The top of the estate Lone Star Vineyard is the birthplace of this unusual West Coast approach to Riesling, which begins with devigorated rootstock and high-density plantings in Oregon’s Willamette Valley — which Argyle bills as “the only American Riesling planting of its kind.” Longtime winemaker Nate Klostermann took a different approach to this fire-plagued vintage than he did with the 2019 Nuthouse Riesling. He waited until the second week of October 2020 to harvest, several days later than the prior vintage, fermentation and aging for 14 months entirely in neutral wood barrels. (In 2019, it was 80% stainless steel.) At 4 grams per liter of sugar (0.4%), there’s essentially no perceptible sweetness, lining up as “medium dry” on the International Riesling Foundation’s Tasting Profile scale. The fanciful nose of sour apple candy, Key lime, lemon, white pepper and cardamon funnels into a mouthwatering drink of lime, Asian pear, mint leaf and slate that commands attention with its brightness. Suggested pairings include Vietnamese fish soup.
Rating: Excellent — 90 points
Production: 500 cases