Wirz Riesling 2018
With his Wirz Vineyard bottling, Ryan has become one of California Riesling’s leading pioneers. In doing so he has freed himself of the near-universal notion that greatness in Riesling must hinge on acidity. He outly rejects this view, as if acidity were a kind of conformity. Instead his approach involves leaning into ripeness and letting the grape skins provide structure in the form of astringency. The result is textural, confident and soulful. Wirz Vineyard is a living piece of California history — ancient head-trained vines perched in the foothills of the Gabilan Mountains. As for cellar work, Ryan takes all the techniques associated with high-quality Riesling production and does the opposite, allowing skin contact, oxidation, malolactic fermentation and minuscule sulfur additions to take things in an inspired new direction.