Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sheldrake Point Riesling Wild Ferment Ice Wine `14 $100.00 #SheldrakePoint #CLWT #ALTWBC15

What's the best part about holidays?  For me, it is spending time with the people you care about, sharing a special meal and memories.  This year, I was invited to join in the Annual Game Pie family dinner with SMF & JPH et al.  During dinner, we discussed New York's Finger Lakes AVA and the vineyards that we have visited.  It was at Sheldrake Point on Cayuga Lake that they discovered this rare, delicious wild ferment ice wine.

Let's talk about wild/spontaneous ferment wine.  That's where the winemaker takes a chance on the native yeasts in the environment, and lets it culture the wine.  It's a risk, yeasts affect that final flavor of the wine - and you won't know what you get from the random predominant yeast until it is too late to change the inoculation.

Conditions need to be perfect just to be able to make an ice wine (grapes freeze on vine at perfect ripeness).  Wild ferment is a high risk game of chance - after you have hand harvested your rare frozen grapes, and juiced them the wine maker had to wait months to see the residual sugar dropping indicating that the juice is spontaneously fermenting while in a holding tank. In this case, with Wild Ferment Riesling Ice Wine `14 Sheldrake Point scored a home run. 

This is a rare (213 cases), expensive ($100.00) special occasion wine.  It's a splurge.  rich, delicious dessert wine with an amazing mouth feel, and long lingering taste of pineapple - it is sweet, fruity and delicious. Although we sipped this unpaired as the evening wound down, it could easily be paired with anything - just remember the rule of thumb - never serve a dessert that is sweeter than the dessert wine - it will make the wine seem thin - too much sugar can be overpowering.

At 7.8% ETOH is was a great low alcohol dessert wine for entertaining (Some ports/dessert wines are so high in alcohol, they should be labelled in proof, and could be the final tipping point to a DUI).  It was the prefect finish to a wonderful evening as we sipped, smiled, and enjoyed.

Serendipity is a beautiful thing! (And so is Game Pie!)

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