Esterlina Vineyards Cole Ranch 2010 Dry Riesling - 4 Pack
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PRODUCT: 4 2010 Esterlina Cole Ranch Dry Riesling
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It is late. I am exhausted and this is a labrat report.
Labrat Report: 2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch
I have started this four times. I need to drink more to properly lubricate the free flowing nonsense that I am known for. (that and ending sentences with prepositions) I can’t drink though because I have to go in front of my board tomorrow and tell 3 of them they’re out of a job at the next election cycle. Whatever, so here I sit, sober and sad. Sad because there’s half a bottle of wine left that I can’t drink. It only clocks in at 12.4% so I could drink the whole thing and start a bottle of something else, but I won’t.
Things that instantly draw me to the winery before I even taste it. The Yelp reviews paint it as this wonderfully beautiful place with great wines and extremely cool people. Can’t go wrong there. Also, this wine comes from Cole Ranch which is the smallest AVA in the US, clocking in at just 189 acres. Very cool, makes this special cause there’s not much to go around. My dad’s farm is 200 acres over in Iowa. It’s a very small farm; it’s larger than this whole AVA. I’m routinely on 1000+ acre Ranches and farms in Nebraska. Not many of them are as tasty as these 189 acres. If I’m ever in the area I’m doing a tasting. Fair warning Sterling Family! Also, you need to watch this video about them, very cool family.
2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch
Color: Really pale yellow. Paler than I had initially thought, but it’s pretty enough.
Nose: Word of Caution, this is allergy skewed. It’s not a powerful nose. Very subtle, does not leap up and smack you in the face. I like that. A lot of times all I can smell is the alcohol, in this I’m not hit with that at all. There’s honey and apple, which for me is always present in a Riesling. I’m getting a little limestone….actually it’s more like the reaction of Limestone and HCL that I’m getting. I love that smell. I have an elderberry bush in the backyard. Pain in the ass to maintain but it kicks Lilacs ass for fragrance and the flowers last longer, plus you can make awesome jam and pies with the elderberries (wine, not so much, though Elderberry hooch is responsible for me not remembering much of my wedding reception) Anyway, this has that smell. That honeysuckle on roids that is all elderberry. As it warms, the nose is becoming more prominent. No Petrol here, that’s surprising to me. I keep going back to it. I like it a lot.
Drinky: Ok, so I pulled this out of the fridge and let it warm up half an hour. Served right around 63 degrees. I think that was too cold, my initial reaction was, well, this doesn’t taste like much. Ten minutes in the glass though and it has flavor, which is kind of the whole point.
Very very smooth. Because the alcohol is low it just flows over the tongue with zero heat. As it warms up it gets more viscous, which is my fav thing about Riesling. There’s honey, tart apple (granny smith maybe) other stuff I can’t place. Very good, but again, not all in your face. Absolutely subdued, not as acidic as I would have thought (this will play a role later). It’s a dry Riesling and it is that. It has a residual sweetness, which Scott tells us is due to RS and Acidity being in balance (I think, I tend to forget things). It is sweet in a pleasant way, not cloying at all. There’s a lingering finish, completely pleasant. Makes you want another sip, then another, and another, then your glass is gone and you can’t drink more because you can’t be hung over for work. Damnit. I like this wine if you can’t tell.
Food I screwed this up. Online it said Riesling and any spicy food, goes well with Mexican. So I got Mexican, when my instinct said Thai. To be honest, this wouldn’t have stood up to Thai any better than it did the Mexican. This is what I had:
Zancho… Just like a Sancho but better! This 12 inch tortilla is filled with refried beans, seasoned beef, chipotle sauce, sour cream, onion, cheese, tomatoes and black olives, then it’s topped with our delicious White Queso.
Basically, this is a plate of delicious fat. I could only eat half. The queso absolutely overwhelmed the wine. I gave up pretty quick on it and switched to water with the meal. This would probably be great with shellfish. It’s just too subtle to cut through the cheesey gooey Zancho goodness. Thoroughly enjoyable on its own.
I’m tired, I have half a bottle left. I’ll report more tomorrow but so far this is two thumbs up. My wife says it’s good, she hates every wine I give her. There ya go.
Edit: I take back the acid statement. After two hours in glass I finished it off and got smacked with a nice little acid bite. It just took it a bit to show up. Maybe because it’s a 2010, but then, we don’t generally drink whites aged now do we? Anyway, I still have half the bottle so I’ll drink the rest tonight and let you know what it’s like 18 hours later.
Well, that does it. EVERY website has now mentioned last night’s baseball games.
I received my first Golden Ticket today! Thank you WineWoot, I will try not to disappoint.
I will disclose- I love wine (aka wineyum) and drink my fair share, but I cannot claim any significant wine education or knowledge of any sort.
I opened this 2010 Esterlina Riesling almost as soon as I reached home at 6, so that my parents (who were babysitting my three year old) could have the first sip with me. It was slightly warmer than I would prefer, but chilled enough (I chilled it at the office).
The color is a lovely very pale yellow- about as close to clear as a wine can get. The first sniff was a surprise. The first aroma that hit all three of us was vanilla. The second sniff also revealed floral tones. This wine really smells great!
