ScottHarveyWines wrote:I'm one of the founding members and on the board of the International Riesling Foundation. We are a newly formed world wide group of Riesling producers working togehter to promote Riesling. Our website is not up yet, but will be drinkriesling.com. One of the things we are working on is an international taste scale that we can all use on our labels that lets the customer know what sweetnes level the wine is at. There will be four levels, Dry - Medium Dry - Medium Sweet - Sweet. We are still working out the cut off points between the four levels and they are based on a residual sugar to acid ratio. Hopefully, in the future when you are looking for a dry Riesling or a sweet Riesling the standardized scale will get you to the right wine for the occasion you are purchasing it for. This scale is being spaerheaded by Dan Berger. He has a weekly wine news letter that is my favorite of all the news letters. It is called Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences.
Scott, I think that is an excellent idea. I've been a huge fan of good Riesling for a long time. The German classification system works pretty well, but, of course, requires a fairly significant effort to master, so something similar here and generally around the world would be very helpful. 30-40 years ago, California made some pretty decent Riesling, mostly at something like a Kabinett level of residual sugar or a bit drier (think Fred McCrea's Stony Hill, some of the old Wente, etc.) which went amazingly well with Dungeness crab (a favorite California treat).
Living on the East Coast, however, very little good California Riesling is available at anything like competitive prices when compared with very good German and Alsatian Riesling (very different animals, I know).
I passed on this offering based on the various descriptions, including the alcohol levels: the wines may be good, but I can get better QmP Riesling here for less -- perhaps not the best vineyards, but certainly very respectable ones.
I would love to explore some of the drier German Rieslings, perhaps in a more Alsatian style?
BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you on the tour and look forward to visiting with you when I'm next in California (or, if you're in NYC, call me).