red-newt-2011-lahomaAs my colleague Evan Dawson wrote last spring, there is an emerging style of riesling in the Finger Lakes — one that is sweeter, yes, but also richer and more concentrated on the mid-palate. These aren’t sweeter to appeal to those looking for sweet wines. Instead, they are sweet to express a vineyard or a vintage better than a bone dry wine might. And these aren’t dessert wines.

Balance is the key here and Red Newt Cellars 2011 Lahoma Vineyard Riesling ($20) is a fine example of the style.

The nose is complex and nearly impenetrable when the wine is over-chilled. But as it warms, layers of honeyed peach and citrus, hints of garden herbs, pineapple, Golden Delicious apple and dried apricot show themselves.

Rich, concentrated and honey-driven with golden raisin, peach, pineapple, the palate is decidedly sweet but finishes drier than you might expect with gritty, juicy acidity. The finish is long and velvety, showing sweet apple flavors, with apple blossom and just a touch of honey.

Producer: Red Newt Cellars
Finger Lakes 
RS: 4.9%
TA: 7.8 g/l
pH: 3.1
IRF: Sweet
Production: 240 cases
Release Date: May 2013
Price: $20*

 (4 out of 5, Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)