Forge Cellars, Riesling, Finger Lakes AVA, New York, USA 2013
The Finger Lakes are fresh water lakes, 200-600m deep, carved out by glaciers when they dominated this landscape. They filled with water trapped by the terminal moraines left on glacial retreat. The lakes act as heat sinks, moderating extremes of winter and summer temperatures – in winter, relatively warm air rises from them, creating a temperature gradient that drains away cold air from the vineyards on elevated surrounding land, then in spring they cool the warming vineyard, holding back bud burst until frost risk is passed, and in the autumn slow ripening and deter early frosts. The soils are clay rich over shale, which can lead, if weather is particularly wet, to excessive vegetative growth, requiring extra work in the vineyard.
The vineyards are invariably located close to the lake sides, to benefit from temperature moderation, with plantings dominated by far by riesling, followed by chardonnay, cabernet franc, pinot noir, gewurztraminer and pinot gris.
This wine: varietal riesling, wax over-capped natural cork closure, 12.5% abv, Gauntleys £19.50 (2016)
Consumer tasting note: strident limy and lemony citrus on the nose, with some apple and honeyed complexity, fresh acidity following into a similar palate, with a fresh long length.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity gold, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of lemon juice, lime, edge of petrol, crisp cooking apple, grapefruit zest, with a touch of softer honey in there somewhere.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, smooth texture with the slightest grip, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of lime, touch of petrol, lemon juice, citrus zest, and hints of gorse flower (delicate coconut-like) and hay. Easily a long length with a clean limy citrus lightly grippy finish, with a slight bitterness on the end.
Quality: a very good quality wine, fresh acidity in tune with flavour intensity and alcohol, decent but not outstanding flavour concentration, some complexity with a hint of tertiary petrol, still, a very good length.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: can drink now, has potential for ageing – there is a good acid backbone and decent flavour concentration showing in the length, plus embryonic tertiary development, so I would give this another 2-3 years in cellar to develop to its peak.