By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor


Another impressive 2009 riesling from New York? Yes. And this one is from Long Island.

Because he mostly works with Bordeaux reds and chardonnay locally, people wondered what German-born winemaker Roman Roth (Wolffer Estate, Roanoke Vineyards) would do with local riesling. When Roth introduced his private label, The Grapes of Roth, several years ago, he started with a merlot, but introduced his first riesling not long after.

And of the three rieslings he’s made under the GoR label, Grapes of Roth 2009 Riesling ($22) might be his best yet. Roth purchases the fruit for this wine from Split Rock Vineyards outside of Greenport — one of the North Forks cooler sites. This wine was then vinified at Wolffer Estate.

Green melon, peach, lime and floral aromas are accented by beautiful smoky-flinty notes and hints of boytritis with its honeyed, spicy character.

Lemon-lime, green melon and peach flavors mingle on the dry palate with a laser beam of focused, wet-stone minerality running right down the center.The spicy botrytis quality adds a layer of complexity while fresh, well-integrated acidity gives the wine a tension that really extends the finish and all of its citrus-melon and citrus blossom flavors. That floral quality on the finish is a real standout.