2017 Riesling Contact

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2017 Riesling Contact
2017 Riesling Contact

Price: $40
Founder's & Collector's Clubs: $30
Case Club: $32
Connoisseur's Club: $34

100% Riesling

Orange blossom and marmalade mixed with honeycomb and chamomile tea.

Orange wines are white wines made with extended contact time with grape skin which contain color pigment, phenols and tannins resulting in an orange-golden pigmentation.

Tasting notes

Orange blossom and marmalade mixed with honeycomb and chamomile tea. A touch of air adds crystalized lemon peel and lemongrass. The nose is expressive and complex while the palate is open and structured at the same time. Phenolic yet not bitterly so, the citrus and floral notes carry through the palate to a dry yet penetrating finish. This is a serious white wine that could age for a decade or more. 

Production notes

Picked at night to maintain freshness, this wine was destemmed and macerated on the skins for 12-24 hours. The juice was then settled and transferred into a new French oak 500L and fermented and aged on a portion of the skins for 28 months before being transferred into neutral white barrels for another 17 months. A modified orange wine meant to showcase a unique and complex expression of such a classical varietal like Riesling.

Varietal Composition100% Riesling
AppellationRoyal Slope
VineyardColumbia Valley – Lawrence Corfu Crossing Vineyard
Aging33 months in new and used French oak
Residual Sugar<0.6g/L
Wine Styleorange wine
Volume750 ml
Cases Produced45

"Bright green-tinged yellow. Pungent scents of lemon and lime zest, minerals and more exotic orange blossom. Rich but dry, boasting a lovely supple texture to its exotic fruit flavors lifted by flowers and piquant green apple. This seriously dense, thick wine is driven by a saline element and huge acidity. It's also extremely long but not phenolically rough, finishing with a repeating flavor of orange zest. Morell makes this wine with extended skin contact, then presses the juice into barrels for the fermentation. - Steven Tanzer/Vinous

88 - Wine Advocate


Medium straw-yellow in color due to extended skin contact, the 2016 Riesling Contact has a reticent nose of white flower blossoms, hints of petrol, lime candy and grilled peaches, showing an open-knit expression. The wine is dry and has the slightest kiss of sweetness, with about two grams per liter of residual sugar. Medium-bodied, the wine shows an impressive weight, but the focus has been cut short. While it's texturally pleasing, the Riesling doesn't flow like a Rolodex of flavors, cascading one after another. The wine lingers with a soft nuttiness and white tea spices on the thoughtful finish.

Gård Vintners is 100% estate grown sustainably at Lawrence Vineyards in the Royal Slope AVA. Lawrence Vineyards features seven distinct vineyard sites with elevations ranging 930 feet to 1,675 feet. The combination of elevation and south-facing slope provides a great framework for grape production, while the diversity of the seven locations delivers a high level of complexity to Gård wines. Lawrence Vineyards is certified sustainable by Vinewise.org.

Winemaker Aryn Morell, a Washington native, honed his skills in Napa Valley working with some of the country’s most notable producers, including Silver Oak, Joseph Phelps, Quintessa, Husic, Chimney Rock, Chappellet, Stags Leap and countless others in winemaking and the chemical engineering of wine as part of a consulting company for which he worked.

Aryn joined the Gard team as head winemaker in 2011, and spends considerable time in the winery’s estate vineyard with Josh Lawrence, Gard founder and viticulturist.  With an uncompromising attention to detail, Aryn carefully crafts Gard wines with an eye toward the unique expression of terroir of the estate vineyard, and earns frequent accolades and high acclaim for his wines.

In 2014, Aryn and Gard founders Josh and Lisa Lawrence launched a winemaking facility in Walla Walla, M&L Production, where all the Gård wines are produced, bottled and aged. Aryn also makes wine for Matthews Estate, Tenor, Alleromb and Mullan Road, a Washington project for Cakebread Cellars of California.

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