Jekel Riesling 2015
Jekel Vineyards finds its roots in the early days of Monterey County’s burgeoning wine industry. Founded in 1972 by pioneering grape grower Bill Jekel, the label was instrumental in establishing Monterey as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1984. The combination of ancient dirt (a result of the vineyards’ location on an ancient alluvial plain) and the unique soil composition (depleted soil, studded with cobblestones) creates a distinctive starting point for the vine.
Today, Jekel is still synonymous with the cool-climate, coastal vineyards of Monterey, where Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes develop their signature depth of flavor and bright acidity. Each sip reflects the extraordinary terroir of this ocean-side region.
A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.
Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.
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.