Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thirty Bench 1

Our first and only winery stop this time was at Thirty Bench Wine Makers.

I fell in love, absolutely head over heels, with Thirty Bench the first time I tasted their wines. I last visited in June of this year, and it reaffirmed my belief that they make the greatest rieslings in North America. This is a world-class property, producing outstanding wines, wines that are as complex, fragrant, and ageworthy as some of the greatest rieslings of Europe.

We were late for our appointment - trying to drive through fog as thick as plump swells of cotton candy will make you late for anything. I called in to apologize, and the man on the other end of the phone began our conversation by saying, "Thanks for calling, what can I do to make your day better?"

We were given glasses of their 2007 Wine Maker's Riesling, the estate riesling. An absolute smashing success for an $18 wine, delicate and fruit-forward, mouthwateringly acidic. Beautiful.

Alex showed us the fermenting tanks, we couldn't go outside because the rain was starting to come down. We went through all four "Small Lot" rieslings from the different parcels, and Alex poured me two vintages of their Triangle Vineyard riesling, the top cuvee. Also, I wanted to taste the pinot gris, and Alex was kind enough to pour us all three icewines, two 2007 and one 1996. Excellent!

After going through, I am utterly convinced in the high quality of the rieslings. Pure wines, with great depth and complexity, and forget what anyone tells you - these wines can age forever. Came home with a case. Going to have to tighten the belt come January, but let's salvage 2008 and end the year on a high note. My last winery visit of 2008 was an incredible learning experience, and so was my last wine purchase of the year! Definitely will be going back soon, this property is definitely one to keep your eyes on.

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