Tantalus Riesling (Canada)

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1) Old Vines Riesling 2008 – Tantalus, 12.1% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C
  • Style: Riesling (picked from vines planted in 1978)
  • Taste Profile: heavy richness -> pineapple/lemon/melon/med acidity -> heavy tang/tart/puckery/sticky finish
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $34 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: no, it doesn’t grab my attention

Tasting notes: Just checked their online ordering availability on their website and everything but their Pinot Noir is sold out! Hmm.. high expectations for this wine. Well then. Pours standard white wine yellow with a few countable bubbles in the glass. Strong pineapple and lemon citrus aromas on the nose.

Attack: strong intensity-high density richness, 3/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: cuts dry, pineapple, lemon/lime, melon, light minerality, medium acidity

Finish: med-heavy tartness, heavy tang, very cloying, medium puckery, thick sticky finish with phlegm build-up

Although there are rave reviews on this wine, it’s not my cup of tea. It’s too dense and aggressive without having the playful brightness I like in Rieslings. I respect the body on it but not really session sippable.

2) Riesling 2010 – Tantalus, 12.2% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B-
  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: dense sugars -> apple/pineapple/lime -> tang/sourness/balanced finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off) , May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to casual wine drinkers: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours a clear very light yellow. Very bright fruity apple/pineapple nose.

Attack: dense sugars that gradually dissipate, 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: apple, pineapple, lime, medium acidity

Finish: light-med cloying, medium tang, medium-light sourness.

Good playfulness, balance and drinkability. I definitely like the Riesling more than the Old Vines.

Mission Hill Riesling 2007 (Canada)

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  • My Rating: D+

Reserve 2007 Riesling – Mission Hill Winery,13.0% ABV – 750ml, (Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada)

On back label:

“This is a rich, plus and refined wine. Subtle notes of white peach and verbena combine gracefully with a hint of nutmeg. Perfect integration and balance are completed with terrific length.”

  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: Fruity acidity -> nasty salty/sour/citrus/peach -> alcohol/salty/rough finish.
  • Where I got it: at the winery
  • How much: ~$19, Summer 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: NO
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: NO

Tasting notes: 2007! and it’s already 2013 so I figure I should drink it. Anyways, pours clear light yellow. Fruity citrus with hints of peach on the nose. Drinks with 6/10-heavy acidity, almost SALTY, medium tang/sourness, transitions into 5/10-sweetness, mild citrus, hints of peach and nutmeg (I guess…), all with alcohol in the background, finishing with that lingering SALTINESS. Man I can’t get past that dense salt-like flavour. Maybe it’s because I’m eating it with chow mein which isn’t all that salty btw. Finish is jagged and not all that clean. Cannot recommend and do not like.

Silkscarf Riesling-Muscat 2009 (Canada)

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Silkscarf Riesling-Muscat 2009, 12% ABV – 750ml, (Summerland, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“The Riesling and the Muscat grapes have been crushed and fermented together to produce a well-unified body. This wine nicely combines the dominant Riesling mineral flavour with the Muscat’s typical honey aroma. Melon and mango notes add a soft finishing trace to the Muscat fruity flavour.”

  • Style: (Riesling-Muscat) White Wine
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile:  bright sweet/tart  -> green apple/pear -> tart/cloying finish.
  • Where I got it: Purchased @Winery
  • How much: $20, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow. Strong pear/apple/white grape. Drinks with a bright dense 7/10-sweetness, med-heavy tartness, medium acidity, sour green apple, pear, stone fruit, finishing med-tart/cloying. Low-med complexity, okay transitions, okay carry, okay drinkability. 1st 1/3rd is okay, gets kinda boring afterward.

La Frenz Riesling 2009 (Canada)

La Frenz Riesling 2009, 11.0% ABV – 750ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

from the La Frenz website:

“This variety should be delicate and elegant in structure which can only be achieved with super gentle fruit handling in the winery. The hallmark of great riesling are flavors of honey, lime, and even green apple: this vintage is loaded with fruit concentration. The palate is just off dry with just enough residual sugar to balance the natural acidity of the variety. This wine was recently compared in style to the great rieslings of Eden Valley, Australia, and given the wine’s track record I tend to agree!”

  • Style: (Vintage) Riesling
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Fruity apple/lime/pear -> sour/tang -> clean med-deep finish.
  • Where I got it: Direct website order
  • How much: $19, Aug 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow wit ha few bubbles hugging the glass. Inviting lime-pear-apple on the nose. Drinks with a straight-forward fruitiness up front, red and green apple, lime, pear, transitioning into medium acidity, 4/10-sweetness, bright tang, med-deep sour, clean finish. Definitely goes down much easier with food to coat the mouth, otherwise the acidity(6)/(sweetness(4) balance is off for me.

