Sweet, but not too sweet – Hogue Wine Review

washington stateWe’ve all had bad sweet wine — stuff that tasted like table sugar or, worse yet, chemical sweeteners, and left a nasty aftertaste in your mouth. Yuck… So what do you do for good sweet wine?

Meet the Riesling grape. It’s native to Germany, which is one of the coldest places in the world where wine grapes are grown. The grape likes cold — in fact, it needs cool temperatures to develop the acid that makes the wine crisp and clean. Why is “crisp and clean good”? Because in a sweet wine the “crisp” keeps it from tasting syrupy or cloying.

So back to Riesling, and Hogue. The winery called Hogue Cellars is in Washington State — Eastern Washington State. Don’t be thinking of rainy Seattle: the Columbia Valley has a totally different climate than wet, cool Seattle. The Cascade Mountains alomg the coast create a rain shadow, so the land to their east is dry and warm. But it’s still at a northerly latitude, so the nights get quite cool. They’ve got that “Diurnal Temperature Shift” going, where temperatures drop by as much as 30 degrees overnight. And that creates — good acid in the grapes. Sound familiar? Kinda reminds you of Germany, doesn’t it?

So yes, Washington State’s Columbia Valley is a dandy place to grow Riesling. The grapes have lots of intense fruit flavors, along with that good acid balance. Hogue takes the process one step further and makes a Late Harvest Riesling. This is just what it sounds like — grapes are harvested later, which means they hang longer on the vine and develop more sweetness.

I hope I haven’t lost you on the way to our review of Hogue Late Harvest Riesling 2009. It really is a great sweet wine, because you get lots of tangerine and apricot fruit flavors, and a finish that’s crisp and clean. I’ve poured this wine for many folks who said, “I don’t like wine,” and they ended up raving about it. Try it as a table wine if you’d don’t like dry, or sip it with a dessert if you think you don’t like sweet. Let me know how you like it…

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2 Responses to “Sweet, but not too sweet – Hogue Wine Review”

  • Hi there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this website.

  • Jon:

    Love the dry Riesling. Great with pastas and fish. But I don’t like Riesling rgarleuly (too sweet), so that may explain why I like this one so much.

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