2015 Reeves Riesling ‘McFadden Vineyard’
Region: Potter Valley < CA
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; soils are sedimentary, ancient inland sea + volcanic material layered into a silty, clay mixture; fermented in stainless and aged in stainless for 6 months; 23ppm so2
Winemaker: Noah Dorrance
Noah Dorrance, until just this August also the winemaker at Banshee, is now focused on his own Reeve label (named after son Reeve), which he makes with his wife, Kelly, and fellow Sonoma winemakers Ross Cobb and Katy Wilson. The McFadden Vineyard, planted in 1970 at the headwaters of the Russian River, has been organic since the 1970s. It is planted on a high-altitude valley floor at 1000 feet, where diurnal temperature swings (range between day and night temps) are extreme – a good thing for grapes, gives them character. And is probably why this is one of the best Cali Rieslings we’ve come across – completely dry, showing the expected boatload of acid and aromatics, but then it undulates from softness to angles…fleshy peach to spiky petrol, green apple to rocks, bright lemon to cantaloupe. Which makes so much sense when Noah explains that because of the altitude and the diurnal range (40 day to night), they end up with a mixture of very ripe and underripe bunches, so while they sort the 5% off of each end of the spectrum, there is still a big range of ripeness among the grapes. When asked him about his inspiration for this wine, and his answer made us hungry: “With Riesling I am almost always thinking about Thai and Vietnamese food when we make it. My epiphany experience was at Slanted Door in 2005 with a bottle of Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese and a JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett. The combinations of sour, fishy, salty flavors combined with Mosel Riesling blew me away.” Run to your nearest Thai place and test out this pairing – we did, it rocked.