22 Mar Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Solminer 2021 Dry Riesling Coquelicot Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
March 13th is the birthday of Riesling, quite literally. The Riesling grape was first documented on the 13th of March in 1435. So, that means that last week, on International Riesling Day, Riesling turned 588 years old. That said, I do not only drink Riesling on its birthday as I am a fan of the grape year-round due to its beauty and versatility. That is why the Solminer 2021 Dry Riesling from the Coquelicot Vineyard, which I drank a few days after International Riesling Day, is this week’s Please The Palate wine of the week.
Riesling is one of the noble grape varieties. It is a grape that reflects the terroir where it is grown. Riesling may be known as the “German King of White Wines” but it also thrives in Austria, as well as Australia, France, New Zealand, and the United States. It is a flexible grape with lots of acidity and the exceptional ability to age gracefully.
I am a fan of Solminer wines and have featured other wines of theirs as the wine of the week in the past, including the Solminer 2018 Blaufrankisch, deLanda Vineyard, Los Olivos District, and the Solminer 2021 Carbonic Syrah, Los Olivos District, Santa Ynez Valley.
David and Anna met in Los Angeles. On one of their first dates they traveled to Santa Barbara Wine Country was tasted a domestic Gruner Veltliner that they loved. They decided they wanted to make a barrel of Gruner. With the help of winemaker Steve Clifton, they made their first vintage in 2012. Clearly, that idea grew as today they live in Santa Ynez and have a farm where they grow grapes and raise animals. They have a 12-acre property with 5 acres planted which they farm biodynamically. “The minute we started making wine, the less we wanted to make it,” David explained. Their approach is minimal intervention, making wine with no additives and letting them express terroir. They also love to explore other vineyards in the region, as long as they are organic or biodynamic. While they work with many grapes, including Syrah and Pinot Noir, it is the Austrian grapes that are a primary focus.
Riesling offers an incredible variety of flavors and aromas. The Solminer Riesling is a Dry Riesling, made in the tradition of Austrian Riesling which is dry and does not have residual sugar. The grapes are sourced from the Coquelicot Vineyard which is certified organic. The vineyard is in the Los Olivos District, sitting on the river bed. The vineyard gets a lot of fog which allows the grapes to ripen slowly and retain acidity. The grapes were harvested and fermented with native yeasts and then aged for 8 months in stainless steel.
The resulting wine has a lovely nose of stone fruits and orange blossom, and a hint of spice. On the palate, the wine is crisp and fresh with a long chalky finish.
Because of the fruit notes and the acidity, this is a good friendly wine to enjoy with sushi, spicy Thai food, or even match it with a Thanksgiving dinner.
WHERE TO PURCHASE
The Solminer 2021 Dry Riesling, Coquelicot Vineyard retails for $35 and is available directly from the winery.
MEET THE WINEMAKER
Listen to the interview I did with David and Anna DeLaski on the Wine Soundtrack USA podcast.