Standing Stone Vineyards2006 Riesling
Tom & Marti Macinski have owned Standing Stone Vineyards since 1991 and have taken great pride in that the small Riesling vineyard they had was planted by the late industry icons Charles Fournier and his associate, Champagne master Guy DeVaux. That vineyard has always produced a stellar wine, and over time Tom and Marti learned that the kind of yeast they used could make a major difference in the aromatics of the wine. In their 14th harvest in 2006, Tom and Marti had a smaller-than-average crop because of some ratty winter weather, so they decided to go commercial with a yeast that they had discovered being tested experimentally at Cornell University’s agricultural station. Called RHST, the yeast (an isolate from Alsace) tends to generate a lot of tropical and spicy aromas. It is one of the yeasts associated with freeing up of exotic terpenes.
A portion of the 2006 Riesling was fermented with the reliable Epernay II yeast and part with RHST. The resulting lot of RHST-fermented wine was far more fascinating. The two lots were blended together to make a dramatic wine that is far more distinctive than Standing Stone’s earlier Rieslings. The Macinskis considered releasing two separate Rieslings, one more traditional and one entirely from RHST, but “commercially this year it really wasn’t viable. We only made 1,000 cases, about half our normal amount.”
The 2006 wine was finished with a residual sugar of 2.1%, but the final 3.0 pH means that the wine finishes dry on the palate. “We try not to make wine by the numbers,” said Marti, “but that means we have to taste it and keep tasting it as we’re making it to make sure the wine has the right acid balance.” Added Marti, “A lot of people had serious problems with sour rot in 2006, but we harvested just before the rains and we think the wine came out wonderfully.”
Reviewed July 17, 2007 by Dan Berger.
Other reviewed wines from Standing Stone Vineyards
Standing Stone Vineyards
2004 Vidal "Ice"
(Finger Lakes)Lenn Thompson 9/12/2006
Dan Berger has been reviewing wine for 30 years, always seeking character related to varietal type and regional identity. He has never used numbers to rank wine and doesn’t plan to start any time soon. He believes that weight and concentration aren’t the only worthy aspects of wine and is especially smitten by cool-climate and food-friendly wines that offer distinctiveness.