Sunday, May 17, 2015

Enjoying an Extinct Anderson Valley Riesling

I hate it when a wine I love goes extinct. Sometimes wineries just stop producing a certain wine, or they lose their contract with a vineyard grower, or the winery gets bought out by a larger conglomerate.

Such is the case with Breggo Cellars’ Anderson Valley Riesling. RIP. 

I first visited Breggo in 2009, as my love of Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley was budding. Their Syrah, Pinot, and Chardonnay were delicious, but I was also impressed and surprised by their Gewurztraminer and Riesling, which can fare well in some Mendocino terroir.  

Breggo was purchased by the Cliff Lede family of wines in 2009 and
relaunched as FEL in 2014. Lede Family Wines also purchased the Savoy Vineyard in 2011, which was the source of some stunning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Breggo. FEL still focuses on those Savoy Vineyard wines, as well as Anderson Valley appellation blends. 

It’s good those wines will live on, but, unfortunately, FEL does not produce an Anderson Valley Riesling. The Riesling grapes are surely going somewhere, but the Breggo Riesling is extinct. Fortunately for me, and anyone who can still find leftover Breggo Riesling, the juice still is far from dead. And other producers are doing exciting things with Mendocino Riesling (Navarro and Nelson Family come time mind).

I swiped this Breggo bottle for a ridiculous $10 a bottle, and it was one of the best bargain finds in recent memory.

2012 Breggo Cellars Riesling Anderson Valley - California, Mendocino, Anderson Valley
Gorgeous light golden color. Nose of gummy bears, white peaches and honey on the richer side, but lots of leaner, more elegant notes of sea salt, minerals, oyster shells, lemon peel. On the palate, this is dry, nervy, intense and lively. Lots of acid but the body to back it up. Tons of wet potting clay and deep chalk elements accent the lime, green pear and white peach. I get notes of oyster shells and lots of mineral intensity. Long and complex, it was even better on day two. I’m a big fan of Breggo, but this was probably the best $10 I’ve ever spent on an American wine. (91 points)

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