Eroica: The “Gold” Standard for Washington Riesling

By Kori ~ November 13th, 2013.

Riesling has become known as Washington State’s signature white variety. Washington is the largest Riesling producing state in the United States. And, Washington State’s own Chateau Ste. Michelle is the largest Riesling producer in the world. While Washington Riesling has been around for many years, the big leap forward came in the late 1990’s when Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Ernst Loosen of Germany began collaborating on an effort to produce truly great Riesling in Washington’s Columbia Valley. Eroica is the result of that partnership, and it has raised the bar for the entire Riesling category in Washington.

Winemakers Bob Bertheau and Ernst Loosen work together every step of the way to produce world-class Riesling from Washington State grapes. The partnership launched in 1999, and the 2012 vintage, the current release, is Eroica’s 14th vintage. Eroica is named for Beethoven’s Third Symphony. We have found Eroica to be consistently excellent from vintage to vintage. With the 2012 vintage, the partnership also introduced a new wine to the Eroica line, Eroica Gold. Eroica Gold maintains the trademark acidity of Washington State found in the regular Eroica and combines it with German botrytis influence.

Recently, we had the opportunity to try both the 2012 Eroica and the 2012 Eroica Gold in a blind samples tasting. Both wines are excellent, but we were especially impressed with the Eroica Gold. The botrytis influence found in the Eroica Gold gives it ripe fruit flavors and sweetness. These wines are different so it may be a matter of personal preference for you, though. For us, we will gladly open either of these wines at our dinner table. Which one we choose on a given night will depend on what we are eating and whether we are in the mood for a drier or sweeter style of Riesling.

2012 Eroica Gold Riesling [Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen] (Columbia Valley, Washington): Medium golden yellow in color. Beautiful nose with apricot and orange aromas. Apricot, orange, and a touch of honey come through on the palate. Sweet and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long finish. Residual Sugar: 7.54%
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $28; Available elsewhere, $22 to $30

2012 Eroica Riesling [Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen] (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale greenish straw yellow. Aromatic with white peach and floral notes on both the nose and palate. Dry and medium-bodied with very crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long, refreshing finish. Residual Sugar: 1.66%
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $20; Available elsewhere, $15 to $24

Filed under: American Wine, Riesling, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Judy | November 13th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Thank for the review of these wines and especially for information regarding residual sugar levels. Much appreciated!

  2. Kori | November 13th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks, Judy. Glad you found the RS info helpful. Cheers!