2019 Casa Nuestra, Dry Riesling, St. Helena, Napa Valley.
The crisp and vibrant Dry Riesling by Casa Nuestra, a winery I featured yesterday I know, based in Napa Valley’s St. Helena appellation on the eastside off the Silvardo Trail and known as a great place to get old school and organic California wines, especially their Chenin Blanc, their Tinto St. Helena, yesterdays review, and this Dry Riesling, now one of the only examples coming from this area, and one of the most sought after too. I love this verbena and white flower scented wine that reminds me more of the star studded Aussie versions of dry Riesling, like the Clare and Eden area ones rather than the more classic German trockens, Austrian Wachau(s) and or the Rieslings of France’s Alsace region. This vintage is vividly fresh, but concentrated with tangy extract, which makes this white have some power, palate impact and it is graced with lovely aromatics and a nice spicy character, making it great with food, especially oysters and or like I had it with, steamed claims in a garlic, parsley and white wine broth. One of the best and most pure vintages for this wine that I can remember, and I’ve been a fan for quite a while, this 2019 Casa Nuestra Dry Riesling is light to medium bodied with the mentioned verbena note going with a range of brisk citrus fruits, white peach and tart melon that is all accented further by jasmine, wet stone, bitter wild herbs, chamomile tea, delicate spices and lemongrass. This Casa Nuestra Riesling has a lively acidity that keeps it superbly balanced and refreshing, highlighting the vintage and varietal character that delivers an exceptional example of this grape and this wine very compelling.

Gene Kirkham’s Casa Nuestra is a must visit winery, nestled in Saint Helena’s east side on the Silverado Trail, this is not the modern Napa mansion of castle, this is an old rustic farm house with a unique charm and eccentric flourish with goats and sheep near their tree shaded patio and a 50’s and 60’s vibe in the tasting room with odes to Elvis, folk musicians like Joan Baez, as well as poignant MLK pictures and other thought provoking memorabilia from Kirkland’s career as a civil rights lawyer, this is a fun and welcoming place to visit and the wines are unique, well crafted and vastly different than you’ll find at the neighboring properties! Kirkham’s love of Loire grapes, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, another wine that I picked up on this latest stop here, has even led him to be honored by the Knight’s of Chinon, and these wines are usually the wines that sell out fast, Casa Nuestra sells only direct to their wine club and list and what little is left sells in the tasting room. I try to visit every year when my schedule allows to buy the Chenin Blanc, it is a must try wine and not all that easy to get, in fact this time through they had already sold out of the 2018 and 2019 editions, though remarkably I was able to beg my way into a bottle of the 2017, which I thought I had missed out on. It is best to get on their mailing list and get into the wine club here. If you want to visit Casa Nuestra it is always recommended to call ahead, particularly now with Covid restrictions, but it is well worth it. California dry Riesling has made a huge comeback in recent years and there are many exciting producers to try, including Tatomer, Desire Lines Wine Co, Joyce, Union Sacre, Reeve, Cobb and Morgan to name a few, and this one is a classic.
($30 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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