Our 2018 Dry Riesling is primarily sourced from our oldest planting of Riesling, an especially rocky parcel of the vineyard, located right at the edge of the mesa, affectionately known as Machete Point. These old vines have struggled through the arid climate and ancient river rock to produce a racy, lean, mineral-driven Riesling, with classic notes of lime zest, white peach, and orchard flowers.
This parcel was virtually untended when we purchased the Redstone Vineyard in 2017. Almost all of the topsoil has eroded from this small portion of the mesa, and the old vines are growing in a mass of old river rock. After much rehabilitation, the block is once again thriving.
The fruit we harvested from this area showed a strong mineral profile during the entire winemaking process and seemed the clear choice for our Dry Riesling. The wine is clear and bright, with focused aromas. Sharp flavors of tart peach, lime zest, and white orchard flowers come through with a clean, crisp finish.
The 2018 Dry Riesling was awarded a double gold medal at the 2019 Colorado Governor’s Cup and was featured in The Wall Street Journal as a “Top 20 Wines to Drink for Thanksgiving.”
- Variety - 100% Riesling
- Clone - 9
- AVA - West Elks
- Vineyard - Redstone Vineyard, Machete Point Block
- Harvest Date - October 6, 2018
- Fermentation - temperature-controlled stainless steel
- Aging - stainless steel
- pH - 3.2
- TA - 7.0 g/L
- RS - 4 g/L
- Alcohol - 13.5%
- Production - 170 cases
Behind the Bottle
Our 2018 Dry Riesling has already lived a life in its short time on the market! Both of us have been longtime lovers of Riesling, which is one of the most food-friendly grapes. It is also one of the most misunderstood grapes because so many people think Riesling is always a sweeter style of wine, and they forget it is just a grape, just like any other grape, able to be made in a wide variety of styles – from dry, to off-dry, to sweet, to sparkling.
Riesling is also not like any other grape. It has an amazing natural high level of acidity, which persists as it ripens, unlike most other grapes, where the acid levels tend to drop dramatically at some point during ripening. The fact that it takes so long for the acid levels in Riesling to drop is what has led it to be made in slightly sweeter styles in many cold-climate growing regions. Often, the acidity at harvest is so sharp, that the only way to balance it is to leave residual sugar.
The 2018 vintage allowed us to create a stellar Dry Riesling. The exceptionally hot, sunny days, combined with a longer-than-average growing season, brought the acidity down to a very approachable level for Riesling, while providing a riper fruit profile. Our Dry Riesling is ready to pair alongside an incredibly wide range of dishes – shellfish, charcuterie, salad, chicken, pork, or fried food. The list keeps going.
In June of 2019, we debuted our Dry Riesling at the Telluride Wine Festival to a captive and receptive audience. The extremely positive reception for this wine has continued since then, earning a double gold medal at the 2019 Colorado Governor's Cup wine competition, alongside our off-dry Riesling. Go, #TEAMRIESLING!!
While we've mentioned it before, the backstory behind this wine deserves another visit. The block of vines that form the backbone of our Dry Riesling had not been tended in many years. It is a wonky off-shoot from the rest of our contiguous vineyard, and from an aerial view, it resembles a machete blade. Much of the area resembled a blackberry patch more than it resembled a vineyard, and it took enormous hacking and cutting to uncover what was there, earning this plot the nickname, "Machete Point." The daunting task of pruning and rehabilitating this plot was more than we could handle, and it didn't get finished prior to harvest. This led to less-than-ideal harvest conditions, and much of the day seemed more like foraging than picking grapes.
The harvest day was misty, cold, and cloudy, and we brought in the fruit just before the rains came. Many of our volunteers that day had shell-shocked expressions on their faces throughout the day because of the intensely laborious harvest conditions and the realization of just how large our vineyard is. It was our good friend Mark's first introduction to our vineyard back in 2017 and in an ironic twist, he ended up helping us harvest the same block the following year, which is why this block has a secondary nickname – "Mark's Nightmare."
Thank you, Mark.