Thursday, December 4, 2008

Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions 2006 Riesling, Washington State

Awhile back when I was looking for deals at BevMo, I wanted to indulge in my craving for dry Riesling. There was a lot there to choose from, but I settled eventually on the Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions 2006 Riesling, Washington State, because the label looked familiar, and I thought this meant I read a good review somewhere and drilled its imagine into my brain so that I would flash on it, a la Chuck, if I happened to come across it somewhere.

Besides my shaky memory, this shelf-talker helped push this bottle into my cart:
"90 PTS, BEST BUY, WINE ENTHUSIAST. The '06 Milbrandt Riesling is off dry with delicate floral and mineral aromas; persistent flavors of white peach; papaya and orange blossoms; exotic and delightful."

From the winery's website:
"Our 2006 Traditions Riesling is a great example of terroir and variety. The textbook floral aromas of orange blossom, apricot and white peaches are well supported by the firm acids and hallmark "Evergreen minerality." The palate is lush but lively, and the finish is long and silky."

Well, I bought the wine for about $11.99, and looked it up online to see if I could find where I saw the review. Turns out it was from Gary Vaynerchuck's Wine Library TV (episode here). He wasn't that impressed with it, saying he got stone fruit, dried apricot and blue stone on the nose, followed by good petrol, acidity in the mouth. "Not that much pizazz," was his overall impression, rating it an 85. "It's like the difference between eating a steak at a run of the mill restaurant, and eating a steak at a steakhouse. They're both steak, but you know what I mean? You can taste the difference, the quality."

Overall I liked it, but not sure if I would buy another bottle. On the nose I got tangerine, and thought it tasted somewhat similar to the orange flavor you might get in a McDonald's orange soda. Kind of syrupy, with a touch of sweetness in the finish.

The winery's website says the grapes come from its 452-acre Evergreen Vineyard, which was planted 1998. The property sits on a bluff above the Columbia River, and has "geologically young" soils on top of ancient volcanic basalt beds. (For the winery's pdf sheet with all the details about this wine, click here).

Riesling has become more popular in the U.S. in recent years, as it has nice aromatics, good acidity and pairs well with lots of foods, especially spicy Asian dishes (the grape comes from Germany, where many variations of the wine are made from dry to sweet). There's a lot of buzz about Washington State Riesling, which is another factor why I purchased this.

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