2019 Maidenstoen "Wirz Vineyard" Cienega Valley Riesling

SKU #1498696 94 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark From vines planted in 1964, making them the second oldest Riesling in California, this is a revelatory wine. Tense aromas of lime skin, underripe melon, wet gravel, blossoms and fresh grass lead into an extremely textural and tightly wound sip. Flavors of lime peel, mandarin, lemon bar and melon prove both complex yet approachable. *Editors’ Choice* (MK) Inner quote mark (9/2020)

K&L Notes

Maidenstoen was founded in 2013 by Mike Callahan. His goal is to focus on high quality Riesling and Gruner Veltliner being grown from unique and extreme sites in California. If you want to taste “wines of place” in California, then the gravitas and history of this vineyard-site will not disappoint. In his own words, "I strive to produce delicious wines that are accessible while having the longevity to age." He works with family-owned vineyards that exist because of pioneering Californians. Most notable is the Wirz Riesling Vineyard located just east of the Gabilan Mountain range. Established in 1964, the Wirz vineyard was furrow irrigated until adequately established and dry-farmed ever since. The Wirz vineyard has been listed as a "historic" vineyard and is one of the truly great Riesling vineyards on the Central Coast.

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Price: $19.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/27/2021 | Send Email
Riesling was the first white varietal I truly fell in love with, and while I don't drink it as much as I use to in the beginning stages of my wine career, I always like to have another one from time to time, it really all depends on what I'm eating. I bought a couple bottles of Maidenstoen to pair with Pho and Spring rolls for the Holiday Party I threw with my girlfriend recently, and it was a big hit with the guests. The Wirz Vineyard Riesling is dry, bright, and balanced with nice and zippy acidity, and it was a true standout among the guests we had over. And for the price you really can't go wrong with this outstanding single vineyard riesling.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/29/2021 | Send Email
This dry, Austrian-styled Riesling is history in a glass. The fruit is sourced from one of California's most historic vineyards. The old-vine Wirz vineyard was planted in the 1960s in the Gabilan Mountains in the Cienega Valley AVA. Granite and limestone are the dominant geologic influences here, and Riesling loves granite and limestone. These old, gnarly vines ripen late and yield a mere 1 ton per acre. The result is a Riesling good enough to make a German blush. To repeat, this is a dry style Riesling that asserts itself with confidence and poise. There's plenty of energy under the hood here. The nose offers up a whiff of passion fruit followed by zesty citrus, dried apple, and honeysuckle. It's medium bodied with plenty of tangy fruit components. This is a super wine at this price point. I'm really impressed with Mike's efforts, and I hope others follow in his footsteps. Here's to a homegrown pioneer.

By: Shelby Griffiths | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/23/2021 | Send Email
When I see "Wirz Vineyard" on a bottle, I know I am in for something special. This historic, old-vine vineyard planted on the San Andres fault produces fruit with as much power and energy as the clashing tectonic plates beneath it. A perfect match for Riesling, which is winemaker Mike Callahan's passion. This Riesling is dry and full of verve, packed with notes of bright citrus, tropical tree fruit, white blossom, and layered with a complex, stony minerality that lingers on the palate. The Wirz vineyard is a California gem that Mike, with his attention to detail for Riesling, has made shine in this bottling, an incredible value for a taste of homegrown history.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/23/2021 | Send Email
In a prior life as a cellar rat at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, I worked with Maidenstoen winemaker/proprietor, Mike Callahan. Mike was always super inquisitive about the variety of wines in the world, and though we specialized heavily in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at Testarossa, it was clear that his interests lay with more esoteric or "fringe" varietals. However, few folks are bold enough to follow their passions and create an entire brand around single-vineyard, California Rieslings! But Mike did just that, and the results are astounding! All the wines in his quiver are excellent, but for me the Wirz Riesling had that little something extra. Who knows whether that extra je ne sais quoi comes from the old vines or the farming expertise of grower Pat Wirz? Either way, this vineyard is something truly special. The wine has both power and depth while never losing the fresh, zippy, vibrant component I love so much. The wine really conveys the site's rocky limestone and granite soils through persistent minerality on the finish. Wonderful balance and finesse. You'd have to look long and hard to find better domestic Riesling, and this gives many from all over the planet a run for their money, too.
Top Value!

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