Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Half Full Glass – December 27th, 2012

Hermann Wiemer 2010 Magdalena Dry Riesling

The team at Hermann J. Wiemer in the Finger Lakes are producers of world class wines. I’ve visited them twice, tasted the wines several times so I know this first hand. There isn’t anything I’ve had from them that didn't make me reflect on how lucky I am to be able to enjoy their products.

Earlier this year I placed an order (a refill if you will) that included several bottles of the 2010 Magdalena Dry Riesling. I had seen a recommendation for it from Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report. The description of it made me think of wine at a whole other level than I knew from the producer, and I knew I must try it for myself. Soon after the wine arrived, and I immediately forgot about it. I was reminded of it by Lenn again this week, but this time I opened one.

This wine is an impeccable example of what top notch Riesling tastes like. It is labeled as dry, and I maintain that it is, but it is the most luscious and textural domestic dry Riesling that I have ever had. The nose is captivating, pushing forth both fruit and mineral components. Everything after the first sniff builds even higher. The body of the wine almost feels like a light syrup and the flavors of citrus, pear, peach and accessible and refined. I could say many more good things about this wine, but I believe I've said enough to convey my fondness for it.

Ancient Fire Spiced Wine

I’ll admit up front that I haven’t consumed much of this homemade batch of wine yet. I should also disclose that is a second wine, one made from fresh grape leftovers, and that is was infused with spices and orange. Some of you might be asking yourself “why would he do this?” Because I can. The grapes were softly pressed and still minimally viable, so I decided not to throw out what I could use. I modeled the result after Swedish Glogg or German Gluwhein, except that I put everything needed to serve it in the bottle, obviating the need for the mulling process.

Warming it before service is my suggested method, and depending on how much of the added sweetness was retained, a little bit more may be added. The base of the wine is Concord grapes and it is very purple in color. The spices, allspice, cinnamon and clove, as well as the orange are present in the nose. The wine trends quite tart, although the sweetness in the middle to finish should mitigate the perception of the tartness. The final blend did also include some dry table wine to bring the body up a bit. I used some homemade Malbec and Tempranillo from 2010 to achieve this.

A simple wine with a punch-like character, it should do nicely as a winter warmer with no strings attached. I don’t plan on any serious consideration of it, and if you are lucky enough to try some, I don’t expect you to give it a formal tasting either.



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