Eroica 2013 Columbia Valley riesling

Oh Florida. A Tampa woman manipulated herself to make it look like she now has three, count ’em, THREE boobs that she supposedly paid $20,000 for to have a third funbag surgically implanted on her chest all in a quest to have her own reality show on MTV. You know, the Music Television channel that doesn’t play any music. Whatever happened to the usual path of, like, joining to college to get a degree in journalism/communications, paying your dues at a network, then earning the right through skilled talent to have your own show? Yeah, that was soooo last generation cause it makes too much sense. Rhode Island makes its dubious debut here on the blog when a 53 year-old sot set the modern-day record of getting DUI’d FOUR times in four DIFFERENT vehicles over a 30-hour period. On a Monday morning when most of us were fueling up on caffeine, this grunt blew a .22 for a cop. And, hey, did you know that Europe beat the U.S. in the Ryder Cup? Yeah, not one f*ck was given that day.

Hey get this, gang,– a blog that proclaims itself to be an “independent” and has “Washington wine” in its name no longer posts reviews of wines from Washington! How much of a moron must one be to not figure out this wank of an author is (1) not independent, but very cozy with industry insiders who ultimately control the content of said wine blog; and (2) think about it… a Washington wine blog that doesn’t review Washington wines. What a twat. We have said this before: the readers there are the fools for thinking they were getting an honest, untainted look into the glorious wines of Washington State. They finally figured out they were really reading a cheap PR stunt of the featured wineries making themselves look good in exchange for cases of free wine. Trick or treat, wine drinkers!

Where did we get all these weirdass blends lately? Perusing the tasting rooms and markets, there are some scratch-your-head combinations that make no sense. I never gave thought to much of these besides their value as a shock-marketing tool. Sure, blends originated long ago from the great chateaus that basically did a field blend, harvesting grapes regardless of their varietal when the clusters were ripe. The most famous example is the “Bordeaux” blends of France, utilizing up to six prime varietals for red wines, as required by their appellation’s restrictions. Other wine laws allow anywhere from 15% to 25% blending while still being allowed to be labeled by the major varietal’s name. This type of allowable blending is intended to develop more pleasing characteristics that a 100% varietal cannot display. Whether it be a deeper color (vision), more complex bouquet (smell), or flavors (taste), these blends were intended to impress the end-consumer and either charge more or prove that any leftovers at the winery could still boast a superior profile. Regardless, a blended wine has many origins; sometimes, it is made out of necessity or created to improve upon a varietal.

Then, there’s the consumer’s version of blending. Picture this, you’re at the dinner with friends and the last drops in the bottle are insufficient to completely fill your glass. The next bottle the host brings out is another type of wine. What do you do? Well, if you’re a true explorer of wine, you do what I do– fill ‘er up, Gaston! That’s how you discover that a pinot gris and sauvignon blanc synergistically do better than the individual components when paired with sushi. Or, add a dash of a earthy, peppery mourvedre into a glass of tempranillo and it stokes a pleasing fire with a fresh platter of paella. Or, cross it up and make your own satisfying blend of viognier and syrah. Pinot grigio with merlot. Sangiovese with a splash of dry riesling. They don’t always work, but at least you will know.

This 2013 edition is the 15th vintage of Washington’s most celebrated riesling and continues the trademark expectations of what a German perspective can do to a Washington grape. Crisp acids and aromatic fruits define Eroica riesling and this bottle bests its predecessors of the last four harvests. With just enough dissolved carbon dioxide to tingle but not corrode, this riesling will light up a platter of artisan cheeses. The balanced fruit profile along with a touch of sweetness is complex and complements spicy Indian curries and Sri Lankan sambal to perfection. Got invited to an Indian family’s dinner and want to impress? This is the wine to present… and you may want to tote an extra bottle!

Tasted at 53-62 degrees on the IR temp gun. Thin straw in color with a summer shower of lemon blossom, guava, and pomelo. Also light bodied on the palate with a collage of grapefruit, lime, slate, and crushed white rock.

Alcohol: 12.0%. Guessing the TA is 0.7-0.85% and pH 3.0-3.15. RS between 1.6% and 2%. Thousands of cases. Retail: $22-25. Save some moolah and buy it at Costco for $14.89. Ready to enjoy now but also worth keeping for the 25th anniversary. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Music pairing: “Shower” by Becky G. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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6 Responses to Eroica 2013 Columbia Valley riesling

  1. andyperdue says:

    Eroica is pretty rockin’ and amazingly consistent. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take part in a vertical of Eroica. It was pretty interesting to see how the wine has evolved over the years as Bob Bertheau entered the picture and Ernst Loosen began to dial in on the vineyards he wanted for the style he sought (the coolest areas of the Yakima Valley, Ancient Lakes and Chelan).

