We consider Riesling a pure and honest grape, which can offer layers of complexity and finesse. It can benefit from aging, neutral oak barrels, or bubbles, but it doesn’t require any of these practices to make a great wine. Sometimes letting the grapes take their own course is the best course of action.
Mission Hill Family Estate 2011 Reserve Riesling ($19.99, missionhillwinery.com) is a well-crafted refreshing wine that is distinctly shows the grape’s personality without all the bells and whistles. Stone fruit, tangerine and melon aromas greet you on the nose, with green apple notes bobbing along just behind. The palate offers flavours of cantaloupe, honey and mineral notes. Racy acidity balances well with hints of residual sugar and a long finish give the mineral notes it’s time to shine.
Winemakers who are lucky enough to receive healthy and clean Riesling grapes often think of one thing: don’t change anything and keep it healthy and clean. The grapes are trying to express where they came from and what they’ve been through, so let them tell their story. Sometimes it’s best not to mess with a good thing.