This is what Canadian wine geeks like me wait for all winter -- the spring release of the Okanagan whites. Ah, and was it ever worth waiting for.
If you love aromatic whites like I do, you need to taste Cedar Creek's Ehrenfelser. It's a wine to die for. Killer tropical fruit bomb nose -- papaya, pineapple, and mango with floral honeysuckle. On the palate, more tropical fruit dominated by tangerine. It's classed as off dry but I don't find it sweet at all. Glorious balance, nice acidity. Heavenly.
Anthony Gismondi, he of the fabulous shoulders, gives this wine a 89. I give it a yum.
The Ehrenfelser was released on May 1. Taylorwood Wines in Vancouver's Yaletown has 3 cases left and there may be more to be found throughout Vancouver, but it's going to be sold out in a month or two, so get yours now.
Category: White Wine Varietal: Riesling Producer: Cono Sur Name: Vision Riesling 'Quiltranam' Vintage: 2007 Country: Chile Region: Bio Bio Valley Appellation: Bio Bio Valley Alcohol Content: 13.5% Price Range: $10
Color & Clarity The Cono Sur Vision Riesling 'Quiltranam' 2007 is a very sharp, golden yellow with slight greenish edges. The overall quality is clear — so clear, that the center can be quite watery.
Nose The aroma of the Cono Sur Riesling is young and fresh, zesty and lemony. It almost tingles in the nose with mineral and citrus scents, but it loses a tremendous amount of this by the next day.
Palate As with the aromas, the taste of the Cono Sur Riesling is characterized by zesty, crisp, citrus flavors — primarily grapefruit, but with some mineral notes at the end. It's not especially complex and might prove to be a little on the sweet side for some but it has a nice, medium body and a moderate, short flavor intensity that works well in a variety of circumstances. It's acid levels work very well — strong enough to make the wine crisp, but not overwhelmingly so. You could sip it alone or pair it with food.
Pairing Cono Sur Vision Riesling with Cheeses
Cheddar Cheese: Cono Sur Riesling is at best mediocre with cheddar.
Swiss Cheese: This is a nasty combination and should be avoided.
Aged Gouda: This Riesling is neutral with aged Gouda — not great, but not horrible.
Pairing Cono Sur Vision Riesling with Meats
Chicken Sausage: The Cono Sur Riesling is good with mild chicken sausage, becoming a bit more sweet without losing its acidity.
Salmon Burger: This is a neutral pairing and I expect that the Cono Sur Riesling would work reasonably well with other fish dishes as well.
Pairing Cono Sur Vision Riesling with Main Dishes
Chicken Versailles: The Cono Sur Riesling becomes more tart and dry when paired with this dish, producing an even more crisp and refreshing finish. This is definitely recommended and other baked or fried chicken dishes would probably work equally well.
Creamy Ranch Dressing: You may not pick a wine just to go with the salad, but it helps if the salad doesn't conflict with the wine. In this case, the Cono Sur Riesling becomes mellow and sweeter when eaten with a salad with ranch dressing. The apple flavors come out more strongly as well, which was surprising.
Salted Rosemary Potatoes: Although the Cono Sur Riesling isn't an inherently complex wine, the salt and rosemary made it taste that way. This pairing is worth having all on its own.
Roast Turkey with Gravy, Stuffing: The Cono Sur Riesling goes reasonably well with turkey — it's not outstanding, but it makes for a decent combination if you want a crisp white wine to go with roast turkey.
Wine graveyards are littered with 89-rated bottles, but some just might deserve a chance to come back from the dead. What is the difference between an 89 and a 90 rating for a bottle of wine? Sales. A reasonably priced 90 rating flies off the shelf. An 89 rating for the same dollars just sits and sits. The 89 Project invites wine writers, reviewers, critics and bloggers to cross-post anything they write about any wine getting an 89 rating. Let us give these red-headed step children of the wine world a second chance to shine brightly with success, or splat down into ignominious failure.