It seems as if Eroica gets more precise with each vintage. The joint venture between Ernst Loosen and Chateau Ste. Michelle produced a 2008 that's simply brilliant, its scents of Thai pineapple and passionfruit leading to limelike flavors hurried along by rippling acidity. There's tension between the brisk and creamy textures, a contrast of generosity and mineral edges. Pair it with wienerschnitzel.
A collaborative effort between Chateau Ste. Michelle and the Mosel's Ernst Loosen, Eroica consistently ranks as one of the West Coast's finest Rieslings. As this latest version so aptly demonstrates, it is also very much deserving of patience. While it presently flirts with elements of Bartlett pears, peaches and a hint of lime zest, it is still a firm, tightly wound youngster that needs to unfold. Its exceptional balance ensures that any wait will be well worthwhile, and, while we would enjoy it right now with a scallop or two, we plan on setting some aside to be enjoyed as it fills out and opens up over the next several years. GOOD VALUE
The white wines begin with the 2008 Eroica Riesling, a collaboration between Germany’s Ernst Loosen and Chateau Ste. Michelle. The grapes are sourced from a number of sites and several AVAs. Because of the winery’s vast holdings, this superb Riesling can be made in quantity (27,000 cases) while maintaining exceptional quality. Light straw-colored, it has a lovely, captivating perfume of acacia, honey, mineral, melon, and tropical aromas. Crisp, light- bodied (11.5% alcohol), concentrated, and vibrant, this just off-dry (1.77% RS), Kabinett-styled Riesling has the balance to evolve for several years and should drink well for a decade.
Very pale straw-yellow. Subtle aromas of citrus peel, ginger, quinine, linden tea and fresh herbs. Intense stone fruit flavors are bright and tactile, with a slight impression of residual sweetness leavened by vibrant acids. Tasty, complex riesling with very good lift on the firm aftertaste.
This lively, refreshing wine has a delicately sweet edge to its pear and floral flavors, lingering effectively on the focused finish. Drink now through 2013.