By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Atwater_09dryrieslingAs I've mentioned before, I was first introduced to Atwater Estate Vineyards wines in the Roanoke Vineyards tasting room here on the North Fork. That was when I found myself seriously interested in pursuing Finger Lakes wines.

You see, when Roanoke opened its doors, they had a single wine — a beautiful 2000 Merlot — and nothing else.

Atwater's winemaker, Vinny Aliperti, worked with Roanoke co-owner Richie Pisacano at Wolffer Estate years ago, and through that friendship, Roanoke tasted and sold a handful of Vinny's wines in their tasting room in those days.

I remember being won over quickly by the balance and the value of the wines. I've been following them closely ever since.

The Atwater Estate Vineyards 2009 Dry Riesling ($16) is a wine of classic Finger Lakes character and value.

The nose is herby with fennel and lavender aromas lifting classic lime and subtle peach character.

Showing lively acidity and verve, the palate is driven by intense lime flavors with peach and a little pear too — all with another sprinkling herbs.

Soft and fruity when it first hits your palate, it gains focus through the mid-palate and shows good length on the finish.

Producer: Atwater Estate Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 11.2%
RS: 1.8%
TA: 10.8 g/L
pH: 2.78
Price: $16*
Rating: 89

(*Ratings Guide)