2006 Potter Valley Riesling

Many years ago we selected a certified organic vineyard in the Coastal Mendocino Mountains from which, even today, we source the fruit for our Potter Valley Riesling. The basic winemaking truth - "The Right Grape in the Right Place" - drove that decision then, and it is every bit as valid now. The Riesling grape is a noble variety that requires moderate days and cool nights to allow proper ripening and mature flavor development. Napa Valley's climate is a little too warm, but Potter Valley's growing conditions are ideal in this regard. Plus, its long and temperate growing season helps to prevent excessive sugar levels that can lead to bitter flavors and high alcohol. We think the 2006 vintage has given us an outstanding wine.

Our approach with Riesling is to be light on the touch. As the grapes come in we press them while still cold: some whole cluster for delicacy and perfume, others crushed and de-stemmed to capture the variety's spicy nose and fruit flavors. We age part of the juice in oak barrels to soften it, but very carefully so, in order to avoid oxidation. While some people ask us if is German or Alsatian style, we see it as more like Austrian for the lower acidity and alcohol levels, and Californian for its ripe fruit flavors. Ultimately we seek to give the wine a balance and finesse that will distinguish it as Montelena.

vintage weather

tasting notes

Bright yellow gold in color, atypical for this usually pale variety, the nose conveys a truly delicate blend of honeysuckle, white peach and flowers, intertwined with a lovely and inviting note of Riesling. Crisp flavors of fresh fruit follow, carefully balanced, and with a fine tuned acidity that is very pleasing in the mouth. This is the driest, lowest sugar Riesling we have ever made. We are certain you will enjoy this all spring and summer, patio or pool, day or evening!

Harvest Date October 19 & 20, 2006
Bottling Date March 2007
Release Date Summer 2007