Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hogue Late Harvest White Riesling 2004 (billy)

So I was in the store looking for a bargain gewurztraminer. I left with a bottle of late harvest riesling. So much for intent. Still, the $9.99 sticker meant that good or bad, I was not going to be out much. I got a kick out of the bottle hanger that was around all of these bottles of Hogue.

The image was black and white, 1950's adhype style (like this) with a guy pointing up to the screw-cap and confidently stating something like, "We've been screwed by the research". Well, I doubt that was really the ad text but it DID mention research and how screw-caps keep the wine fresher and prevent taint.

All true. But the best bottle hanging ad doesn't change the wine inside. It was much sweeter than earlier harvest rieslings - this due to the fact that the grapes lose acidity and gain sugar the later they stay on the vine. In this case though, the sweetness became nearly syrupy and overbalanced the wine. This is not a dessert wine, it is dessert. As a stand alone, it is not bad and suitable to serve at parties. The casual, first date, white-zin drinker will enjoy the peaches that are preeminent. Someone of a more sophisticated palate or someone seeking to pair this with an appetizer, sorbet, or fresh fruit may find it passable but not more than that. This is not a bad wine though I was left unimpressed with the lack of complexity in its character.

Serve it chilled on a hot summer day to your adult neighbors while you give their kids ice-cream sandwiches.

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