We all want to age gracefully. The exuberance of fruit in young wines, while very enjoyable, can lead to more interesting flavours and aromas over time. Riesling is one of the white wines that is known to be able to age well and improve with time. It was with great appreciation that I received a vertical of Old Vines Riesling wines from Sperling Vineyards, which is located in the cooler climate area of Kelowna in the Okanagan. The wines I tasted were from 2011 – 2014.
We like to taste through a vertical of wines from a single producer so we can get an idea of what we can expect of their wines, current, and in the future. Below are my review notes, followed with my comments on the ageability of Sperling Vineyard’s Old Vines Rieslings.
My Reviews of Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Rieslings
Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2014 – Pale straw in colour. Medium intensity nose with light mandarin orange, citrus, apple, lemon rind and a hint of lees. Off-dry, medium body, with medium plus, nervy acidity. Crisp ambrosia apple with lesser amounts of stone fruits, particularly peach, and flowers, followed by lemon flavour. Mineral. Medium length with mouth watering acidity on the end and finishes with the crisp apple again. A very nice wine that I’m sure will build some interesting character with time in the bottle. Try again in 2-3 years. Rating:
Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2013 – Medium lemon colour. Peaches, apples, with hints of lees and white flowers. With some decanting you get a hint of petrol and honey as well. Off-dry, medium plus body and intensity of flavour. Round and heavier mouth feel with a slight acidic prickle on your tongue. Honeysuckle, ripe pears, overripe apricots and a hint of petrol on the palate. With decanting the petrol and apricot flavours lessen. A bit peppery on the finish together with mouth watering acidity. An excellent, complex wine. Acidity balances with the developing fruit flavours. Rating:
Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2012 – A light, youthful nose with aromas of white flowers, baby powder, and hints of petrol, stone fruit, and citrus. With some swirling the petrol becomes more pronounced. With more decanting the petrol stays more pronounced, and some herbal notes appear. The flowers and baby powder aromas are reduced. Off dry with medium minus mouth feel, and a light acidic prickle on your tongue. Round, heavier mouth feel with a light mineral edge. The minerality becomes more pronounced with decanting. More pronounced petrol flavour. There is a light stone fruit in particular apricot behind the petrol. Citrus rind and mouth watering acidity on the finish, along with a drop of honey. Don’t decant this wine for your best sip. Rating:
Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2011 – A deeper lemon colour in the glass. Medium intensity nose with a mix of youthful and developing aromas. A mix of flowers, baby powder, with lesser petrol and honey components on the nose. A beguiling nose. Between off-dry and medium-dry, this wine is soft and round in the mouth; almost silky. Maybe silky sweetness. Lower acidity. Petrol, citrus and honey flavours with hints of apricot and apple. Medium plus length. Apricot and honey flavours builds on the finish. A really tasty, elegant wine. Not over the top in anything. A great balance of flavours and acidity. Rating:
These 4 years of wines all show great character, with the oldest wine getting my highest marks. All the wines have similar aromas and flavours, but we see the petrol developing starting 2 years after vinification. Apricot and honey also became more pronounced. I think these wines will continue to become more complex and interesting over time. I think the oldest wine, 2011, is probably still OK to age another 4-5 years (possibly much longer) and try again.
Overall I really enjoy the Rieslings produced by Sperling Vineyards, and I highly recommend them. Enjoy.