    It’s still a bit sweeter than I wish, but that’s why we have the Dry Riesling.

    Stay thirsty, my friend.

  2. wawineman says:

    Andy,
    You are probably the one who most knows about the sexylicious lineage of Eroica and I also agree that this is one of Bob’s glistening jewels that will define his legacy on Washington wines.

    I have gone through the gamut of riesling in Washington and tasted a few Mosel examples and I think I like my riesling situated in the range of 1.2% to 2% residual sugar. The dry rieslings of Washington will never compare to the great German rieslings and they shouldn’t have to either. Washington riesling is all about the fruit, acid, and minerals, all in fine balance with piercing depth that lead to not just a good wine, but a great wine to have at the dinner table and one that will leave an indelible impression of satisfaction.

    This is what Washington wines should be– their own personality and identity. Not something always compared to somewhere else. That’s lame. Those other wines should be saying they taste like a Columbia Valley version. It’s insulting whenever I read from a winery or another blogger how a Washington wine tastes like some French region. Who cares? It’s like comparing their spouse to someone else’s spouse.

    Dry riesling… you gotta be advanced to fully appreciate the character of a good, truly dry riesling (that’s aged a bit). Tip o’ the hat to you!

    • andyperdue says:

      Me loves me Riesling in all forms. Last week, I tasted everything from 3 grams per liter all the way up to a couple of TBAs. Unbelievable.

      I might suggest you acquire a bottle of Coiled Wines 2013 Dry Riesling, Snake River Valley (that’s right – Idaho!). It is transcendent.

      On the other end of the scale, the Eroica Gold is stunning. What, 7.54% RS with an outrageous pH of 2.92! Unbelievably juicy. It ain’t cheap but, well, I’m a wine writer, so I got a sample. 😉

  3. andyperdue says:

    And regarding your comment about comparisons, you’re bang on. Several years ago, I wrote a column suggesting that if we as a species started over with wine grapes, where would we plant them if we had the choice? Probably on the West Coast of North America and along the northern Mediterranean coastline. Then maybe Bordeaux.

    I think it’s fine to say “Rhone-like” to describe a blend or style for context, but I do grow weary of the “We’ll be the Bordeaux of America” BS. Or worse yet: The New Napa (I want to claw my eyes out each time I read that).

    Years ago, I was judging in California and was introduced to a fellow judge who also happens to be a famous winemaker in the Finger Lakes. I stuck out my hand in greeting; he simply looked at me and said, “New York makes better Riesling than Washington” and walked away. Talk about an inferiority complex.

  4. wawineman says:

    Can’t help but laugh from the stories of how clueless and/or ignorant people (who claim to know wine) are when the topic of Washington wines arises!

    Not as entertaining as yours but I had a sommelier at a AAA 5-Diamond restaurant tell me that Washington red wines are not one but TWO steps behind California. Then, he subsequently showed me the restaurant’s showcase display cellar room fully stocked with some bling… and there in the lower middle section was a couple bottles of Leonetti Cellar cabernet.

    Then there was the wine lecturer who had no idea where Washington was or that we even grew grapes here. He was too busy pushing California and French wines in his introductory class for his commission.

    Then there was the steakhouse distinguished sommelier, in a western state, who was gonna charge me a bottle fee and had not heard of L’Ecole No. 41, much less the 2004 “Ferguson” bottling. Then, I gave him a pour and he went from a puzzled look to a “mmmmm!” look and asked how he could get some and waived the fee.

    And, as always, just creep around the tasting rooms of Woodinville and there’s always that one guy or gal who has never had Washington wine before (because they’re so hooked on California juice), then they get their first taste of a white (or red) and they go all ga-ga and purchase half a case to a case of it. Witnessing the transition from “What’s this gonna taste like?” to “Holy smokes, this is awesome!” on their faces always validates what is fiercely advocated on this blog.

  5. wawineman says:

    Coiled Wines it is then, on my next venture to the wine shops.

    Personally, I love that Idaho is trying. They will get there as the investments flow in. If Oregon can do it, then so can Idaho.

    As for Eroica Gold, looks like I have to trek back to the Chateau and try this. Love the ‘Late Harvest’ version, tho! Those numbers are very enticing.

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