Eroica Single Berry Select (375ML half bottle) 2005
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Launched in 1999, Eroica is a labor of love for two of the world's great Riesling producers. One from the Old World, Dr. Loosen estate of Germany, and the other from the New World, Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington state. An intermingling of Old and New World philosophies and technique enables the crafting of an extraordinary Riesling from Washington state grapes. Named for Beethoven's Third Symphony, Eroica reflects not only its variety and site, but also its heritage: bold and forward from its Washington roots, elegant and refined from German inspiration.
The first five vintages of Eroica Riesling (1999-2003) were named to Wine Spectator's "Top 100" list.
"I have long believed that a Riesling revival would have to start with a prominent New World winery like Chateau Ste. Michelle."
- Ernst Loosen, Dr. Loosen estate
"Surely this is Horse Heaven!”
Its wide prairies and rolling expanses led an early pioneer to proclaim that the region looked like “horse heaven,” and as a result, the area was appropriately named. Horse Heaven Hills is in south central Washington state, geographically bound on its northern border by the Yakima River and in the south, by the larger Columbia River.
Its proximity to the Columbia River contributes to a variety of climactic factors that dramatically affect its grapes. In particular, an increase in wind from changes in pressure along the river, which flows from the cool and wet Pacific Ocean, inland to Washington’s hot and arid plains, creates 30% more wind than there would be otherwise. These winds moderate temperatures, protect against mold and rot, reduce the risk of early and late season frosts, diminish canopy size and toughen grape skins.
The vineyards bordering the river are on steep, south-facing, well-exposed slopes, with well-drained, sandy-loam soils. But the soils of the appellation are diverse throughout, ranging from wind-blown sand and loess, Missoula Flood sediment, and rocky basalt. Horse Heaven Hills has an arid continental climate with elevations ranging from 200 to 1,800 feet.
The first vines of the appellation were planted in 1972 in an optimal spot now referred to as the Champoux Vineyard. Today it remains the source of some of Washington’s most desirable and expensive Cabernet Sauvignons. In fact, the appellation as a whole boasts many of Washington’s top scoring wines. Its primary grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling.
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.