Precedent 'Old Vine White Wine', Wirz Vineyard, Cienga Valley, California 2013

Precedent White.jpg
Precedent White.jpg

Precedent 'Old Vine White Wine', Wirz Vineyard, Cienga Valley, California 2013

24.95

This was the most exciting wine at the key trade tasting for independent merchants, called 'The Dirty Dozen', a fantastic gathering of twelve of the UK's most innovative and pioneering importers. The last thing we expected was to leave there raving about an oak-aged Californian Riesling, but we like to borrow the old adage that a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet.

The first thing to forget about this wine is that it is a Riesling. It's just a great white wine, made from 65 year-old vines, aged in oak and underwent a full malolactic fermentation. That's pretty unusual for a Riesling, but the winemaker isn't trying to draw a varietal fingerprint and the result is tremendous. It's so expansive and beautiful, with so much fresh lift. There's a wet stone impression on the nose that gives a mineral edge, but you sense the fruit is waiting to ambush you on the palate and so it does with freshly chopped peaches, creamed pears, apple compote, soft honey and a vital core of zesty lime, all tightened up with a 'sucky stone' feeling on the finish. You really have to taste it, because these words don't do it justice. 13.5% alc. Drink now-2017.

Sarah Ahmed, The Wine Detective: "Another heads up took me down the virtual, vinous Route 66.  When I recently presented a Portuguese tasting for Sip & Savour, I’d not realised that one of the wine stockists – Vin Cognito – is the new venture of James Bloom and Lucia Sabine, formerly of Swig.  But it makes lots of sense given their interesting selection and impeccable recommendation of Precedent Wines Old Vine White Wine 2013 Wirz Vineyard (Cienega Valley, California), my pick of the Californian whites.  It hails from  60+ years old, head trained, dry farmed Riesling/Sylvaner field blend vineyard on a bed of decomposed granite at just under 1,000 ft at the northern end of the Gabilan Mountains (had to look that up so surprised was I by this Californian white!) In fact so surprised that I managed not to make any notes!!  But let me tell you it was a firm, mineral but not at all mean, deep, very textural Riesling with old vine sinew –  a sense of struggle translating into a wine of impressive intensity, concentration and focus.  I’d love to sit down with a glass/bottle and see/taste it unfold.  It was naturally fermented and aged for 18 months in seasoned French oak.  12.4%"

Jancis Robinson: "White cherry and almond with a nervy long finish. Nicely energetic and mouthwatering. Stimulating and delicious." 16.5 points

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