Good to great California rieslings?
- Robert Lauriston Jul 20, 2006 04:17 PM
Picking up an off-topic thread from the Bay Area board ...
Is there any great riesling in California? Even any good dry riesling?
Anderson Valley (Mendocino) makes some excellent gewurtztraminer (Lazy Creek, Navarro, Handley, Husch), but I've never been very impressed with the riesling, with the exception of some Navarro late-harvests.
Thomas Fogarty makes good gewurtztraminer from Ventana / Monterey grapes but no riesling.
Bonny Doon makes some decent but not great riesling, not sure where they get their grapes.
There's some riesling in Santa Barbara but I haven't had it.
The Napa and Sonoma wine regions don't have a good climate for German / Alsatian varietals.
About the only one I've had which *might* match up to European ones is the Navarro Select Late Harvest, which you mention above. Other than that, the drier ones I've had are OK, but not much more than that. That includes Navarro, Trefethen and Eroica (Loosen's operation in Washington). I'm a Riesling nut, and I just can't see the point in buying the domestic product when the imports are so much better and in the same price range.
I haven't tried the Navarro, but the Eroica from Washington is the best west coast dryish riesling I've tried. I second that you'll get a much better wine from Germany for the same price or less. I think the soil has a lot to do with it. Is there slate in California?