Monday, January 21, 2019

Riesling From CA's Central Coast

Oh, how I love a Riesling with that petrol emotion.  The smell that reminds me of swimming near the flat-bottom boat with the Evinrude on the stern, dripping oil and gasoline into the water.  It's not environmentally sound, but it's from my teenage years on a lake in east Texas and I'm sorry about the water, but I loved that smell. 

Francis Cutruzzola and his partner Lisa Miller were longtime Sonoma County residents who merely visited the Paso Robles area - a lot.  One visit turned into a stay when they bought a vineyard outside of Cambria, where they grow two acres of Riesling grapes and five of Pinot Noir.

They work there with winemaker Stephen Dooley, who in 2019 will mark his tenth year on job.  My wife and I also like visiting the little town, and early on we were confused by the different pronunciations it received, with both a short and long "a" sound.  We gradually settled on the short.

Dooley is a U.C. Davis graduate who, the website says, has worked "the Napa Valley, the Australian outback, and the South African Cape."  His personal winemaking style has been shaped by those experiences.

Petrol.  This 2015 San Luis Obispo County Riesling from the Riven Rock Vineyard has that smell in spades, the smell that I long for in every Riesling I try.  It's so strong it's on the palate, too. There's also a wallop of wet driveway here, and even a hint of gin & tonic.  A nice acidity helps the wine be food-friendly, a natural for Riesling, anyway.

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