Barnard Griffin Riesling 2021, Columbia Valley, Washington

Barnard Griffin Winery began in 1983 with borrowed grapes and a rented cellar, the dream of founders Deborah Barnard and Rob Griffin. It has since become one of Washington’s most enduring and award-winning wineries. At the helm then and now is the most experienced winemaker in Washington State, Rob Griffin. 2021 was a hot one. “When we look back from the comfort of days yet to come – we might trivialize this memory. ‘Yes, it was warm.’ But how warm is warm? Well, on one day in particular, the other place in the US that was just as warm as the Columbia Valley was a place called Death Valley. It is my understanding that they don’t grow a lot of grapes there.” The intense heat contributed to smaller, more concentrated berries with less tonnage to go around – which in the end will make for some truly interesting, small lot wines. We were initially concerned about lacking acids in the whites due to heat – but those concerns no longer have merit thanks to the diurnal temperature shift we have in this region, cool nights saved the day and the acid. It was a year to ‘pitch a tent in the vineyard’ and taste/sample grapes early and often. Fermented in stainless under cool temperature to maintain fruit intensity. Tasting notes: Opens with an inviting melon and tangerine nose rounded out by ripe honeycomb aromas. Crisp, bright apple and pink grapefruit flavors greet the palate. Just a touch of minerality and rock candy chimes in on the long, refreshing finish. Off-dry and
very food friendly.