Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Generation of Riesling

Considering all the Riesling I drink and add to The List, there should probably be more 8th Generation already recounted on this blog. Bernd and Stefanie Schales' Riesling is - that should be "Rieslings are" - right up there with wines I'm always on the look out for. Given that both of the Schales have German heritage and their respective families have had eight and ten generations of grape growing and winemaking back in Germany, it's should come as no surprise that they have a bit of experience with the Riesling grape.

1848.  2011 8th Generation Riesling (Okanagan Valley)

An 8th Generation Riesling appeared on The List as early as #294 but I've added just as many of their Rosés and bubblies as Rieslings since then. There are more because there just isn't a lot of 8th Generation wine made. Case in point, only 270 cases of this 2011 vintage were made (as it wasn't the greatest of growing seasons) and, furthermore, there's a little problem in that I only seem to get an opportunity to stop in at the winery every other year or so.

I remember I picked up this bottle following the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference that was held not too far from the winery (Summerland vs. Penticton). The tasting room wasn't overly busy and Stefanie was gracious enough to walk me through all of their wines and spend as much time with me as was needed to answer as many questions as I could throw at her.

If memory serves, 2011 was the first vintage that the winery got to keep all of its Riesling grapes for itself. They had previously contracted out a healthy percentage of their grapes to other wineries. That allowed them to play around a bit with their fruit and they began making two (or more) versions - primarily a "Classic" and a "Selection" - where they can work with residual sugar levels, skin contact and even a bit of fermenting a percentage of the juice at a warmer temperature to add some heft to the weight of the wine.

I like the fact that this bottle had a touch of sweetness to it - while still showing bright acidity - as it allows some interesting pairings with food - particularly if you like a bit of spice to act as a counterpoint to the wine.

Luckily, I think I have a few more vintages tucked away somewhere around here but, more than that, I'm quite looking forward to the vintages yet to come.

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