Wine Review: Verterra Dry Riesling Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan 2018

verterra rieslingWines of distinction offer more than a pretty face—they have depth and something indefinable about them. It’s easy to see why this Reisling is a perennial award winner.

Precise peach aromas with a halo of lime and hints of honey leave a charming first impression but a faint undercurrent of something uncanny haunts the wine. And the more you sniff the more that nebulous aroma clarifies as petroleum, reticent now but sure to emerge as the wine ages. To the Riesling virgin this might sound weird but that quirk is what gives Riesling its distinctiveness and depth.

Despite being a dry wine there is a hint of alluring sweetness up front which disappears as under-ripe pear emerges and turns to grapefruit at midpalate. Round, soft and delicate at first, the wine explodes out of the midpalate, retrenching and then slowly swelling with mineral-water freshness, a rhythm both deft and dynamic. It finishes dry and textured with grapefruit pith at terminus.

Delicate, but kinetic and haunted by a visceral offbeat chorale, it brings to mind Bjork’s Heirloom.

Awarded the best white wine in Michigan in both 2017 and 2018, this winery began planting their vineyards in 2006 and currently farm over 40 acres of estate grown fruit. The Leelanau Peninsula AVA juts into Northern Lake Michigan and takes advantage of a prodigious lake effect keeping the vines cool in summer and warm enough in winter to avoid winter kill.

Score: 92

Price: $18

Alc: 12%

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