2016 Union Sacre, Riesling “Fraulein” Riven Rock Vineyard, San Luis Obispo County.
A tiny micro winery owned by Philip Muzzy and French winemaker Xavier Arnaudin, from the Rhone, Union Sacre Wines calls Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties home, even though their Gewurz comes from Monterey, and are crafting some interesting and entertaining wines with this dry, but rather textural Riesling being a hit here. Their portfolio so far has the mentioned Gewürztraminer out of the Santa Lucia Highlands and a Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Happy Canyon AVA in Santa Barbara County, plus this San Luis Obispo Riven Rock Riesling that feels a bit like an Alsatian meets Aussie showing nice focus and surprising mouth feel. This zesty, but generous 2016 Fraulein starts with bright and fresh intensity with soft floral tones, snappy citrus and tropical notes, gaining more savory elements as it gets going on the light palate with layers of lime, meyer lemon, rosewater, wet stones, chalk and verbena. This has enough acidity and verve to hold your attention and gives a firm focus before a more textural side appears, it certainly has it’s charms and joins a new wave of fine California dry Rieslings, starting with Tatomer as well as Joyce Vineyards, Stirm, Reeve, Tudor and Cobb. Riesling is seeing a remarkable come back in the state, it’s a varietal that was almost totally shunned in California until recent times, now there is a race to catch up to other American Rieslings, like those from Washington, Oregon and New York’s Finger Lakes, which is arguably the most interesting region for this grape. As a Riesling freak myself, I really enjoyed this one and will without a doubt drink a few bottles of Union Sacre this Spring, bravo guys!
($19 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

By admin