2017 Desire Lines Wine Co. Riesling, Cole Ranch Vineyard & AVA, Mendocino County.
Cody Rasmussen’s Desire Lines Wine Co. Cole Ranch Riesling is a lovely dry acid driven white that impresses for its purity and vigor with a crisp minerally and vibrant citrus and stone fruits that thrill in the glass. West Coast Rieslings are staging a comeback of sorts after fading somewhat with the rise of the Finger Lakes in New York State in United States and many serious wines have come out in recent vintages, led by the likes of Brooks in Oregon, Tatomer in Santa Barbara, Cobb and Reeve in Sonoma County along with Morgan, Stirm and Joyce in Monterey County to name a few doing world class stuff, with Desire Lines Wine Co. joining this group and others crafting brilliant Rieslings. Of course I have missed a few other favorites, but this niche market is growing and the dry styles are getting more and more attention and these California offerings should be taken seriously. I admit I’m a Riesling junkie and usually pretty snobby, so it’s been very exciting to see just how good this grape can do in California, and Rasmussen’s Cole Ranch Mendocino County Riesling is really really solid with layers of brisk green apple, melon, unripe/tart apricot/peach and zesty lime fruits with a touch of verbena, spearmint and crushed wet stones, a bit like some fine Aussie versions and with a bone dry saline rich finish. This is very refreshing stuff with a cool steely personality, even in a warm vintage, I can’t wait to see how the 2018 turns out and it will be very interesting to compare the two vintages!
The Cole Ranch Vineyard, located between Ukiah and Boonville, is not just a vineyard it is also a single AVA and has a great track record for producing fine Riesling grapes. Cole Ranch’s long been the home of true Riesling vintage and it has a stellar history being the location that provided amazing grapes that were made by the legendary Dick Arrowood, while at Chateau St. Jean in the 70s and 80s. As Rasmussen notes, the vineyard is a rare example of where the appellation and vineyard name are one and the same, making it in effect what the French would call a “monopole” site. The vineyard, Cody adds, climate is defined by exceptionally cold nights and moderate days, which keeps the acids brilliant and extends hang-time well into the harvest season, which adds to the complexity in the Cole Ranch Riesling, the comes through with every sip here. This vintage is still current, so you should be able to find it, but as mentioned the 2018 has the potential to be even better and that should be hitting the market really soon, and I highly advise getting on the Desire Lines Wine Co. mailing list, these wines are awesome, as I have reviewed in recent months, especially their Syrah offerings, such as the Griffin’s Lair and Shake Ridge, and I will remind readers here that Cody is the assistant winemaker at Morgan Twain-Peterson’s Bedrock Wine Company in Sonoma, where he helps makes some of California’s best wines. This tasty Riesling is perfect for our Indian Summer days and is an awesome Sushi pairing wine, drink over the next 2 to 3 years.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive