January 15, 2009

Evolution 2.0: Riesling Redux

Hard to believe six months have passed since we began our highly ambitious, long-term research programme (I prefer the pretentiousness of the British spelling) into the EVOLUTION of an individual wine. Regular readers will remember we set out to drink a single wine -- a white and a red -- every six months for a case's duration.

Back in July, we had the first bottle from our case of white, a 2006 Lebecca Riesling from Pyramid Valley Vineyards. It was a spatlese-style Riesling (pre-global warming) with honeyed, green apple fruit and laced with a salty minerality. The full notes are available here.

A brief and furious controversy erupted over whether it was appropriate to lay down a New World Riesling. A reader commented: "I don't know of anyone intentionally ageing NZ riesling in their cellars (German and Austrian are by far the two choices)."

At the Lab we remain true to the original definition of "maverick" (the new definition seems to involve panic, bad decision-making and humiliating loss, so we are definitely referring to the old definition), and we plan to solider on, see what happens when we intentionally age New Zealand Riesling.

Cause we're crazy.

Results from evolution white # 2 up next.


Jules said...

You guys are totally not crazy - as a kiwi I have been ageing kiwi Riesling both intentionally and unintentionally for some time now. They do so age and some just as well as their French, German and Austrian sisters. The Lebecca (although as it is one of the first PV wines only time will tell) is a great example, as are the wines of Felton Road, Pegasus Bay (I had a 98 in early December and it was stunning), Neudorf and Fromm.

Head of Lab said...

Thanks Jules! Appreciate the vote for sanity (no matter how ill deserved). I also have a few old Fromm's stashed away. I've never seen a Riesling from Tim Neudorf stateside. The pinots are rare enough as it is. Something to look for on my next trip down. Cheers.

Ron McFarland said...

I think you find that you will wish you had a couple of cases for down the road to enjoy.

Would like to share your findings with my readers too.

I have a few older cases of mixed New Zealand wines and planning a tasting via my distributors in the near future, will keep you posted.

Ron McFarland

Head of Lab said...

I won't argue that I'll pine for more. And by all means, share away.

We'll look forward to your report.