- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trefethen, Dry Riesling, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, 2007, $22

Year in and year out, this is one of America’s finest Rieslings. Marked by bright citrus (lemon and lime) and peach flavors, it exhibits beautiful balance, being dry but not tart, and bright but not bracing. Delicious on its own as an aperitif, it’s also a fine companion for light seafood and poultry dishes, as well as all sorts of summer dinner salads.

This wine’s consistent success may seem a bit odd, since the Napa Valley climate tends to be too warm for Riesling, a grape variety that prefers chillier climes. The Oak Knoll District, however, lies north of the San Pablo Bay, and the presence of all that cool water helps keep temperatures down. The grapes retain acidity, resulting in a wine that always seems crisp and refreshing.

Riesling, long shunned by American consumers, is enjoying something of a revival these days. Good examples almost always taste refreshing, and thus prove very appealing, particularly in summer. The winemakers at Trefethen never gave up on it, even when the varietal had few fans. When you sip this wine, you’ll be glad they kept faith.

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