Red Newt Cellars 2009 Riesling (Finger Lakes) – There’s data on the back label! Let’s see what it says: 3.4% residual sugar, 8.7 g/l total/titratable acidity, pH 3.1, mking the wine medium-sweet on their helpful scale. Since sarcasm could easily be considered my baseline tone, let me issue a corrective: I kind of love this level of information, and wish that more wines with definitionally ambiguous sweetness levels would provide this or similar information. Alsace, I’m looking at you, with a sideways glance at Vouvray, certain Sancerrois…and we could keep going along these lines for a while.
Unfortunately, in this case I think information outpaces quality. There’s a froth-textured and dilute salinity that is, for me, characteristic of riesling that’s not developed enough…I use that word rather than “ripe” on purpose…to bring the grape’s natural precision to the fore. Thus, the sweetness doesn’t soften the impact of a sharp edge, as it does in better rieslings, it just hangs about in bored indifference. By the second glass, I’m equally bored. (5/11)