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April 14, 2009

07 Ana Vineyards, Dundee Hills ANA Vineyard Riesling

I'm putting on weight. That's not an observation (I've actually lost 20 pounds over the past year--hurrah), it's a pledge. Because I'm eating an entire sea bass with this wine, and I don't see how I can go another day without saying that again. This is riesling for the chardonnay drinker who hates his friends' chardonnays. A surprisingly lean, austere white from the otherwise Chinese massage parlor hands of Lynn Penner-Ash (whose wines are typically soothing and comforting at first, but tend to tickle you beneath the towel once you close your eyes), it fits more easily onto a shelf of warm-vintage Kabinett (slightly underripe by American standards) from Mosel Germany than anything from the New World. It has just the slightest bit of residual sugar--enough to make the racy lemon egg drop soup and warm-ammonia-inflected stone palate drinkable--but far, far less than what most people expect out of riesling nowadays. Let me be clear--this is in no way whatsoever a sweet wine. The tinge of sugar is more a Mendelian shout out to centuries of rootstock than a flavor itself. The fresh peach notes that take over the finish come to define summer for me, and the wine nerds will also quickly pick up on a whiff of minerally, tarpit aroma that smells half like diesel and half like an open canyon roasted by the August sun. Or maybe a handful of crumbly volcanic soil just damp from the Pacific mist that connects this half of the world to the other.

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