2011 Tatomer "Vandenberg" Santa Barbara County Riesling

SKU #1145074 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale gold. Exotic aromas of melon, nectarine and white flowers, with a hint of honey in the background. Silky and penetrating on the palate, offering intense orchard and pit fruit flavors and a hint of Meyer lemon. Fleshy but fresh and energetic, finishing with strong punch, clarity and floral-driven persistence.  (12/ 2013)

90 points Antonio Galloni

 The 2011 Riesling Vandenberg is all about texture. Seamless, round and inviting, the 2011 stands out for its layered fruit. Hints of white flowers, pears and apples linger on the nuanced finish. All the elements fall into place nicely. The 2011 growing season resulted in an October harvest and about 10% botrytised fruit in this site. This is one of the best sets of wines I have tasted from Graham Tatomer. This year the lineup is a little bit broader than usual, which will undoubtedly please fans of this small winery (and that includes me) quite a bit. Pricing remains very fair relative to the quality of what goes into the bottle.  (7/ 2013)

89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Showing a touch more Riesling character, with lychee, mint and green herbs, the 2011 Riesling Vandenberg is medium-bodied, supple and possesses solid purity of fruit and a clean, refreshing style. Sweetly fruited (this cuvee gets some botrytis-affected grapes), it, too, is a supremely delicious effort that’s hard to resist. Drink now-2015. Started in 2008 by Graham Tatomer (assistant winemaker at Brewer-Clifton and boasting an impressive resume working at top estates in California and Austria) with the goal to focus on bone dry Rieslings, this estate is a treasure trove of beautifully made, refreshing whites.  (8/ 2013)

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Price: $22.99

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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:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Sants Inez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, chardonnay and pinot noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8