In case you’re not familiar, Cedar Ridge is the hometown favorite. What started as a backroom operation in downtown Cedar Rapids has turned into a local booze-based empire. I had a chance back in July to tour their picturesque farm and facility about 20 minutes south in Shueyville, and the place is a local treasure.
That being said, if their wine sucks, I’ll say so. Thankfully, that’s not the case, at least not with the LaCrosse.
Alright Jimmy Wales, tell me about the La Crosse grape.
It produces grapes suitable for making fruity white wines similar to Riesling or as a base for blended wines. The grapes also make a good seeded table grape for eating. It has the benefits of early ripening and when hardened properly in the fall it is winter hardy to at least -25° F. As such it best suited to growing in more northern climates.
So if this were Game of Thrones, this grape would be growing in the gardens at Winterfell. Can’t think of a better grape for Iowa.
Cedar Ridge says this wine is …
Our “off dry” white wine made from estate grown LaCrosse, a portion of which is always barrel-fermented. This is our winemaker’s favorite, with an aromatic nose and finishing with subtle lemongrass, apricot and melon notes.
Whatever you say, the important thing is: it works. It works really well. The wiki comparison to Riesling is spot on, as this tastes like my favorite kind of riesling: the sick and twisted kind. I’m not familiar with the term “off dry,” but I have a feeling its the category my favorite kinds of wine belong to.
Right away, the smells coming off this bottle told me I would love it. When you drink it, it kind of does this weird curve on your tongue. It starts to deliver a tickle of a sweet sensation, which I think is where the apricot and melon comes in. But then it does a wicked fork, which is just awesome.
My favorite so far.