By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

Sheldrake_08rieslingDuring a tasting of Finger Lakes riesling last weekend, I thought a non-Finger Lakes ringer had worked its way into the lineup.

Even though I pull the wines from the cellar myself (and knew I grabbed only Finger Lakes juice) this wine seemed almost an outlier, tasting a bit more Washington (state) to me than Finger Lakes.

Sheldrake Point Vineyard 2008 Riesling ($15) obviously is a Finger Lakes riesling, but it is decidedly different than the other wines I tasted during this session.

The nose is ripe, almost overripe with gobs of juicy, sweet peach backed by fig preserves and a little pineapple.

"Big" for a riesling, it fills the mouth with more ripe flavors — peach, pineapple, pear and golden — with a subtle honey and fennel frond notes. Though fairly sweet (3.6% RS), that sugar is balanced nicely by the kind of acidity that often only comes in a bag on the West Coast.

It's a showier, more mature style than many 2008s, but the balance is good and the finish is good-not-great as well.

Producer: Sheldrake Point Vineyard
ABV: 12.2%

RS: 3.6%

TA: 9.0 g/l

pH: 3.30
Case Production: 616
Price: $15*
Rating: 85

(Ratings Guide)