Empire Estate Dry Riesling 2015


Full white-peach nose with touches of cassis and grapefruit, then a generous ripe palate with citrusy acidity that lifts the fullish body. The vivid, long mineral finish with some textural complexity makes this stand out in the field. Drink now or in 2018 for the full fruit, but this can age for three to four years.

- March 1st, 2017


The 2015 Dry Riesling, just the second vintage of this label, comes in with just 5.1 grams per liter of residual sugar and 12.5% alcohol. Along the lines of the 2014, this is very dry, rather piercing and quite focused. The 2014 might have a bit more energy and this might have a bit more flavor. Call it two sides of the same coin (although this is more unevolved and thus a little more subject to projections). They are pretty similar. If forced to choose, I probably had a minor preference for the very precise 2014, but reasonable minds might differ and that preference might just be based on the 2014 having an extra year in which to settle down. There were 1,800 cases produced.

Drink Date: 2016-2023

- Mark Squires Dec 2016


92 Points

One big and powerful dry riesling for this cool-climate region with cooked pear, quince and smoke aromas. On the palate, it has the weight and stature of a riesling smaragd from one of the top producers in the Wachau! Because this style is so new, it's hard to judge the aging potential.

- March 1, 2017


The 2015 Dry Riesling Reserve comes in with 7.9 grams per liter of residual sugar and 13.6% alcohol. More unusually, it was aged and fermented in neutral French oak for eight months. While the regular 2015 (also reviewed) was a blend of five vineyards, this was a single vineyard offering—specifically, winemaker Kelby Russell said, "William Dalrymple in Ovid [halfway up on the east side of Seneca Lake]." This is the first vintage of this label. The oak is handled well and there is little evidence of flavor alteration, although this does have a more muted nature than the regular Riesling this issue. Although this feels fuller in the mouth than the regular 2015 and has just a hint of sugar on the end (which will blow off in time), I can't say I really liked this much better. It's different, not necessarily a quantum leap forward. That said, it is nicely done and more than a little interesting. It will probably be the wine that will age best of the winery's trio this issue. There were just 50 cases produced.

Drink Date: 2016-2024

- Mark Squires Dec 2016