By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Whitecliff_09rieslingDisappointingly few rieslings made in the Hudson Valley from Finger Lakes fruit maintain the true character of the fruit's origin. There are many reasons why this could be, some unavoidable.

Trucking fruit or juice from central New York to the Hudson Valley certainly isn't going to make for a pristine start to the winemaking process. That can't help. Add manipulative or extremely low-tech winemaking techniques (lack of temperature control during fermentation for instance) and it's easy to see why many rieslings made and bottled in the Hudson Valley under the "New York State" AVA can be tasty, but rarely express or are recognizable as being born in the Finger Lakes.

Not so with the Whitecliff Vineyards 2009 Riesling ($15).

Lightly floral aromas lead into those of ripe peach, lime-grapefruit and honey with an underlying fennel note.

Citrus flavors — grapefruit and lime — are primary on the palate, which shows good-not-great acidity and a light floral quality as the wine warms a bit.

The residual sugar tastes more sugary than fruity here, even with decent acidity and balance, so it comes off a bit artificial/candied.

The finish is medium-short and doesn't show great focus, but this is an everyman style of riesling and a nice effort.

Producer: Whitecliff Vineyards

Rating: 82

(Ratings Guide)