Semi Tough: Vineland Estates 1998 Semi Dry Riesling is a great example of an affordable Riesling that has the capacity to age
When it comes to collecting, there’s always the age old question: “How long should I hold onto this wine?” Wine lovers are typically concerned about aging red wines. Most feel that white wines, on the other hand, should be purchased and consumed as needed.
We love fresh and fruity whites so much that we forget that they, too, have aging potential. Our patience will be rewarded, especially when it comes to Riesling.
Riesling is ideal for aging because it is a high acid grape varietal and acid is a preservative. This generally allows Rieslings to develop in bottle better than any low acid grapes such as Merlot.
Our favourite grape has another secret weapon. It’s been widely discussed in recent We Heart Riesling posts that Riesling can be made in many different styles, including sweet. Since sugar also acts as a preservative, sweet Rieslings can generally age longer than dry ones, although some high quality, dry examples have been known to age gracefully for more than a century.
Now that you know why Riesling is a great candidate for aging, the next time you shop, grab a couple of bottles, hide them in your cellar and somehow manage to convince yourself to forget that they exist. Odds are good, your future self will thank you.
Worlds Colliding: Vineland Estates 2009 St. Urban Riesling
It wasn’t surprising when Vineland Estates Winery swept the gold medals in both the dry and semi-dry Riesling categories at the recent Ontario Wine Awards. Their world-class Rieslings are created with elements of history and passion. Located on the Beamsville Bench, the St. Urban Vineyard is modelled after the St. Urban-Hof vineyard in Germany and was planted by its founder Hermann Weis.
Today, the winery is true to its roots and produces outstanding Rieslings in the Germanic style, including its flagship wine, Vineland Estates 2009 St. Urban Riesling ($19.95, 038117, vineland.com). With prominent citrus, green apple and mineral notes on the nose, this fresh and lively wine is well-balanced – the key to third-generation winemaker Brian Schmidt’s creations. The puckering mouthfeel is complemented with flavours of pear, peach and lime and has a long finish.
Try it with white fish, chicken or fresh summer salads. Better yet, if you love German Riesling and are gearing up for the Canada Day long weekend, grab a bottle and turn on the Euro Cup and experience the best of both worlds. ANDREA FUJARCZUK