I had the pleasure of meeting Roman Roth in Long Island during Taste Camp in May, while he led us through a fabulous tasting at Wolffer Estate. While Roman is the head winemaker for Wolffer, he also makes wines under his own label “Grapes of Roth”. I had the opportunity to taste his Grapes of Roth Merlot and absolutely loved it and Roman was nice enough to grab me a bottle of the sold out 2002 from his secret stash. In addition to Merlot, Roman has been bottling a Riesling since 2007 under his label.
A couple of weeks ago I received a nice email from Roman asking if I would like to try the 2008 Riesling ($22) and of course I jumped at the opportunity. One, because I love Riesling and two, because I enjoyed his Merlot so much.
The grapes for 2008 Riesling come from two separate vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island – “The fruit source for this Riesling is 68%Split Rock Vineyard, located just east of Greenport, owned by Michael Kontokosta. The location on the far end of the North Fork with its pronounced maritime influence is particularly important. The cooling breeze is perfect for Riesling, preserving a lively acidity, yet allowing excellent maturation and ripening of the grapes. 32% is from Martha Clara Vineyards, located in the warmer Riverhead area, bringing fourth wonderful richness” – Roman Roth
nose: tangerine, dried apricot, honey, banana peel
taste: apricot, pear, orange zest, slate, star fruit
mouthfeel: full body with tons of acidity
finish: long with just a kiss of sweetness to brighten up the fruit
I drank this with some vegetarian tacos and it paired very well. Overall both Megan and I were impressed by the wine and Roman’s German heritage is evident in the wine. If I had one complaint about the wine it would be that I didn’t get any of the classic petrol notes that I really enjoy in my Riesling. Other than that, the touch of sweetness helped make the fruit more vibrant and rich but was balanced by the racy acidity that ran across the palate. I plan on grabbing a couple more bottles when I head up to Long Island in October.