It’s the rare wine that has everything lined up in its favor — stellar vintage, top producer, affordable. The Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Semi-Dry Riesling was available for around $14 or $15 when it was released in 2009. Then it won the Governor’s Cup award, and that availability dried up, but to ARWC’s credit, the price did not go up.

But here’s the one problem — so many Finger Lakes wines never see a year in the bottle, let alone two or three or five. The reviews came early and often for this Anthony Road wine, and consumers knew it was something special. But there isn’t much willpower to go around in wine buying circles, so you won’t find much of this wine anymore.

I’m fortunate to have more than half a case left, and this weekend we drank a bottle.

If you still own this wine, you have something truly outstanding.

Winemaker Johannes Reinhardt speaks often about the need for riesling to have “flesh on its bones.” He’s referring to a richness of fruit to balance the brisk acidity so common in Finger Lakes whites. This wine might be his finest example yet.

It is extremely youthful, without any whiff of petrol, no signs of any troublesome aging. However, the wine has broadened out considerably. Typically I don’t write tasting notes, and I tend to doubt readers care to see mine. But in this case, I share my notes with you only because I want to stress the complexity that this wine has. A far cry from the usual two or (maybe) three descriptors, this wine is loaded:

[quote]Nose of pineapple, pineapple skin, fresh lime, anise, gorge rain
Mouth of key lime pie, anise, fresh-cut apples, dried apricot
Tremendous texture and layering
Very long”[/quote]

This wine was released right around the time when Finger Lakes producers began holding a bit more of their wines back. In the past, Anthony Road saved just about nothing. There’s a chance you’ll find this wine on occasion, and I hope you do. So often a wine of pedigree will disappoint. Not this one.