When I had made the decision to review a Washington state Riesling, the very wine Washington has become known for, I admit, I was very hesitant. I tolerate Riesling around the holidays only because it seems so un-American to not have it around when turkey is in the oven; and my mom has a strong preference towards whites, especially Riesling. So I started this journey last week asking people on Twitter who they would recommend to try, and I got some great responses, a lot of the same labels were mentioned. But then I thought, this blog is not only to help promote Washington wines, but also for my own enjoyment, to tell of my experiences with new wines I try. So I headed down to a local market here in Spokane, Williams Seafood and Wine Market, as I know they have labels one won’t find elsewhere in this town. I was not disappointed, and since I’m already on it: they specialize in Washington wines, and carry very few that are not from our area, as well as carry the vineyards you will not find elsewhere in town (and in some cases, elsewhere beyond the winery itself). Anyway, I hummed and sighed, and walked the aisles countless times before I finally committed to a Riesling by Mercer Estates.
When it comes to summer and hot weather, and lately the country has known hot weather, few things satisfy thirst better than a cold brew or a nice chilled white wine. Today was yet another toasty day, so I had high hopes this Riesling would suffice. Mercer Estates 2010 Riesling out of the Yakima Valley is a crisp straw yellow, maybe even a pale grassy green in color. On the nose are bright peaches, apricots, and what I detect to be honey. These flavors follow through into the palate, where the fruits meet a hints of orange; the apricot reappears in the middle with only a touch of acidity on the tongue. The finish ends slightly sweet and lingers, again with notes of orange. According to the label on the back, Mercer rates this wine to be a dryer Riesling, and I agree, but it is not a Dry Riesling. If you are not familiar, Riesling can come as “Dry”, “Sweet”, “Late Harvest” (often being quite sweet), or just plain “Riesling”, generally being neither sweet nor dry. This one by Mercer Estates does fall nicely in the middle.
So, I’ve given my notes, but how do I feel about it? I’m still not a Riesling fan, and though this wine did not “knock my socks off,” this one is nonetheless, great! I will certainly keep in mind to have this one around, and come the holidays, this will be my new “go to” Riesling for my guests. No more of Riesling X (one whose name shall not be mentioned…. haha! No, I just won’t slam another winery). As I’m not certain how often Williams Seafood & Wine keeps Mercer Estates around, I will make it a point to grab a few more bottles soon. Seattle Wine Awards gave this a “Gold” rating in 2011; Wine Enthusiast rated this wine a “Best Buy”, and I couldn’t agree more! My rating:
Mercer Estates Riesling 2010 (Yakima alley): ★★★★ Great
For those of you from the Spokane area, stop by Williams Seafood & Wine and pick this one up! And take some time to peruse the rest of the wine selection, it is quite lovely! For everyone else, you can find this wine online through Mercer Estates website at http://www.mercerwine.com for only $15. Great wine! Try it today (or perhaps tomorrow, stores are closed now)!
Oh, and for the record – I never got around to making dinner :( But I have actually been able to enjoy this on it’s own. A white wine first??
Have you tried this wine before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!