Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Find, September 13th

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find". By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean, "Hey, you really need to go find this", and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending, we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

beer hand up.
This weekend Starcrossed is coming to the Seattle area. What is Starcrossed you ask? Well, it's the local cyclocross race that has the biggest breetches of all of them. And by that, I mean that it's an actual UCI race. The UCI is the Union Cycliste Internationale, these are the same people who govern the Tour de France and all those big European races. That means that all the pros are gonna be there. And I suppose I should fill in, that I love racing cycloross. The big names in American cyclocross on the men's side include Ryan Trebon, Jeremy Power, local Zach McDonald and Tim Johnson to name a few. For the ladies it's Gabby Day, Katie F-ing Compton, Georgia Gould and Amy Dombrowski.

For the uninitiated  cyclocross is only the greatest thing you can do on a bicycle. Imagine steeple chase, you know, with the horses, but on a bicycle. You race over a closed circuit. There are a myriad of obstacles and terrain, so gravel, dirt, pavement, mud, sand and grass. At various points throughout the course you may need to dismount your bicycle. All the while, you're being cheered, heckled or both by the spectators who surround the course. In addition to either giving you grief or cheering  you on, they're often there for you in the form of the hand-up. Hand ups consist of bacon, beer, whiskey or money. They can be delivered by hand, mouth, or sometimes tucked into underwear. The idea is that the riders grab for the dollar, or cup of beer mid-race. Dropping a hand up usually results in more heckling.

If you wanted to treat your favorite wine drinking cyclocross racer to a proper hand up, I think Oregon Riesling would fit the bill.  The state is producing some phenomenal Rieslings that run the gamut from dry and austere to slightly sweet and spiced, in the style of those from Germany. They all tend towards great aromatics and soaring acidity.  One that comes to mind makes up our Friday Fudge, as opposed to our Friday Find, as it comes in around $23, slightly higher than our $20 cut off point.  The Ribbon Ridge Estate Riesling from Trisaetum is absolutely delicious. It's got lots of great mouthfeel, fleshy flavors of peach, and melon along with wet slate and fantastic spice and acidity. The wine is incredibly aromatic with lime, and lemon zest and lots of stony minerality. 

To call this a hand-up Riesling is not to diminish it's elegance, but from me this is the highest compliment. I'll be racing in the Cat 3s tomorrow, it's going to be warm, and if someone were to offer me an Oregon Riesling hand-up, I'd be thrilled if it were the Trisaetum. 


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