2021 Bedrock Wine Co., Dry Riesling, Wirz Vineyard, Cienega Valley AVA, San Benito County.
The 2021 Old Vine Wirz Riesling is a stunning wine with a heady perfume of white flowers, verbena, wet rock and vivid lemon/lime citrus which leads to a crisp palate of the same with bitter peach, green apple, melon and quince fruits along with lemon grass, chamomile, a hint of petrol and sage herbal notes. California is seeing a dry Riesling revival, it has has been building for about ten years or so, but the level of quality in recent years has taken a dramatic up turn, with efforts like this Bedrock Wirz Vineyard being world class examples of this grape more commonly associated with Alsace and the many regions of Germany. The Riesling was traditionally made with whole cluster pressing and aged in used wood to allow total clarity and personality, it is similar to some of my favorite Aussie versions, like Pikes, Jim Barry, Pewsey Vale and Rolf Binder. There’s so much to like here, Bedrock has truly nailed this one, it is one of the best values in alternative white wines you’ll find in the state with complex layers, crystalline detailing and a weightless sense of body as well as lively, but round mouth watering acidity. While Bedrock, and winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson is renown for his historic vineyard Zinfandel field blends, it should also be known does an excellent set of white wines. Morgan’s partner, Chris Cottrell first discovered this vineyard when searching out grapes for his Under the Wire sparkling wines and they fast realized the quality here and added this Dry Riesling to their lineup. Bedrock’s Under The Wire, a partner label that focuses on single-vineyard, single-vintage sparkling wines was inspired by the grower champagne movement and continues to elevate California bubbly.

Morgan Twain-Peterson MW says of this Wirz Riesling, that he fermented the grapes using indigenous yeasts and aged it in neutral French oak barrels, all to promote freshness, terroir and natural transparency. The Wirz Vineyard, planted in 1963 in located in the Cienega Valley and is set on complex soils that include decomposed granite and dolomite limestone with vineyard owner Pat Wirz, who Twain-Peterson calls magnificently mustached, lovingly tending these old dry farmed bush vines by hand. The Bedrock guys, Morgan, Chris and assistant winemaker Cody Rasmussen are all Riesling fans and Rasmussen under his own label Desire Lines Wine Co. has become obsessed in a good way with this varietal and is making some of the best single site versions in California, especially his Cole Ranch and Wiley bottlings which are exceptional. Morgan himself has been making wine since he was eight years old or so legend has it, he is the son of Joel Peterson, a member of California’s hall of fame winemakers, who along with Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards helped rediscover Zinfandel and was the founder of Ravenswood, who’s wines got me, and many others, into Zinfandel in the 1980s. The Bedrock Vineyard itself, owned now by Twain-Peterson, is a part of California history, being originally planted back in the middle 1800s. Following the first epidemic of phylloxera in the mid-1880s, Twain-Peterson notes, the Bedrock vineyard was replanted in 1888 by Senator George Hearst—a mining magnate, an early father of California, and the father of notorious publisher William Randolph Hearst, of Hearst Castle fame as well. It is from these 120-year-old vines that the Bedrock Heritage Wine is crafted, the signature wine of Bedrock Wine Co, and a modern classic, and the rest of the collection here is fabulous too, be sure to check them out.
($24 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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