Tasting Notes: Bonterra Riesling

Every now and then, Harris Teeter has case sales and half case sales, so I like to stock up on wines to try out during these sales. Since Kevin has professed his love for Rieslings, I thought I'd give this Bonterra Riesling a try. Bonterra has received good ratings from Wine Enthusiast and they are an organic winery, so I was curious to see how an organic wine compares.

The Facts

  • Producer: Bonterra Organic Vineyards
  • Region: Mendocino County, CA
  • Vintage: 2010
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Grocery store - Harris Teeter
  • Price: $12.99
  • Eyes: This wine was VERY golden yellow. I know Rieslings can be on a spectrum, but I was quite surprised at how golden this wine was. It was unlike any other Riesling we had tired.
  • Nose: To be frank, this wine smelled uninviting. The aromas were not appealing and I didn't even really want to try the wine. We had experienced this once before at an "open cellar" tasting with a Riesling, so I powered through, but it had a strong petrol or gas smell to it. I also picked up on notes of apricot, which did not bode well since apricot is not my favorite.
  • Mouth: The bottle indicated this wine was "medium dry" to "dry", so I was surprised with how sweet it tasted, and I definitely picked up on apricot. This wine was not crisp or refreshing like other Rieslings I have had and it just didn't taste good to me. 
  • Thoughts: This was a total dud. The aroma and flavor were just not our profiles at all. At this price point, I didn't even waste my time trying to finish the glass. I am bound to hit a few duds every now and then, so chalk it up to a learning experience. We definitely prefer the light and crisp, citrus-y Rieslings over this one which had more tree fruit, so California just may not be the region for us... we'll stick with Germany or Austria. I am not totally out on Bonterra, though. I'm sure I'll pick up one of their other varietals in the future.