8th Generation Old Vines Riesling 2010 (Canada)

Old Vines (25 yr old) Riesling 2010 – 8th Generation Vineyard, 12.8% ABV – 750cl, (Summerland, BC, Canada) (1) Dryness, 325 cases produced.

  • Style: Riesling
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Heavy sugar/denseness -> acidity/pineapple/tangy/sourness -> cloying/alcoholic/rough finish.
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $23 (after 10%), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light-med golden yellow, with surprising trace amounts of bubbles. Drinks with heavy sugars and denseness up front, rich acidity, pineapple, med-high tangy and sourness, 7/10-cloying sweetness transitions into light alcohol detection and some roughness in the finish. Medium complexity, med-high depth, good transitions, good carry, okay drinkability. Heavy at first but it dissipates shortly after.

SpierHead Riesling 2010 (Canada)

Riesling 2010 – SpierHead, 12.2% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

On the back of the bottle:

“Spierhead Winery is located along Spiers Road on the benchlands of south east Kelowna. Our estate grown Riesling was hand harvested on Nov. 15, 2010. Whole cluster pressing resulted in 101 cases of this wine being produced.”

  • Style: (sweet) Riesling
  • My Rating: C-
  • Taste Profile: High acidity/sugars/puckery -> lime/green apple -> tart/cloying finish.
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $25 (after 10%), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to friends: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light golden yellow. A bit of white grape sourness/acidity on the nose. Drinks with high acidity up front, aggressive 8/10-sweetness with cloying sugars, puckeriness, very tangy, notes of lime and green apple, finishing tart and cloying. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, average transitions, okay carry, not that great drinkability.

Lang Farm Reserve Riesling 2008 (Canada)

Farm Reserve Riesling 2008 – Lang Vineyards, 12.5% ABV – 750ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada)

  • Style: (sweet) Riesling
  • My Rating: D+
  • Taste Profile: Extreme sweetness -> red & green apple/pear -> tart/cloying finish
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $22 (after 10%), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light yellow. White table grape and apple/pear on the nose. Extreme sticky 9/10-sweetness, cloying sugars, red apple, tart green apple, white table grape, and a roughish sticky finish. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, awful transitions, okay carry, below average drinkability. High sweetness coupled with med-high tartness and apple flavour makes this wine very unbalanced.

Granite Creek Riesling 2009 (Canada)

Riesling 2009 – Granite Creek Estate Winery, 13.5% ABV -750ml (Tappen, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Riesling is a grape variety originating in the Rhine region of Germany making it a good choice for cool climate growing. Our Riesling is very aromatic and displays flowery, almost perfumed scents as well as high acidity. Lively and crisp with a touch of anise and notes of lychee and pineapple. Enjoy on its own, with light salads, vegetable terrine and Asian foods.”

  • Style: Riesling
  • My Rating: D-
  • Taste Profile: Aggressive acidity/sourness -> anise/lime -> rough tart/sour/tang finish.
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $19 (after 10%), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light yellow with a few bubbles. Pear and lime on the nose. Initial sip is met with very aggressive acidity and sourness, which holds the palate hostage, transitioning into distinct anise, tart lime, and a rough sour/tart/tangy finish. Medium complexity, medium depth, terrible transitions, okay carry, awful drinkability. The only saving grace is the interesting anise flavour, but otherwise this wine is garbage.

Late Harvest Riesling 2009 – Poplar Grove (Penticton, BC, Canada)

Late Harvest Riesling 2009 (discontinued) – Poplar Grove, 9.0% ABV – 375ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

  • Style: (Late Harvest Riesling) Dessert Wine
  • My Rating: A-
  • Taste Profile:
  • Where I got it: Liberty Wines @Granville Island
  • How much: $25, 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear golden yellow. Bright fruity sweet apricot on the nose. Thicker than water viscosity, drinks with 8/10-level sweetness that quickly fades into aromas of apricot, mango, honeysuckle, white table grape, medium sour, tangy, lemon citrus, and a clean finish. Medium-high complexity, medium-high depth, great transitions, good carry, excellent drinkability. Super smooth, only 178 cases produced. Normally only sold to restaurants & wine club members.

Stamp of Australia Riesling Gewurztraminer 2011 (Australia)

Riesling Gewurztraminer 2011 Stamp of Australia – Hardys, 11% ABV – 750ml, (Reynella, Australia)

On the back label:

“This wine is a fresh medium dry style with lively citrus fruit characters. It is ideally suited to Asian cuisine, white meats and antipasto.”

  • Style: White Wine
  • My Rating: $priceless$
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $priceless$, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: n/a
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours clear light yellow. Red apple juice and incoming acidity on the nose. Rated “01” on the sweetness scale, I find perceived sweetness is more like a 4. Flavours of red apple, white grape, green apple, and lime dominate the palate, aggressive tartness and sour acidity flood midpalate to finish. Ends tart, tangy, and slightly sticky cloying. Medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, good carry, decent drinkability.