So my wife and I invited a couple friends over, and we tasted the off-dry riesling. I had chilled it in the refrigerator during the day, and took it out about 20 minutes before we opened it.
We initially tasted it on its own, without food, and then tried it with cheese and roasted garlic hummus. I later had the final glass with a Thai massuman curry.
In the glass (I think it's a Reidel Vinum Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc, for those who find such things interesting), the wine was the color of pale straw. I though mine was slightly hazy, but the others considered theirs to be clear.
Here I have a confession - I love wine, but I don't smell (anything) as well as most people. For me, the predominant aroma was grapefruit; my wife noted apple and banana notes. One of the other tasters went with "fresh fruit", which would seem to be a safe descriptor of the bouquet; another referred to "tart pineapple".
The first sip included some well-balanced acidity, and a hint of a flavor I think of as mandarin orange -- clearly not a dry wine. Off-dry is a very good description. There is little to no heat, and a medium mouth feel. My wife waxed a bit poetic: "Like a parched valley after the first rain. Reminiscent of young, bitter jackfruit." One of the other tasters described it as "sweet but light and slightly tart with no bitter aftertaste." The finish is quite short.
Overall, the wine was appealing, pleasant, and not particularly complex. In many ways, it's an "in-between" wine. I liked it, but I'll probably enjoy the dry more than the off-dry. My wife prefers sweeter rieslings, and found this barely within her tastes; one of the other tasters dislikes rieslings in general for their sweetness and found this better than average for her because it wasn't that sweet. It's well-balanced, approachable, tasty. I wouldn't kick it out of bed. But it's not an overwhelming bottle of wine either, unless you specifically like the level of sweetness or you want a wine with very little taste of alcohol.
The wine didn't pair that well with smoked gouda, but worked great with the roasted garlic hummus and the curry. It seems to be in good form as a counterpart to sharper, spicier food. It won't be a star, but it will be a very creditable supporting player. I'm quite looking forward to the dry ones.
We took a shot at doing ratings as well. My wife gave it an 86. I gave it 90. Another taster gave it 92.
(So that's my first ever written wine review. How'd I do?)
Rock Hollow sextet (85), Helix three-pack plus one (90), Woot Cellars Humbug (88), Mumm Napa Sparkling trio (90), Montinore Estate Williamette trio (85), Armida Winery Poizin (95), SakeOne Sake quartet (92), C&T Cellars double-duo (88) (Ratings mine)