David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a sprightly riesling from a virtual winery in Niagara
2027 Falls Vineyard 2011 Riesling
$18.95 | Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula | 90 points
You can travel back and forth across Niagara and never find 2027 Cellars. That’s because it’s a “virtual winery” run by Kevin Panagapka, who assists at Featherstone Estate and makes his own stuff using their facilities. The concept is helping many new winemakers get established without the bone-crushing expense of building their own place. Trained in New Zealand, Panagapka has a real flair with Niagara fruit sourced from small, single vineyards—this one atop the Niagara Escarpment in a cooler zone.
The taste: This has an intense nose with some petrol, green apple, anise and mineral notes. It’s light-bodied (11 per cent), with a touch of sweetness, then a dry, mineral finish. Quite charming and intense, with some bitterness. Excellent length.
How to drink it: Well chilled, it will slake your thirst anytime as a sipper, but it also has the structure to age well for five years, during which time it will soften a bit and broaden its aromatic palette (indeed, if you’re not a die-hard dry riesling fan, I suggest aging it). The terrific acidity and freshness make this wine ideal for sashimi, tempura, scallops and oysters.