January 19, 2009

Real Change

As part of our EVOLUTION study, we tasted the 2006 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Lebecca Riesling six months ago and then again presently.

Given the declared point of the exercise was to chart how a wine evolves over time, I'm pleased to report, we're already seeing some noticeable change.

Unlike 6 months prior when the nose was tight and the wine needed quite a bit of air to show, this is immediately open and expressive on the nose. A fresh, sweet mix of clover honey, apple peel and lime pith. In the mouth, it is less obviously linear, but more dense in every direction than before. The honeyed Gravenstein apple and kiwi fruit is backed by a bright, Mandarin acidity. There's still a briny note on the finish, but it's less obvious, and the minerality has been obscured by sweet.

This is even more like Mosel Riesling than before. Blind, I would have bet the farm on Germany as the source. It would seem that some of the wine's prior uniqueness has been buried in a bit of sweet babyfat. It is still exquisitely balanced, but the nuance of secondary elements has been eclipsed by fruit and glycerin (there is a palpable viscosity in the mouthfeel that built in the glass over time).

I am very interested to see how this goes over the next couple bottles, and it's good enough that I'm already formulating excuses for why I won't need to share with the staff. My hope is that the honeyed fruit retreats, that secondary elements emerge to provide layered and site-specific complexity to this already dense and delicious wine.

If you want to play along at home, K&L Wines has a few bottles of the 2006 left.

3 comments:

tony said...

beautifully described.
are you describing change we can believe in? oh hang on, that's tomorrow.

Edward said...

I tried the 07 tonight, and can see what you mean about the sugar and sweetness hiding some of the other elements. I quite like it, but preferred the pinot blanc.

Laboratory Chief said...

Hi Doc,
We haven't got the 07s in the US yet. And I don't think I made any notes when I tasted them with Mike last fall. But I do remember that the Rose Riesling and the Lebecca are made from contiguous vineyards that were watered/pruned/harvested differently. I'll try to get the specifics for a side by side experiment. But just in case you see the Rose and want to run the trial on your own.

cheers,