Off-Dry Riesling From California’s North Coast

Today’s Story: Benevolent Neglect

Benevolent Neglect is a small passion project of winemaking friends Matt Nagy and Ben Brenner. As the name implies, winemaking here is best called minimal intervention as Matt and Ben believe a winemaker is meant to translate what the vineyard provides and not come in with a heavy hand in the cellar. The team rarely uses new oak, they don’t use oak substitutes, and eschew additives common in many corners of the winemaking world. They also refrain from adding water or acidity to alter the wines’ natural balance. All reds are unfined and unfiltered, while some of the whites only see filtering. Benevolent Neglect sources their fruit from the Central and North Coasts of California as well as Napa/Sonoma, producing a range of wines that stretch from Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to Rhône varieties and Ribolla Gialla.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Riesling

100% Riesling; 11.3% ABV

The 2018 Riesling is medium straw in color and transparent. Aromas are of pronounced intensity, with the nose displaying notes of lime, white peach, grapefruit, green apple skins, honeysuckle, and a small hint of petrol. Meanwhile the flavors are of medium intensity, while the palate displays notes of green apple, lemon and lime zest, crisp pear, honey, and saline. This off-dry Riesling (RS of 15g/L) is medium-bodied with high acidity, medium (-) alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $28 (often found closer to $40). I think for $28 this is a solid Riesling and a fun one to try given the minimally invasive winemaking style and region where it comes from. It lacks in intensity on the palate for me, but overall it’s an enjoyable and fun Riesling to try.