Crystal Range Non-Vintage Dry Riesling

Sierra Foothills, CA; 14.5% ABV
produced and bottled by Madroña Vineyards
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 5 May

CrystalRange_NV_DryRieslingThis is one of those wines about which I had been curious for a while.  It seems like something that should be awful: a grape that’s usually produced in cooler climates grown in a warm area, resulting in a higher-alcohol wine.  However, it did make me wonder… maybe, just maybe, it’s interesting wine.

On the first night, it was pretty nice, with a nice nose of slightly musty yellow flowers, yellow apple, and lemon.  In the mouth, the full-bodied wine has plenty more of that plus white pear, oak, and a small amount of something like dried pineapple.  My only complaint is a little roughness on the finish, the flavor of which strangely reminds me of sun-baked latex.  It’s not that bad, though.

On the second night, the wine is cleaner and smoother, with the same full, ripe fruit, supporting oak, and nice fruit / acid balance.  Stylistically, it reminds me of nothing so much as a Napa Valley Chardonnay, but made with Riesling grapes instead.  The flavors are Riesling flavors, it lacks the fleshier texture of a Chardonnay, and the acid is a little more piercing than a Chardonnay’s usually is.  If this sounds good to you, and I expect it would be pretty popular, Thumbs Up!

The rest of the wine in the fridge was still quite good a few days later.


5 thoughts on “Crystal Range Non-Vintage Dry Riesling

  1. Frederick Stich

    I found this wine to be unpleasant and pored it down the drain. Hot , cloying and odd mineral flavors.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Greetings! I agree it was a little abrasive, especially right away. It was better on subsequent days, and good to cook with. 🙂

  2. jwc

    I suppose this wine is worth a try BW, but my instinct on a 14.5% Riesling plus, the sun dried latex comment says avoid, “Warning Will Robinson!” (Lost In Space reference 🙂 . We still have the excellent Hogue Riesling here, but should I run across it, will give it a try, because this sounds eccentric, and let’s say unique, and definitely out of the norm, for a Riesling.

  3. seedboy

    I bought a bottle of this because I’m always looking for good dry riesling. I thought it was OK. With California riesling you pretty much need to get to that alcohol level to get a dry wine.

  4. lim13

    Descriptively (is that a word?), this wine holds no appeal for me. Oak (unless in some cases it’s entirely neutral) on Riesling and nearly twice the alcohol of most German Rieslings just doesn’t sound like something I could appreciate. Certainly unique though. Haven’t seen it up this way, but haven’t been to GO in nearly two weeks either.


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