Monday, January 19, 2015

Finger Lakes Dry Riesling: Knapp Winery

The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance recently celebrated the launch of the 2013 vintage of Finger Lakes Rieslings with a virtual tasting event on Twitter.  This was shortly before the state of New York was announced as a certain wine publication's recipient of their Wine Region of the Year award.  The state is understandably proud of the Rieslings of the Finger Lakes - the calling-card wine of the area - but they also make some extremely interesting reds, a mean sparkling wine and some pretty heavenly dessert wines there.  Let's get our eyes back on the Riesling, now.  This one is from Knapp Winery and Vineyard.

Close to Seneca Falls and easily accessible from "the New York State Thru-Way, man" - as Arlo Guthrie might say when properly motivated while visiting upstate New York - Knapp makes a Riesling that I have been tasted on for several vintages now, and it always impresses.

There is no reason why it should not.  Knapp Winemaker Steve DiFransesco has brought in 33 harvests in the FLX.  Vineyard manager Chris King has 15 years experience among the vines.  They work together well to produce a good bottle of wine each year.  It's what they do.  Knapp has grown Riesling grapes since 1983.

For the 2013 Dry Riesling, the crushed grapes remain in contact with the skins overnight to enrich the aromas.  The alcohol content is only 12% abv and 302 cases were produced.  Hitting just over one percent residual sugar, it clocks in on the Riesling Scale at "dry."

During the virtual tasting event on Twitter, @WineHarlots tweeted that “The Knapp Winery Dry Riesling 2013 is exquisite. Subtle and nuanced, it is wine that whispers instead of screams.”  And so, lean in a little closer - let me tell you what I think in as quiet a voice as I can manage.

The golden straw tint is fairly light, while the nose is not so shy.  Crisp peach, apricot and nectarine aromas are up front, with notes of flowers, then lemon, then minerals appearing in descending order.  There is almost none of the distinct earthy quality I have noticed in other Knapp Rieslings, but the fruit plays its lead role well.  On the palate, the lemon aspect comes in larger than on the nose.  It's not a zestiness, but a sweet lemon flavor that takes the spotlight.  It is dry, as advertised on the label, and the acidity is better than moderate.  It's one of the more sippable Rieslings I have had in a while - but it fares well in pairing with lighter dishes.  I had mine with a Thai curry that was somewhat spicy and it fit just fine.

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