Thursday, April 17, 2014

Claiborne & Churchill 2012 Dry Riesling, Central Coast

Recently I had a moment of truth. I realized the number of white wines in my cellar had been dropping dangerously low.
Anyone can fall into this trap! In general, reds tend to age better and longer. No one is going to buy and hold a $25 bottle of Chardonnay for eight years.
As it turns out, I was participating in a wine “tweet chat” and one of the participants was from Claiborne & Churchill in San Luis Obispo, California. They specialize in Alsatian style whites and are known for their Dry Riesling and Dry Gerwurztraminer.
That’s all it took. Shortly afterward I fired off an order for Riesling, Gerwurztraminer and Pinot Blanc. This is the first I’ve tasted their wine, and I really like it.
The Dry Riesling has nice floral scents and a smooth mouthfeel. The acidity is less than the signature Dry Rieslings from the Finger Lakes. It is a soft wine with round edges and noticeable threads of apricot and pear flavors. There is a barely noticeable 0.8% residual sugar.
Claiborne & Churchill prepares this with care. It is hand harvested and whole-cluster pressed. Ninety percent is tank fermented with 10 percent barrel fermented in neutral French oak. Most of the grapes are from Monterey with 20% coming from Edna Valley.
It’s a small production gem with 645 cases produced. The price is a mere $20. This is a tasteful way to correct your color imbalance!
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