Once again, we have a wide array of wines — German riesling, Washington State cab, Finger Lakes riesling and a Blaufrankisch from Austria. Isn't wine fun?

Bryan Calandrelli: S.A. Prum Wehlener 2001 Sonnenuhr Auslese 

Prum_WehlenerRieslingAus_2001 A coworker of mine has gotten into the habit of opening up a nice
bottle of wine every time I back out of working a day I was scheduled
for. This time I managed to find the remnants of this bottle before
someone else finished it.

He's always buying premium wines that come
from respected Old World producers so anytime I get to taste them it's
a learning experience. I don't have much experience with Auslese
and Spatlese wines so this was a nice surprise.

Golden yellow color
with dried apricot aromas and a supple texture, this wine brought
plenty of sweetness in the mid-palate. Fully expecting a cloying
finish, I was thrilled when the acid finally caught up and dried out
the finish enough to keep it fresh.

I did a lot of pondering
with every sip of this one. Knowing when to arrest the fermentation and
preserve some balance in the finished wine is an art in itself.

I can
see why so many people collect and cellar rieslings like this one.

Evan Dawson: Feather 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington

Feather Washington
is not California. You're welcome for the geography lesson. I point
this out because there is way too much over-generalizing about wine
styles in this country, and I'm certainly guilty of it from time to
time. We've moved from talking about California fruit grenades to
including the entire west coast in some of our descriptions. The next
time I do this, smack me in the mouth.

This is
a lithe little 14.2 cab sauv, and we loved it. Not surprisingly,
there's a little too much toast on the finish, but not oppressively so.
It followed a very nice Washington chenin blanc, and now I'm seeking
out Walla Walla vacation spots.

A friend brought this to dinner, and at
$60 I have no idea if it's in the pricing wheelhouse of very good
Washington cab, but it beats the hell out of California cabs. Oh damn,
there I go generalizing again…

Jason Feulner: Sheldrake Point Vineyard 2007 Riesling

Sheldrake Riesling This riesling was made in the semi-dry
style, which framed beautifully the ripe fruit bursting with lemon and

The botrytis flavors were strong and distinct but held off
just enough to showcase the other attributes of the wine (a nice
feature of many Sheldrake rieslings).

I've maintained that 2007 is a year best shown with semi-dry rieslings,
and this particular wine provides a powerful anecdote for that

Lenn Thompson: Rosi Schuster 2007 Blaufrankisch 

Rosi_blau_07 I've tasted several New York Blaufrankishes (or Lemberger if you want to use the consumer-unfriendly name) but this might be my first from Austria, where it is much more prevalent.

This wine actually had a lot less of that wild spiciness that I've come to expect with the grape. Instead, it's a lot more approachable, filled with red raspberry and cherry flavors with a more subtle spiciness and meatiness. There is an almost Beaujolais (cru, not nouveau) character to this.

I have to admit, I think I enjoy some of the New York renditions more, but this seems like a nice introduction to the grape. I need to get my hands on some different Austrian examples.