Friday, November 30, 2012

Heron Hill 2011 Rieslings

Early this month I was able to pick up some of my favorite Heron Hill Rieslings at the New York Harvest Festival in Syracuse.  I brought home a dry, a semi-dry and a semi-sweet. All three are very reasonably priced at $14  The semi-sweet was served at our Thanksgiving dinner as an apertif and the remaining two were opened the following week at home.

One issue I have overcome, over the past three years, is what white wine to serve on Thanksgiving.  Now, it's a no-brainer; a Finger Lakes Riesling is always a hit and this year it was the Heron Hill semi-sweet.  I found lot's of floral aromas with peach, citrus and a little slate.  Nice soft peach flavors with some citrus and hints of honey were very pleasant with a smooth sweet finish.
The semi-sweet tasted much more sweeter than what I thought it would be with only 3.4% Residual Sugar and paired nicely with a tray of mild cheese and crackers.

A week later, at home, I opened the semi-dry with Shirley's Chili, made with ground turkey, diced pepperoncini and spices, dominated by organic chili powder.  As I always do, I poured a glass to sip about 30 minutes before dinner.  Aroma's were all peach with some melon and some honeysuckle and garden floral notes. In the mouth the wine was all peach and honeydew melon with a hint of pineapple leading to a fantastic smooth, balanced and white fruit finish.  Definitely one of the top three 2011 Finger Lake Rieslings tasted to date.  Now, about the pairing!!!  I have always been a proponent of "Drink What You Like."  If the wine is good and the food is good then your pairing is good.  Not this time!  The marriage between Shirley's Chili and Riesling ended in a quick divorce.  Later that night, I finished the bottle and thoroughly enjoyed with a selection of cheeses, including Brie, Cheddar and Stilton with cranberries.   I have one bottle left of the semi-dry and will save that for our next stir fry, which I know this will be a perfect match.

And finally I opened the dry Riesling with homemade quesadillas made with left over turkey and loads of jalapeno peppers then covered with guacamole and a medium hot salsa.  The dry Rieslings have always been my favorite, although I find myself purchasing more sweeter ones now.  I am also finding I enjoy a little more sweetness with peppery dishes like this one with jalapeno or habanero, but I will never shy away with the very versatile dry Riesling.   Tropical fruit aromas like guava and kiwi, with lemon, mineral, a little grass and a tiny bit of tartness.  Green apple, some tropical fruits and a dry citrus flavor were again, fantastic.  Finish was long and tasty with very small hints of slate and not overly dry.  There was a little sweetness that made this wine very delightful.

Heron Hill Winery is nestled into a hill overlooking scenic Keuka Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. For over 35 years the winery has set the highest standards for wine quality, customer satisfaction and tasting room experience. Since its first vintage in 1977, Heron Hill has steadily grown from a small 5,000 case winery that only made white wines into a dynamic 20,000 case production facility and entertainment destination for more than 50,000 people every year.  During the summer months you can dine at their Blue Heron Cafe and enjoy free, live music every Sunday on the terrace from 12:30pm - 4:30pm all summer long. 


PJ said...

Just had a Dr. Frank's dry riesling. Loved it. I will now have to try the Heron Hill after reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

I love that Finger Lakes produces a Riesling/Chardonnay blend. I've always loved it best with chili.