Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2005
Produced by Bonny Doon in California using 75% Riesling grapes from eastern Washington
State and 25% from the middle Mosel in Germany, the $11 wine presents a mineral nose of
petrol and rubber before rapidly giving way to straightforward fruity acidity on the palate.
Citrus notes (lime and grapefruit) lead the way, ushering in green apple and peach for the tree
fruit component, with melon and floral elements. The minerality rests in the background.
“Dry” is part of the wine's label and is just as vehemently part of its persona. Perhaps I am influenced by the label term (the label itself is a stunning work of art, although I don't believe you can drink that), but I would have welcomed at least a hint of sweetness to round all this out. Instead, the wine takes a fruit-forward direction that reminds me of an Australian Sauvignon Blanc, but without the heady, swirling punch characteristic of that grape.
This wine is well made, refreshing in a “save me for summer” sense, even well-balanced, yet
it leaves me wanting more of that aromatic marvel I call Riesling. This wine has corners, and
in my mind, Riesling does not. The wine is linear, and Riesling is logarithmic. I think those
analogies may hint at the difficulty, though only further Riesling can resolve it.
Sometimes I seem to go hard on a particular wine that may well delight many others, and even those with more discriminating palates than my own. Please write in and tell me I'm wrong, otherwise the opinion stands, solidifies, and—like me—gains weight.
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman