Bellwether Riesling

Dec 06, 2014

Team of Experts Discover a "Contemporary Classic" in a Bellwether Riesling for Innovative Sommelier Scavenger Hunt.

Wine & Spirits Magazine dispatched teams of sommeliers to scour five different U.S. wine regions in a challenge to discover contemporary classics. After blind tastings of numerous Rieslings and individual winery visits, the Finger Lakes sommelier team narrowed the field to just six Rieslings, including Bellwether's 2013 Dry Riesling. Each region was represented by a different wine (Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Blends, Cabernet). The goal was to find excellent wines that conveyed the breadth of each region's terroir.

Bellwether, known as a pioneer in the revival of hard cider, has recently expanded into the production of Rieslings and Pinot Noir. For the 2013 Dry Riesling, winemaker Kris Matthewson selected a single vineyard site to produce a wine made with the care and techniques usually found only in Old World European Rieslings. The austere style of this wine was described by sommelier Steven Morgan (Formento's in Chicago) as an arrow of a wine, focused and laserlike on the palate. Bellwether is making numerous single vineyard Rieslings that span a range of styles, from austere dry to late harvest, to wild ferments.

All five teams converged on San Francisco in October for a Taste-Off that included leading wine buyers, sommeliers and wine journalists. The details and the results of the Scavenger Hunt are the cover story for Wine & Spirits December 2014 issue.