Bonny Doon Vineyard Critique of Pure Riesling 2004

This is presumably the last riesling produced under the Bonny Doon label, and the only reason I’m drinking it now is because the hock bottle it comes in is so absurdly tall that it wouldn’t fit in my storage cabinet after I reorganized it to make room for a couple of Magnums Julian sent over for Christmas (thanks again Julian!)

Anyhow, on to the wine. It’s a few years old at this point, and the nose has taken a turn for the diesel station down the block – but only just. Honeyed peaches are there in full force as well, so it’s not overwhelming. Overall, the effect is of ethereal clover honey and springtime blossoms – it’s lovely.

Surprisingly rich and full in the mouth, the flavors are closer to Ethiopian honey wine than to a classic German riesling; there’s a subtle steely minerality behind it all, but at first taste what you’ll get is largely sweet honey (rocks come later). It doesn’t feel like there’s much in the way of sugar here, but it’s decidedly nowhere as austere as a typical Clare riesling, so I’m guessing there is; acidity is perceptible on the finish, but only just. The texturality of the wine is highly unusual; it’s got heft to it that isn’t apparently based on sugar or alcohol. Instead, it’s reminiscent of Japanese gel candy somehow: it’s tangibly there, but only there to carry the flavors.

Over time, a sort of hazy woodsmoke enters into the picture, taking it all to kind of a martime conclusion; strangely, I imagine that ordrinary oysters might be improved by serving this wine with them, lending them texture and taste that they might otherwise be lacking. The finish is fairly long, lazily shifting between honey, honeycomb, lavender water, and wet stone. Pretty amazing stuff for the money, to be sure.

Bonny Doon Vineyard
Price: $20
Closure: Stelvin

2 thoughts on “Bonny Doon Vineyard Critique of Pure Riesling 2004

  1. Definitely fun, definitely good value, and probably no longer available at retail. Worth an effort to track it down, though, and their new, spendy Pacific Rim reserve rieslings look interesting as well!

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