Light straw-yellow color; lime, green apple, white peach, tangerine on the nose; white peach, pear, apricot, minerals on the palate.
Medium body, wonderful tartness and bright acidity (3.02 pH) balance the medium-dry fruitiness; slight spritzy elements enhance a dry, fresh finish. This is top example of the noble, too-often overlooked riesling grape.
Eroica is collaboration between Château Ste. Michelle, the giant in Northwest winemaking and its winemaker Bob Bertheau, and Dr. Loosen, a giant in Germany’s Mosel rieslings for two centuries and current owner Ernst Loosen.
Riesling is a cool climate grape, so grapes used were from higher elevations—Ancient Lakes AVA and Yakima Valley. Grapes went straight to press after night harvest to preserve freshness, then were cool fermented with fruit-driven yeasts to slow fermentation down to heighten fruit flavors. The mix of cool climate and focus on fruit delivers a wine with wonderfully expressive stone fruits balanced by superb, food-friendly acidity.
Fads come and go. Riesling once was pinnacle pour in wine, then series of factors—focus on sweet to please fluttery wine neophytes, the natural swing to the “next big thing”, and focus on over-production that produces wines without character—resulted in a riesling retreat. Tragic, because riesling is one of wine world’s most versatile grapes and, when done right, an exquisite food wine.
The Ste. Michelle-Loosen joint effort dates back to 1999 with consistent quality (90-plus scores from likes of Wine Advocate/Parker and Wine Spectator). Eroica is widely available and more than worth a taste. Don’t revile riesling, that is so twentieth century. Loosen up and give Eroica a taste. $19-20
Second, third photos: Bob Bertheau, Ernst Loosen