Poet's Leap Riesling 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Poet’s Leap Riesling is fermented off-dry, offering flavors of freshly peeled grapefruit, appealing minerality and hints of ripe pear. Bright acidity gives the wine its vibrancy, and a clean underlying touch of sweetness contributes to its engaging finish. Each vintage of Poet’s Leap uses small lots of hand-harvested grapes that are carefully sorted, whole cluster pressed and then fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks to capture the grapes’ bright fruit character.
Armin Diel selects his Riesling from a dramatic block of German clones in Long Shadows’ Sonnet Vineyard, part of The Benches at Wallula. Diel also works with a 1972 planting at Dionysus Vineyard and fruit from the Yakima Valley to enhance the final blend.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.