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David Whiting
Hector, Finger Lakes, NY, USA
Interests: Wine, food, family, friends
Recent Activity
Fun, fun, fun. Picking the 1,3,5,7 8 vintages covers about the entire spectrum of ripeness for the last decade of Finger Lakes Riesling vintages. Would anyone like to share some interesting highlights/insights from their tasting notes?
Tasting this great flight of older Rieslings was certainly a treat. At the risk of sounding like I'm making a shameless plug, I'm posting a link to the menu of a 5 course dinner that Debra is preparing this Friday at Red Newt. The wines will be: 2008 Red Newt "Circle" Riesling 2007 Red Newt Semi Dry Riesling 2006 Red Newt Reserve (dry) Riesling 2006 Tierce Riesling 2005 Tierce Riesling 2004 Tierce Riesling 2003 Red Newt Reserve Dry Riesling 2002 Red Newt Reserve Dry Riesling Should be fun! Thanks!
I'm pleased that my 2008 “Circle” Riesling has generated a bit of conversation. I have to agree with most of the comments above. There are a couple of things that I'd like to take a few words to touch upon. The idea of “sweet” in the context of Riesling is a difficult one. Brandon pointed out that we have adopted the IRF Riesling scale for this Riesling. It falls in the “medium sweet” category. The balance of our 2007 “Semi dry” Riesling is just a bit sweeter (a little less sugar AND a little less acid), and most of our previous vintages, which we referred to as “off-dry” are a bit drier in balance. Producing a wine that is market savvy and approachable in style and price does not necessarily devalue the other wines in my portfolio. I feel that the quality of the wine is there, and by best argument to anyone is to suggest tasting and forming one's own opinion. I think that there is a risk (perhaps one that is showing itself now in some peoples minds) that when one suggests that a wine is a bit sweeter, approachable, and competitively priced, that people may imagine that the wine is in some way substandard. When I produced the first vintage at Red Newt in 1998, one of the six (6) wines that made up the portfolio was a semi-dry blend of Vidal and Cayuga named “Red Newt White”. My goal in creating this blend was to create a wine that had a bit of sweetness that would appeal to the masses while, at the same time, had a crisp backbone of acidity to make the wine approachable for a more seasoned dry wine set. The wine was and is very successful. But in the context of sales outside of a regional market, it shows limitations due to its varietal composition. The Riesling that is the topic of this blog shows a similar chameleon like personality that blends into the palate of both the sweet and dry wine drinker. That's the goal. So, if Finger Lakes Riesling is so good, why are we not selling every drop we can think of making? Well, for a number of years we were, primary to a regional upstate market. But as acreage increases in the Finger Lakes at a rather steep rate, and other regions jump on the Riesling bandwagon (you've seen them from Australia, Chile, Spain...) we producers in the Finger Lakes need to take a proactive stance in marketing our wine both here and in areas outside New York . Evan mentioned some large brands which dominate the North American Riesling market. If we can make a wine as good or better (we can) and sell it for a price that is in the same ballpark, we should have a potential of taking some portion of that market in spite of our minuscule (by comparison) marketing budget. But, with production levels with those brands in the million case range, a small slice of pie will work effectively for our current market needs. So that's the idea. Produce a wine that's really good and appealing in both taste and price. Introduce new consumers to my brand and , by association, to Finger Lakes Riesling. Present that product as an ambassador to create awareness of the full breadth of my brand. Grow Red Newt and the Finger Lakes together. Let's see how it goes.
I thinks its pretty cool
Commented Mar 19, 2009 on No title at Riesling.Rednewt
1 reply