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A Smooth Operator From Washington State

Hogue Cellars' Late Harvest White Riesling is proof the Rieslings aren't just the provenance of Germany.

It’s no secret that my favorite grape variety in the entire world is the Riesling. It’s what wine is all about—the very essence of wine appreciation, a grape with so much subtle nuance, it could have been a matinee idol with a pencil thin mustache. Riesling is such a smooth operator, I think it once understudied for Charles Boyer.

Riesling was probably the best thing to ever come out of Germany. I mean, it was one of the only things that came out of Germany without annexing its neighbors. But to think of Riesling as a Germanic grape would be as shameful as suggesting that Cabernet only makes decent wine in Bordeaux.

Riesling is, like all grapes, a democratic fruit, and the world is its vineyard. Some vineyards aren't perhaps as deft as others when it comes to producing textbook nectar from this particular grape, whilst others are the very soul of perfection.

Riesling, when treated with respect and tremendous love, will reciprocate with some of the most hedonistic juice mankind’s lips have ever tasted. I’m referring to Late Harvest Riesling, the over ripened, naturally sweet, dark-golden elixir of the gods, a sweet, luscious and sensual libation that suggests the crossroads between heaven and earth have been breached.

Hogue Cellars’ Late Harvest White Riesling (PLCB Code: 7017, on sale at $9.99) is the result of modest rainfall and cool nights in eastern Washington state. It's a wine that, in my opinion, offers more complexity and flavor than one would expect if it had been poured from a bottle with a German label.

The flavor simply can’t be described—it needs to be tasted. There’s a quality you might expect when opening a can of apricots, but this is a sophisticated sweetness with a lightness rather than a syrupy heaviness. It is simply a gorgeous drink and one which will elevate your appreciation of wine.

Cheers!

Look for Hogue Cellars’ Late Harvest White Riesling and other great wines at these local Wine & Spirits Shops:

, 2014 Old Arch Road, 610-270-1136.

, 2927 W. Germantown Pike, 610-270-1424.

, 504 W Marshall St., 610-270-1746.

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