Arista Vonarburg Vineyard Riesling 2021 Review – Tropical

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on February 7, 2024.

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When we think of producers of high-quality Rieslings, our minds often go to cool climates like the Mosel in Germany or the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York.

But just because some cooler climate regions are famous for their Riesling doesn't mean this grape can't grow in warmer spots. On the contrary, it thrives all over! California-based Arista, known for some stellar Pinot Noir, has one Riesling from the Anderson Valley that we were hesitant about but fell in love with after the first sip.

If you prefer your Riesling ripe and with a robust intensity, this one is for you.

Arista Offers an Intense California Riesling

arista Vonarburg Vineyard Riesling

This California Riesling was pale lemon with medium aromas of lemon, lime, green apple, petrol, white blossom, wet stone, grapefruit, and pineapple.

On the palate, it was off-dry with medium acidity and alcohol, medium(+) body and flavor intensity, and a long finish. We had notes of lemon, lime, pineapple, yellow apple, pear, grapefruit, peach, petrol, wet stone, and a waxy texture on the finish.

This was a lovely flavor profile for a ripe Riesling, and the hint of residual sugar and waxy finish worked nicely together for a beautiful wine. All of the things we love in a good Riesling!

Riesling Food Pairing – Thai Tom Kha and Pad Thai

California Riesling Food Pairing - Thai Tom Kha

We paired this tropical Riesling with two Thai dishes- Tom Kha soup and Pad Thai. The pairing here primarily was for the soup, as we thought the spicy and rich soup would work nicely with the flavors of the Riesling.

Admittedly, we were surprised that the acidity in the wine was not too high. But this one still worked nicely due to the intense flavors and slight residual sugar in the wine- we had elevated notes of peach, elderflower, white blossom, and a greater perception of the sugar, too. There was also a prominent lime spike with each bite, but we are not sure if that was the food elevating the lime in the wine or the wine elevating the lime in the food- that could go either way.

Either way, it was an excellent pairing for a stellar wine.

Score: 4.5 / 5

We want several bottles of this one.

This is the kind of Riesling we would love to have several bottles of in our cellar to enjoy now and to age, and as we are club members of Arista, we'll be buying more of these in the next release without a doubt.

Arista Winery is located at 7015 Westside Rd, in Healdsburg, California. We purchased this bottle directly from the winery and enjoyed it in 2023.

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