At most wine competitions, entries are not judged according to vintage. This Oregon Riesling was by far the oldest of the nearly 70 entered in the “dry” category at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and yet it was one of only three to receive a double gold — a unanimous choice of gold among the five judges. That’s a testament to Seattle-based president Howard Rossbach and his winemaking team in Oregon, who search for warmer sites that perform well in cool vintages, such as 2010, and that’s why nearly half of their lot for this Riesling is from the Rogue Valley. They’ve only recently released this bottling, and they’ve done so at its peak as it shows tropical aromas and flavors of pineapple, tangerine and jasmine. There’s a delicious sweep of lemon/lime acidity to handle the residual sugar of 1.2%, which put it on the upper end of the dry category at this competition.
“That was our third vintage of Firesteed Oregon Riesling, and the style is still the same: Bright fruit with crisp, balanced acidity, and modest alcohol,” Rossbach told Noble Riesling. “You noticed that we do not rush our wines out, as we want all of them to most enjoyable upon release. After 39 + years in the business one of my peeves is that wines are often released so early for financial reasons, rather than releasing when the wine is truly ready to be enjoyed.”
Production: 1,100 cases