By Lenn Thompson, Editor and Publisher

Wiemer_07dryriesOne should never assume that the wineries with the best reputations make the best wines. In fact, I'm often skeptical of these "best" wineries.

Sometimes wineries that worked hard to earn their reputations rest on their laurels a bit, feeling as though they've arrived at the pinnacle of the industry.

Others never truly earned their place at all, instead relying on superior marketing and public relations.

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, on the western side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York is one winery that not only earned its reputation as a leading producer, but is showing no signs of slowing down in its drive for even higher heights.

Take this Hermann J. Wiemer 2007 Dry Riesling ($17.50) for instance. 

Winemaker Fred Merwarth makes seven different rieslings, including two single-vineyard wines, a late harvest, a TBA-style, a Reserve and then two "regular" bottlings. This is one of those "regular" wines, and it's delicious. It seems silly to call it "regular" really.

The nose is somewhat floral with light petrol notes, but it's dominated by that classic peach-lime-wet stone combination I've noticed in many of the Finger Lakes' best rieslings. If you want to know what "a typical Finger Lakes riesling" smells like, this is it.

The feather-light palate is alive with citrusy acidity — more than many 2007s — that more than balances the .9% residual sugar. Peach and lime flavors dominate here, with white flowers and super-subtle sweet herbs behind. The petrol notes from the nose are barely noticeable on palate, but there is a terrific minerally vein throughout.

A long, peachy finish ends with a citrus zest note.

I don't want to overuse the word "classic" here, but this is a classic Finger Lakes riesling, and it's very well priced.

Producer: Herman J. Wiemer Vineyard
AVA: Finger Lakes
Price: $17.50*
Rating: 40
(4 out of 5 | Delicious, Distinctive

(Ratings Guide)