Deemed the birthday of Riesling by Wines of Germany, March 13, 1435 marks the first written evidence of the Riesling grapevine. Rumored to have been popular in the Rheingau region long before this official “birthdate,” Riesling took on new life in the 1980s and 90s as it became rightfully recognized as a stylistically versatile wine that appeals to a wide range of palates.
While its roots may be in Germany, Washington Riesling can more than stand on its own merit. In fact, it’s the largest Riesling producing region in the United States! The reason for its success is simple – the Columbia Valley’s summer temperatures create a full-flavored, elegant wine, while cool evenings bring incredible balance and crisp acidity – the most essential quality of all Riesling styles.
Due to the Columbia Valley’s diversity of rich soils and unique climate, Washington allows for the production of a full range of Riesling styles, including off-dry, dry, and botrytis-affected – all three styles included in limited production in the Long Shadows Vintners portfolio.
2019 Poet’s Leap Riesling
Inspired by the great wines of Germany and winemaker Armin Diel, Long Shadows Vintners winemaker Gilles Nicault continues to craft the 2019 Poet’s Leap in Armin’s style and using his expertise when it comes to vineyard selection, fermentation, and blending to create a lively Riesling with delicious minerality. This wine “does not disappoint,” says International Wine Review, as the nose “expresses aromas of fresh peach, lime zest, ripe honeydew, petrol, and yellow flower blossoms. The palate is just as special…. I cannot wait to taste this wine again in 5 and 10 years.” If you have not yet explored Washington Riesling, we invite you to enjoy a glass of this vintage.
2019 Poet’s Leap Botrytis Riesling
Also known as noble rot, botrytis cinerea is a beneficial mold that grows on ripe wine grapes under specific climatic conditions. Instead of ruining the crop, it produces grapes with incredibly concentrated flavors and sweet, golden juice that can make some of the most complex and rare dessert wines. Only our second production of this wine in the past decade, the 2019 Botrytis Riesling is a multi-layered wine dripping with well-ripened fruit, honey, and marmalade flavors. Rating it 94 points, Washington wine critic Owen Bargreen says, “the palate is very fresh and refined with Golden Delicious apple, sweetened papaya, and white raisin. The length and generous texture really add to the enjoyment as this beautiful new wine will have a long life ahead of it.” Because of its high acidity and residual sugar levels, Riesling has immense aging capabilities. This is a wine you can enjoy today or for many years to come.
2019 Poet’s Leap Dry Riesling
While this current vintage is sold out, we’d be remiss to celebrate Riesling Day without our Poet’s Leap Dry Riesling! This wine truly showcases the complexity and versatility of the Riesling grape. Barrel fermented to full dryness and aged in neutral French oak, this wine fills the glass with aromas of orange blossom and jasmine, complemented by notes of citrus-driven fruits. If you have this wine in your cellar, we can’t think of a better way to usher in the spring season. If you’re not willing to miss out on limited-release wines like this again, our Key Club will make sure you’re taken care of.
Immensely enjoyable as a stand-alone wine, there’s another reason we’re big fans of this varietal in the Pacific Northwest – the food pairings. Riesling is bound to bring fresh flavors to the table, always backed by crisp acidity and a touch of sweetness, making it an extremely food-friendly wine. As the spring sunshine rounds the corner, head out for fresh oysters or spicy Thai and allow the salt and heat flavors to complement any style of Riesling. Cheers!