The first flight of Dry Rieslings included two from the Finger Lakes: a 2007 Lakewood Vineyards Dry Riesling, and a 2007 Ravines Wine Celler Dry Riesling Argetsinger Vineyards. The foreign Rieslings included a 2007 Lucien Albrecht Riesling from Alsace, France, and a 2007 Schloss Golbelsberg â€śGobelsburgerâ€ť Riesling from Langenlois, Austria. Of this flight, I favored the Lakewood Vineyards and found all four good examples of the dry style.
The second flight was Medium Rieslings and included two from the Finger Lakes, including a 2007 Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars Dry Riesling, and a 2007 Atwater Estate Vineyards Dry Riesling. The foreign Riesling was a 2006 Georg Breuer â€śCharmâ€ť Riesling from Germanyâ€™s Rheingau region. I liked all wines and thought the Breuer, which was the driest, quite extraordinary.
The last grouping was Medium Sweet Rieslings, and included two Finger Lakes wines, the 2007 Hosmer winery Vintners Reserve, and the 2008 Chateau Fayette Reneau Semi Dry Riesling, along with a Washington State Riesling (Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen â€śEroicaâ€ť Riesling from the Columbia Valley). All were great examples of this type, yet I preferred the Hosmer Winery.
All in all, this was an incredible demonstration of the diversity of Rieslings around the world, and the introduction to a potential worldwide classification system. Science and chemistry, specifically the relationship between acid and sugar, is very much the foundation of this classification system.
In the course of the presentation, many participants were asked to identify the driest of the sweet category, or the sweetest of the dry category. Many participants also vocalized that some of the wines labeled â€śmedium sweetâ€ť could pass as dry, and vice versa. These particular â€śborderlineâ€ť wines were revealed to also be borderline in terms of the acid/sugar level as well, which would have kicked them up or down in classification if they had less or more than a percentage of a gram of sugar.
Will Riesling-producing countries ever agree on a sugar level? The answer remains to be seen, yet kudos to the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, the International Riesling Foundation, and Mary Ewing-Mulligan for creating such a fascinating presentation and potential answer to a century-old dilemma.