I used to be the kind of wine drinker that would absolutely shy away from Riesling. That is until I met a new sommelier-friend who showed me that many Americans have a misconception about what Riesling really is, what it tastes like, and how versatile it can be—especially when it comes to German Riesling. Since that time I’ve been more open minded, tasting Rieslings from both abroad and at home and have been impressed what our New World winemakers have to offer. What I love about this expression of Riesling is that it tastes, for lack of a better expression, naked. As if I’m really tasting, not just the grape, but the vineyard—the dirt, the surrounding fields, the river that runs through it all. There are wines that you drink and then there are wines you experience. Experience Kobza Wines 2016 Wirz Vineyard Dry Riesling with me…
About the Wine: Kobza Wines 2016 Wirz Vineyard Dry Riesling is made from 100% Riesling grapes harvested from the Wirz Ranch in Salinas, California. According to Kobza, these are the youngest plantings on the Ranch at 50 years old. The grapes are harvested early and immediately went to press and cold settled between two and three days. The wine was racked clean, underwent all native fermentation in neutral vats, and fermented until complete dryness. The wine was aged in the same neutral barrels for five months and bottled immediately.
Flavor Profile: Pop the cork of the Kobza Wines 2016 Wirz Vineyard Dry Riesling and breathe in subtle stone fruit scents like apricot and peach, interwoven with an undeniable floral aroma. On the pour, this Riesling presents a pale straw hue, settling into the glass more confident in its yellow color.
Initial aromas are quite similar to those sensed from the bottle, revealing those soft stone fruits, floral aromas, along with a wet, green herby scent. Swirl, and bring forward a bit more freshness to those fruit notes and add to them a subtle background of citrus, more of that wet grass or herb scent, and, again, that undeniable floral aroma that just makes you think Riesling.
Despite the intensity of the nose, the palate of the Kobza Wines 2016 Wirz Vineyard Dry Riesling is quite dry, delicate in its flavors, and teasing the tongue with just a hint of texture. Dry and delicate it is, but it also has a good weight to it, giving the white wine a firm presence on the palate. Dominant flavors are of those stone fruits, a hint of vanilla, coriander, grass or hay, a touch of citrus, and a background of river rock minerality that leaves a clean finish.
Food Pairing: I paired the Kobza Wines 2016 Wirz Vineyard Dry Riesling with grilled prawns on top of a corn purée mixed with roasted corn, and diced red capsicum, and jalepeños, garnished with curry-spiced almond slivers.
I’m sorry, Ryan. This was one of those cases where the food and wine pairing went so well together that I took very little physical notes. But what I will say is that the overall robustness of the dish was the perfect way to elevate the subtlety and delicacy of this wine. And yet, the body of the wine was able to stand alongside such a hearty meal.
More Info: I received the Kobza Wines 2016 Wirz Vineyard Dry Riesling as a sample for review. (Cheers Ryan!) For more information about Kobza Wines, Ryan, and to inquire about purchasing, please visit the Kobza Wines website.
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