April 25, 2009
Featherstone Estate Winery 2005 Riesling
(Re-Tasted April 2009) ... As I continue to experiment with ageing wine and vintage years I draw some rather interesting conclusions. One of which is that 2005 was not a good year for Riesling. Allow me to qualify that statement a little better: 2005 Riesling aren't aging very well. Riesling, one of the most ageable whites, with its high acidity and slight residual sugar, can age beautifully, developing flavours that are out of this world sublime. One of the signature smells and tastes of a well aged Riesling is petrol/gas/kerosene - a Riesling with 10 years-plus on it has this smell in spades, but they should materialize slowly over time. My findings so far, about 2005, is that those Rieslings have developed over-the-top petrol notes prematurely; and when I am talking petrol I mean sticking your head into a gas tank and breathing deep. Only 4 years from vintage date they should not have the level of gas that many of them do ... thus I can make the conclusion that the hot years (which '05 was) are unkind to the cool weather loving Riesling. This Featherstone offering follows that theory right down to the conclusion. The nose is fairly complex, adding spice and floral notes to that big petrol smell. The flavours fall off sharply with no fruit, no spice, no floral - a hit of something sweet mid-palate almost tries to redeem this wine, but it concludes with a bitter petrol aftertaste. These tastings of the '05s is a bell-weather for the 2007 Rieslings of Ontario - so unless you dig on petrol, early drinking is the key for these wines ... you can hold your 03s, 04s, 06s and the coming 08s.