ 2012)

89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale straw-yellow. Pungent aromas of peach, orange zest and ginger, plus a hint of petrol. Brisk and a bit spritzy, with unabsorbed CO2 currently giving the middle palate a slight bitter edge. But this minerally, spicy riesling finishes long, tactile and dry, with noteworthy vibrancy. Should be excellent with Thai cuisine. A tiny percentage of this wine was fermented in a 360-gallon wood oval.  (12/ 2012)

Wine Spectator

 Light and fresh, with a peppery edge to the pretty apple and pear flavors. Lingers gently and enticingly. Drink now.  (11/ 2012)

K&L Notes

San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2012: "This Northwest partnership between industry vet Allen Shoup and Nahe maestro Armin Diel has again found its groove after some stylistic wandering. That talc aspect that signals its high-desert roots (Shoup's own Sonnet vineyard, plus sites like Dionysus and Weinbau), accenting ripe pear, brine and sweet nectarine. The vivacious nature, with just a hint of sugar, shows a benchmark precision for Washington Riesling." From the winery: "Inspired by the greatest wines of Germany and crafted by one of Germany's most highly acclaimed Riesling producers, Armin Diel, proprietor of the renowned Schlossgut Diel. Hand-harvested grapes were gently sorted and whole cluster pressed to avoid imparting bitterness while enhancing clean, crisp character in the finished wine. Expressive aromatics of white peach, sweet jasmine flowers and a hint of flint introduce this vibrant, fresh wine. With its bright acidity, the 2011 Poet's Leap dances on the palate and continues across a long, lively finish, enhanced by a persistent undercurrent of minerality."

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Price: $18.99

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Varietal:

Riesling

- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.