Nelson Family Vineyards 2007 Riesling

Mendocino County is famous for three specific grapes: pinot noir, more pinot noir and something other than pinot noir.  Okay, it’s more than pinot. Chardonnay and riesling are especially at home there as well. And many more good grapes abound in this region, but that’s another post or twenty down the road.

This is about the riesling from Nelson Family Vineyards. Riesling is another grape that has been given a bad reputation by growing in too many bad neighborhoods and hanging with the wrong crowd – winemakers without the right skill set for good Riesling production. The fact that the Nelsons grow their own doesn’t guarantee that a good wine could result. But this time it’s true.

The 2007 Nelson Family Riesling has a honey and flowery nose – think honeysuckle not gardenias. There is also a quality peculiar to riesling that smells slightly of petroleum or kerosene. That is a fusal compound in the grape and only the best fruit and proper care can tame or mute it. If your last Rielsing smelled like a gasoline can and tasted weird, don’t judge all Rieslings this way.

The Nelson has a lush mouthfeel and the spiciness known in the best rieslings. The overall quality of the Nelson makes it perfect for either sweet or spicy dinners.  Or both, such as spicy orange chicken (a fave around here) or maybe spicy tortilla soup with lots of corn.