Like the aroma, the taste of this wine was also a surprise. I first noted a crisp floral note, but that was followed by a longer finish of oak, vanilla and honey. The wine has a bright, refreshing edge of a Riesling, but it also reminded me a little of a light chardonnay. Over the course of the night (it’s my rat duty to keep re-tasting every hour or so, right?), my impression remained the same. As the wine warms, the honey notes become stronger and the floral diminishes.
My DH arrived home late and thus didn’t try the wine until right before dinner, at about 8:45. He did not agree with my opinion that it had any chardonnay-like traits, so maybe I have no idea what I am talking about. You will just have to buy the wine and decide for yourself! Interestingly, he also first noted a vanilla and then floral aroma (with no knowledge of my tasting notes). He identified honey and floral as the dominant tastes and did not note any oak. He described the wine as refreshing, not too sweet, and as leaving a slight tingling on the tongue, but not in an unpleasant way.
It paired well with a light dinner of shrimp, garlic, and scallions sautéed in olive oil and served over angel hair pasta.
We thought it was a pleasant, solid Riesling that would be a great summer wine. It is very easy to drink- refreshing but smooth, and a nice finish. The bottle is now empty, so I guess that speaks for itself!
I barely managed to stay awake to post this tonight, so if people have questions, I’ll talk to y’all in the morning!
Dry Riesling is almost an auto-buy for me. I’ve never heard of this AVA before, but apparently Esterlina owns the whole thing. Pretty cool.
Oops, was I supposed to do something so this had the Lab Rat stuff at the top?
I got your back. :happy:
how can 3.6% rs be considered “dry” .
I do not get it.....
That was my first thought too.
I would think this more in the off dry to sweet category, but no one has mentioned the sweetness so I am thinking the fact sheet is wrong. Winery, a little help?
Edit: On the winery web site the Off-dry is listed at 2.5% RS, so this must be a typo of some kind.
Mmmmmm I love Riesling. $15 a bottle is just about the cap I’m willing to spend on a bottle of wine, but don’t think I can buy 4 bottle without tasting it.
you should, you may not find a better one in the 15 dollar range
They’ve got it wrong I’m guessing in the write up. The alcohol is listed at 10% and the bottle clearly states 12.4%. If I remember my Scott Harvey Riesling class though, if the PH and the RS are within 1% of each other, the wine is “dry” because the two cancel each other out. The PH number kinda through me, cause I wasn’t really getting the acid kick, maybe that’s because the wine is very balanced on the whole.
I have been to Esterlina a couple of times and if you are ever in the area anyone who loves wine should give them a call and drive up the mountain to visit and taste. They do the tasting on a desk overlooking the Anderson Valley and the wine (particularly the Estate Pinot) is excellent.
I am pretty sure the RS value is incorrect. I haven’t had this vintage but I have had others and the dry riesling was always quite dry - I personally preferred the off-dry while tasting without food but dry was excellent in the 3 vintages that I tried.
Plus you can share it with friends and impress them with you knowledge of the Cole Ranch AVA.
Also the Sterlings own Everett Ridge right outside of Healsburg which is also excellent and they often have a couple of the Esterlina wines and it is not as much of drive for people visiting Sonoma.
What I found on the website stating 2.5% RS was for the 2009 Riesling and this is the 2010. But I agree it should state off-dry but the RS might be correct.
Can someone else verify this? The description on the woot site states 10% alcohol.
Is this a woot launch?
Looks like the woot monkeys have some splainin’ to do…
**2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch **
Sorry, I could not stay up until 1:00 to post this and get up at 5:00 for work. So here is the next in the series of labrat reports.
Taking my responsibilities seriously, I wanted to use a proper Reidel. But, I only have Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc glasses. So the first sips were to match the glass. After a quick sample, determined that the Sauvignon Blanc glass worked better than the Chardonnay glass.
The color is a pale straw. On the nose, I get green apple and what I will identify as lemon. Nice and fresh.
The taste is dry and crisp with nice fruit, mainly green apple. Great acidity. Initially, the finish was short and clean, due to the acidity. But nothing lingered. My wife said it disappeared. (Her other comments were that is very nice, and smooth.) Which made me go to the next sip that much faster.
I find this style of Reisling to my tastes. The fruit and acidity give it a nice balance, so there is a hint of sweetness without RS. And it is not so bone dry and minerally to lose its character.
While nice on its own, it paired very well with homemade fish tacos. Not a lot of sauce or fat, so the Reisling had the acidity to cut through and cleanse the palate.
After about an hour or so, and with no food, the finish stays a little longer with a pleasant tartness.
To be clear, we just stocked up on a couple of cases from the Finger Lakes, so I will not buy this time. This is a nice example of a Dry Reisling.
EDIT: The note on the back label was from E.L. Sterling. Are their relationships to other “Sterlings” we know?
I’d say that no way this tasted like that much RS. Hope the winery comes in and corrects it.
It would be great if Scott has tasted this wine and can chime in. I think of him as our wine.woot resident Reisling expert.
Numbers be damned, all the rats say it’s a legit dry riesling and I have a hard time saying no to that. SIWBM starts tomorrow.
Really nice reports, both of you!