Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brotherhood Dry Riesling 2008

To continue Riesling month here in New York, I wanted to find something other than my favorites from the Finger Lakes region.  Doing so seemed almost impossible.  Other than ordering on line, it is very difficult to find New York wines other than Finger Lakes and Adirondack wineries in the local shops.  Thankfully, my son was able to obtain some from the Hudson Valley through one of the distributors he uses for his lounge.
This past week-end, my pal Mark and I were able to taste two Rieslings from the Brotherhood Winery located in Washingtonville (Hudson Valley) NY on the Shawangunk Wine Trail.  Brotherhood also happens to be America's oldest winery.
In 1810, a French Huguenot emigre named Jean Jacques purchased land in New York's bucolic Hudson Valley and began planting grapes.  By 1837, Mr. Jacques needed more land, so he purchased a plot in the quiet village of Washingtonville, NY, and planted another vineyard.  By 1839, his first underground cellars were dug and Mr. Jacques fermented his first wine vintage.  Those cellars, the oldest and largest in America, are still in use today at Brotherhood Winery.
Enough history. To learn more about the winery, please visit their website at

The two wines we tasted were the 2008 Riesling and the 2008 'dry' Riesling.  Mark was more into the sweeter Riesling.  This was confirmed last July at the Finger Lakes wine fest were we blind tasted four different Rieslings.  He noted the floral and citrus aromas with some tropical fruits and enjoyed the pairing with his Mediterranean flat bread pizza. His wine was just a tad too sweet for my palate, although I am now finding enjoyable semi-sweet wines and gradually accepting sweeter white wines.
I also snacked on the Mediterranean pizza (two cheeses, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives), my favorite item on his menu and always with a red wine.  This time, though, I paired with the 'dry' Riesling.

Winemaker's notes:
Crisp, dry and racy, with grapefruit and pear scents, this Riesling-for-food shows the ripe fruit flavors and slightly mineral qualities of its fine European relatives.

My notes:
Aromas of grapefruit, a light floral scent of honeysuckle with some peach or apricot. Nice dry and fruity with a long finish of slate and citrus.  Surprised the hell out of me at how well the wine paired with my pizza and with a side of dutch fries (french fries covered with a dutch mayo, onions and peanut sauce).

The Brotherhood Rieslings($10), from the Hudson Valley region of New York, are as good as many of my favorite Finger Lakes Rieslings and can be purchased on line or at many shops around the country, if you are lucky enough to live near the ones given on their web site. Now looking forward to 4 day trip to New York City and some Long Island Merlots and some more Hudson Valley wines.


Hampers said...

What a wonderful post, beautifully written. It captures these wines so well.

John said...

I was recently at Brotherhood and picked up two bottles of their dry Riesling after hearing such praise. The first bottle was just plain bad (not spoiled) and assumed that it was just an off bottle, but after popping the second I'm 100& sure this wine just not good. Period.

Their sparking wine, Carpe Diem, on the other hand is very good. My girlfriend and myself had it last night with some cheeses and found it to be excellent.

joeshico said...

That's OK John, if your into the Lambruscos and Asti Spumantis I can understand why a good dry wine would not be to your liking.

John said...

It's not that I didnt like it because I'm into lambruscos and spumantis, just the fact that the wine is just plain bad. In fact, I cant think of a single style of wine that I dont like.