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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1997 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.


Pacific Rim label

Typically off-the-wall, Randall Grahm's label for the 1996 Pacific Rim Riesling features a free-form geisha surrounded by sushi. From the Bonny Doon Vineyard page.

Some call it whimsical, some say bizarre. But just about everybody agrees that off-the-wall California wine maker Randall Grahm's Bonny Doon wines are GOOD. Here's the latest entry in his Pacific Rim series, a Riesling made from grapes sourced from a startling variety of locations: 38% Washington, 24% Monterey, 19% San Benito, and 18% German (75% Mosel, 25% Nahe).

It's strong (13.5% alcohol) and, at 0.16 residual sugar, so nearly dry that it's faint sweetness is barely perciptible behind a level of acidity rare in a West Coast Riesling. Here's how Grahm describes it in his own characteristic style: "This wine simply does it all - floral, rich and dry with a crisp by no means sadistic acidity. At last, a worthy adversary, a just-in-time archnemisis of the Chardemoth, a fully realized anti-Chard to greet the Apocalypse now."

Uh huh.

Bonny Doon 1996 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling ($9.99)
Clear, watery pale in color, with fresh musky melon and mint aromas. Clean and bright, fresh apple fruit and citric acidity; tart and very long in the finish.

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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