Oregon Riesling Is the Best Wine You’ve Probably Never Had
Here are 9 bottles you should buy right now.
Oregon may be best known for its world-class Pinot Noir, but the Riesling being produced there deserves serious attention, too. It’s made in a range of styles, from bone dry to sweet, and the best of them share a spine of acidity that lends each sip balance, energy, and food-friendliness. Many can be found for less than $35, too, making Oregon Riesling one of the great, under-the-radar values of the wine world. Here are nine standouts, listed alphabetically.
2017 Brooks Wines Hope Well Vineyard Riesling Eola-Amity Hills ($24)
Bright, generous, and so well-centered with acidity, the spine of which carries along flavors of lime, seashell-like salinity, and tarragon against seckel pear, passionfruit, and lemon-blossom honey. Their “Ara” Riesling is also excellent.
2017 Hyland Estates Old Vine Single Vineyard Riesling McMinnville ($25)
Notable concentration, with flashes of honeysuckle, fennel, autumn orchard fruit, and a spicy, honeyed finish that lingers beautifully.
2018 Lady Hill Champoeg Vineyard Riesling Willamette Valley ($25)
Anchored, balanced, and generous with its sweetness, which is finely calibrated alongside delicate acidity. It’s an excellent example of the style: ripe apricots, baked apples, nectarines, honey tuille, and orange blossom. Only 94 cases were produced.
2018 Montinore Estate Almost Dry Riesling Willamette Valley ($18)
True to its name, this is not quite dry, not quite sweet, and altogether delicious. Full of propulsive energy and kissed with the sweetness of ripe fruit as opposed to sugar, it’s defined by flavors of yellow peach, lemon blossom, and spice, as well as a quiet touch of lemongrass on the finish.
2017 Penner-Ash Hyland Vineyard Old Vine Riesling McMinnville ($35)
Almost smoky on the nose and with a slight hint of almonds, the silky mouthfeel here and generous stone fruit join an inner core of spicy savoriness.
2017 Project M Wines Schlüssel Riesling Willamette Valley ($26)
Taut, concentrated, and mineral, this is expressive of lemon pith and flesh, a hint of hard nectarine, and herbs. Mouthwatering.
2018 Rain Dance Grand Oak Vineyard Riesling Chehalem Mountains ($24)
Subtly lifted and floral, with a vibrant palate shimmering with passionfruit, lemon-lime, verbena, sweet spice, and lingering minerality.
2018 Trisaetum Wichmann Dundee Dry Riesling Dundee Hills ($32)
White-blossomed flowers are cut through with vivid acidity. Mandarin oranges find a counterpoint in lemongrass and jasmine in this complex gem. I loved Trisaetum’s 2018 Ribbon Ridge Estate Dry Riesling, too.
2017 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Estate Grown Riesling McMinnville ($18)
Taut, mouthwatering, and bursting with pineapple, hard green apple, passionfruit, and spice, this has a long finish and the structure to age gracefully for years.