It is late. I am exhausted and this is a labrat report.
Labrat Report: 2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch
I have started this four times. I need to drink more to properly lubricate the free flowing nonsense that I am known for. (that and ending sentences with prepositions) I can’t drink though because I have to go in front of my board tomorrow and tell 3 of them they’re out of a job at the next election cycle. Whatever, so here I sit, sober and sad. Sad because there’s half a bottle of wine left that I can’t drink. It only clocks in at 12.4% so I could drink the whole thing and start a bottle of something else, but I won’t.
Things that instantly draw me to the winery before I even taste it. The Yelp reviews paint it as this wonderfully beautiful place with great wines and extremely cool people. Can’t go wrong there. Also, this wine comes from Cole Ranch which is the smallest AVA in the US, clocking in at just 189 acres. Very cool, makes this special cause there’s not much to go around. My dad’s farm is 200 acres over in Iowa. It’s a very small farm; it’s larger than this whole AVA. I’m routinely on 1000+ acre Ranches and farms in Nebraska. Not many of them are as tasty as these 189 acres. If I’m ever in the area I’m doing a tasting. Fair warning Sterling Family! Also, you need to watch this video about them, very cool family.
2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch
Color: Really pale yellow. Paler than I had initially thought, but it’s pretty enough.
Nose: Word of Caution, this is allergy skewed. It’s not a powerful nose. Very subtle, does not leap up and smack you in the face. I like that. A lot of times all I can smell is the alcohol, in this I’m not hit with that at all. There’s honey and apple, which for me is always present in a Riesling. I’m getting a little limestone….actually it’s more like the reaction of Limestone and HCL that I’m getting. I love that smell. I have an elderberry bush in the backyard. Pain in the ass to maintain but it kicks Lilacs ass for fragrance and the flowers last longer, plus you can make awesome jam and pies with the elderberries (wine, not so much, though Elderberry hooch is responsible for me not remembering much of my wedding reception) Anyway, this has that smell. That honeysuckle on roids that is all elderberry. As it warms, the nose is becoming more prominent. No Petrol here, that’s surprising to me. I keep going back to it. I like it a lot.
Drinky: Ok, so I pulled this out of the fridge and let it warm up half an hour. Served right around 63 degrees. I think that was too cold, my initial reaction was, well, this doesn’t taste like much. Ten minutes in the glass though and it has flavor, which is kind of the whole point.
Very very smooth. Because the alcohol is low it just flows over the tongue with zero heat. As it warms up it gets more viscous, which is my fav thing about Riesling. There’s honey, tart apple (granny smith maybe) other stuff I can’t place. Very good, but again, not all in your face. Absolutely subdued, not as acidic as I would have thought (this will play a role later). It’s a dry Riesling and it is that. It has a residual sweetness, which Scott tells us is due to RS and Acidity being in balance (I think, I tend to forget things). It is sweet in a pleasant way, not cloying at all. There’s a lingering finish, completely pleasant. Makes you want another sip, then another, and another, then your glass is gone and you can’t drink more because you can’t be hung over for work. Damnit. I like this wine if you can’t tell.
Food I screwed this up. Online it said Riesling and any spicy food, goes well with Mexican. So I got Mexican, when my instinct said Thai. To be honest, this wouldn’t have stood up to Thai any better than it did the Mexican. This is what I had:
Zancho... Just like a Sancho but better! This 12 inch tortilla is filled with refried beans, seasoned beef, chipotle sauce, sour cream, onion, cheese, tomatoes and black olives, then it's topped with our delicious White Queso.
Basically, this is a plate of delicious fat. I could only eat half. The queso absolutely overwhelmed the wine. I gave up pretty quick on it and switched to water with the meal. This would probably be great with shellfish. It’s just too subtle to cut through the cheesey gooey Zancho goodness. Thoroughly enjoyable on its own.
I’m tired, I have half a bottle left. I’ll report more tomorrow but so far this is two thumbs up. My wife says it’s good, she hates every wine I give her. There ya go.
Edit: I take back the acid statement. After two hours in glass I finished it off and got smacked with a nice little acid bite. It just took it a bit to show up. Maybe because it's a 2010, but then, we don't generally drink whites aged now do we? Anyway, I still have half the bottle so I'll drink the rest tonight and let you know what it's like 18 hours later.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)