Hogue Cellars Late Harvest Riesling 2012
Eastern Washington's low annual rainfall and cool nights during the growing season make it the perfect area for producing consistently great late harvest wines. The Hogue Cellars has developed a style of late harvest Riesling that is crisp yet moderately sweet. The wine was produced from select Riesling vineyards where the fruit can ripen to the required 24+ Brix. At that level of ripeness, the wine develops its trademark tangerine/apricot flavor. Zesty aromas of orange, lemon-lime, and peach are followed by flavors of tangerine, apricot, and a trace of mineral. Serve alongside poached pears, cheesecake, or a cheese platter of Stilton, smoked Gouda, and fresh goat cheese. It's also excellent as an aperitif.
Very warm and dry conditions during the summer months made up for the late start and grapes ripened on time or earlier than usual. A dip in temperatures in early September slowed the onset of harvest briefly. As temperatures climbed again, harvest began in earnest with a rush of ultra-ripe fruit. An unseasonable early frost in October hastened the harvest of the last vineyards. White varietals display an abundance of ripe tropical fruit flavors and aromatics. The grapes for the Late Harvest White Riesling were harvested predominately from the Yakima Valley. Most of the vineyards are on slopes where low vigor and well-drained soils produce smaller berries with concentrated flavors and clusters that are less prone to botrytis.