Empire Estate Dry Riesling 2016
Clear and focused on the nose, this wine brings crushed stone, lemon-lime and peach blossom aromas into the mix. The clean-cut palate is lithe, with crisp green apple and tart quince riding along a streamlined river of acidity. A delightfull astringent quinine finish keeps this taut and refreshing.
Fresh and racy, with pretty jasmine, white peach and jicama notes that stay taut and chiseled through the finish. Drink now through 2020. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. –JM
The 2016 Dry Riesling is bone dry and comes in at 12.7% alcohol. This relatively new producer sources wines from all three of the major lakes and blends the results together. Often, style is more important than just a qualitative assessment in deciding what wine to buy.(Another way of saying that: read the tasting note, not just the score!) A good example this issue is the comparison between this and the Anthony Road 2016 Dry Riesling. The Anthony Road Riesling is lusher and more concentrated. This has a somewhat brighter, crisper feel and a tenser finish but less in the mid-palate. They are both nice values in their own ways. I'd happily drink both, mixing and matching in terms of mood and occasion (like a particular food pairing, or sipping on the porch), but if you're choosing one, choose based on style rather than any theoretical qualitative difference. This focused Riesling does nicely even though it may not yet be showing all it has.
EMPIRE ESTATE DRY RIESLING Reserve 2016
The 2016 Dry Riesling Reserve, bottled on August 8th (and tasted about three months later), is bone dry and comes in at 13.3% alcohol. The big catch here, though, is that this was aged for eight months in used French oak. The oak does subdue typical Riesling aromatics to some extent, but this remains fresh and lively, with plenty of acidity to cut through the modest wood treatment. It handles the oak beautifully. For instance, you can still and easily taste classic Riesling flavors on the finish. Filling the mouth and gripping the palate, it is pretty impressive, despite the somewhat (but not unheard of) unusual use of oak. This seems like the best yet from this relatively new venture. I confess to having some questions as to how it will age, but let's lean up for the moment.
Lovely jasmine, verbena and honeysuckle notes liberally gild a core of yellow apple, anise and white peach favors. Has both racy and waxy accents through the lengthy finish. Drink now through 2019. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. –JM
Intense aromas of ripe peach, tangerine, ginger and white blossoms meld with underscores of slate and smoke in this project from Thomas Pastuszak, wine director at The NoMad. This powerful wine displays rich fruit, floral and spice notes on the palate, with enough acidity to maintain balance. The finish carries on and on in apricot and orchard blossom tones. A perfect match for pork or fowl.