Oregon’s Next White

It’s time to take Riesling seriously, and playfully. In fact take it any way you want.

Complex and intense floral and herb notes greet the nose followed by a touch of ginseng and thistle with an underlay of motor oil. Salty and vibrant on entry, this is very finely focused with real tension in the mouth. the flavors of lime blossom, jasmine and pineapple are well supported by the soft chalky minerality the acidity lends to the wine. this is notable clear and deep on the palate finishing with a flourish of dried herb, orange peel and lime pith on the long somewhat autumnal finish. 92pts
Bright and slightly creamy on the nose with passionfruit, guava, floral and peachy aromas that fill the glass. A little sweet at first then very light on its feet with lovely acidity that is fresh and taut yet well integrated. The fruit is a bit more gentle on the palate than the nose promises but this has lovely freshness to its lime, green apple and mandarin flavors that are underlain by a fine sandy quartz note, elegantly flowing into a long, mineral laden and green apple toned finish. 92pts
Classic Riesling on the nose with an initial touch of candle wax followed by gentle honey, baked apple, lime leaf, herb and stone aromas.  Vibrant right from the get go, you get a sense of some sweetness here in the body on the tongue but this is acid driven from the first sip. Very fresh and pure in style with apple, pear with a somewhat savory and slightly salty cast to the flavors. This is absolutely zesty and nervous in the mouth. I’d love to see a little more complexity but the texture is wonderful with a hint of currant on the back end that drives onto the long clementine and mineral laced finish. 91pts
Dusty with some vitamin notes on the nose followed by a hint of banana and lots of polleny floral notes all wrapped around some custardy pineapple fruit. Just a hint of sweetness wraps around the acidity here and quickly subsides in a wave of tangy orange and lemon fruit that is framed with gentle pity bitterness. Rather light on its feet and transparent in the mouth gaining a lovely mineral basenote before yielding to a gently herb tinged and very clean slightly salty finish, this is completely engaging and wonderfully long. 91pts
Focused and a bit tight on the nose, there’s some lovely apricot and almond fruit on the nose here along with heather and pollen notes. Modestly sweet on entry with attractive meyer lemon flavors the acidity helps snap this to attention adding in lime peel and green apple flavors over a light raw almond note that plays very well with the fruit. The hint of sweetness here adds body to the mouth and reemerges on the moderately long finish bring some apricot notes to an otherwise mineral and citrus with, red grapefruit finish. Really well balanced and rather fruity but not frooty. 91pts
Wonderfully fragrant with an early hint of green anise seed adding complexity to the sweet lime, guava and slightly red fruited apple aromas. Slightly sweet and yet mineral on entry, theres lots of fresh apple and jammy citrus flavors here adding complexity as well. The acidity is well balanced so while this is noticeably sweet, it’s also attractively tart and fairly light on the palate even if it has some viscosity to it. The finish is long, a little creamy and touched with green melon and grapefruit flavors. Delightly fully easy to drink, this is delicious for those who prefer a sweeter style.  89pts

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Top Oregon Riesling tasted 10/13

Brooks Winery Riesling Ara (2010)
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Alexana Riesling Willamette Valley Revana Vineyard (2012)
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Foris Riesling Rogue Valley (2011)
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Chehalem Riesling Corral Creek Vineyard Chehalem Mountains (2011)
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Penner-Ash Riesling Willamette Valley (2011)
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Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling (2012)
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Chehalem Ridgecrest Vineyards Ribbon Ridge Oregon Rieslings (2011)
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Brandborg Riesling Umpqua Valley (2009)
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Chehalem Riesling Three Vineyard Willamette Valley (2011)
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Argyle Riesling Eola-Amity Hills (2011)
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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Zuiko
    Hand of Snooth
    540750 756

    Montinore Estate has had some winners in the past, however I have not tried them lately. There was a sweet reserve Riesling from them that was super

    Oct 24, 2013 at 4:38 PM

  • Snooth User: SGD
    610727 21

    Maybe I'm an Australian wine geek from way back. I visited Willamette Valley 20 years ago and enjoyed many excellent Rieslings.

    Oct 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 152

    Rieslings are the great unheralded princes of the wine world. I don't care for the dry varieties, but love the rest. In fact, I do not drink any white wines except Riesling, unless I am forced to be polite and try some. The depth of character and the varieties of fruit upon the palate amazes me. There are some excellent Rieslings that are inexpensive.
    I haven't tasted any of the above, but I intend to. I do wish that the RS were listed on every bottle.

    Oct 24, 2013 at 6:56 PM

  • Snooth User: Tommy1029
    581944 48

    I wish more Oregon wineries would pour their Rieslings. My wife and I spent 10 days in the Williamette Valley last fall leading up to the American Wine Society conferenced in Portland. Of the 46 wineries that we visited, Anam Cara was the only winery to have their Riesling to sample. We were so impressed with both of their Rieslings that we brought a case home with us to North Carolina. The rest served the ubiquitous Chardonney or Pinot Gris before moving on to their Pinot Noir selections. I've been trying to find some Oregon Rieslings here on the east coast to no avail.

    Oct 24, 2013 at 8:31 PM

  • Snooth User: JSammy
    1386610 18

    I'm sorry Im a but confused by this. Reisling is made from a white grape, and it generally has fruity tones, but you are making a pinot noir wine?

    Oct 24, 2013 at 10:40 PM

  • High pass winery in the mid-willamette valley produces some very nice reislings, but I wouldn't miss their late harvest huxelrebe, another tasty Oregon white.

    Oct 31, 2013 at 10:57 PM

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