Despite the best efforts of wine pundits to promote noble, misunderstood Riesling, American wine drinkers have remained leery. Part of the problem is the unpredictability of Riesling’s sweetness. That roadblock is cleared away at Dolce Vita Wine Shop, which took up residence in Chaska’s old train depot a couple years ago. Every wine in the shop is rated on a 1 to 5 scale for such taste and texture components as sweetness, acidity, fruit, and tannin.
The shop’s flavor profile for Esterlina Cole Ranch Riesling shows that it is off-dry, with just a hint of sweetness. Tasting it reveals that the small amount of residual sugar in the wine (made from grapes grown in the country’s tiniest appellation, encompassing less than 60 acres of vines in California’s Mendocino County) is perfectly balanced by a bright citrus tang.