Boundary Breaks No.198 Reserve Riesling 2017
A complex nose immediately sets this wine apart. Notes of floral honey and lavender froma small selection of noble rot is layered with aromas of lime zest, navel orange, tart cherries, fresh plums and roasted fennel.
Riesling is one of the world’s most food-friendly wines. ThisReserve Riesling #198 is specifically designed to pair well withspicy Asian or Indian foods. The natural sweetness in the wine cutsthrough the heat and complexity of any heavily-spiced cuisine.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
For all of that, it still has beautiful acidity cutting through the big fruit and sugar, fine balance and an enlivening demeanor. It's softer than the drier wines, but it's pretty delicious too. I wondered how it would do with air and warmth, and it held up just fine. It was arguably better the next day, and the day after that—it should age pretty well. Normally, I prefer the drier styles in the Finger Lakes, but this bargain might just be the best of Boundary Breaks' submissions this issue (it's close, though). Don't drink it too warm.
A focused nose of lime peel, lemongrass and parsley leads to the luscious semisweet palate. Persistent flavors of pineapple and Gala apple are honed by bright shots of lemon-lime acidity. It finishes crisp and clean on a powdered stone note.
Harvested in the first week of November, this is made in a spätlese style, with five grams per liter of residual sugar. Yet it doesn’t come across as sweet, with its sharply focused citrus scent and its clean, elegant textural line, delicate, fresh and mildly phenolic.
The vineyard site is exceptional. There are 70 acres of open farmland that had previously been planted to row crops like corn and soybeans. The soils are characterized as “Cazenovia Silt Loam” which is tested at an optimal pH typical of calcareous soils. These soils are considered ideal for producing complex aromatic white wines.
Increasingly garnering widespread and well-deserved attention, New York ranks third in wine production in the United States (after California and Washington). Divided into six AVAs—the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hudson River, Long Island, Champlain Valley of New York and the Niagara Escarpment, which crosses over into Michigan as well as Ontario, Canada—the state experiences varied climates, but in general summers are warm and humid while winters are very cold and can carry the risk of frost well into the growing season.
The Finger Lakes region has long been responsible for some of the country’s finest Riesling, and is gaining traction with elegant, light-bodied Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Experimentation with cold-hardy European varieties is common, and recent years have seen the successful planting of grapes like Grüner Veltliner and Saperavi (from the Eastern European country of Georgia). Long Island, on the other hand, has a more maritime climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and shares some viticultural characteristics with Bordeaux. Accordingly, the best wines here are made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Niagara Escarpment is responsible for excellent ice wines, usually made from the hybrid variety, Vidal.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.