New York Riesling Diary: Day 48

From my seat at Café Tallulah (240 Columbus Avenue at 72nd Street) I was looking right at her, so I had to take a picture of her. After all she is so very photogenic. I was sitting there with Frederick T. Merwarth and Oskar Bynke, the double act who’ve run Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard in the Finger Lakes/NY since Hermann retired in 2007. We’d just had dinner together down the road at Nice Matin (201 West 79th Street at Amsterdam Avenue) and tasted a couple of really interesting German Rieslings – most notably the 2011 Leckerberg from Stefan Winter in Dittelsheim-Hessloch/Rheinhessen – next to their Wiemer 2011 Dry Riesling ‘Reserve’. The latter was clearly the best dry Riesling from 2011 which I so far tasted from the Finger Lakes having a creamy quality in spite of the pronounced acidity typical for this challenging vintage. It was at the upper limit for residual sweetness in a dry wine, but the 10 grams per liter (1%) did not stick out, rather they helped to balance the floral honey note which undoubtedly came from a little bit of noble rot (botrytis). After a hearty meal and by turns serious thinking and serious laughter Oskar felt it was time for a drink and moved us down the road to Café Talulah. And then the two of them with the assistance of the manager Tom, who clearly has been run off his feet since the joint opened on Monday, told me a series of dangerously funny stories about someone in New York Wine City called Max. It sounded as if Max is not the kind of guy who ever goes hungry or thirsty, so the reasons for him wanting to hunt wild turkey with a bow and arrow are obscure to say the least. However, the real problem for Max doesn’t seem to have been in handling the bow and arrow, but in finding any wild turkeys at all. The poor guy seems not to have seen even one of the creatures, although people have frequently said to him, “go that way, there’s loads of them there!” Thankfully finding good Riesling in New York Wine City is a lot easier than the, also thanks to the great Rieslings which Oskar Bynke (left) and Frederick T. Merwarth (right) have been making the last years. And I had the feeling from everything they said that they are only going to get better, at least that would be the logical result of their combination of passion, commitment and attention to detail.


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