Citrus leaning aromas with flavors ranging from a very ripe apple to tangerine and apricot. Floral notes are supported by a mouth-coating texture from lees contact—an aspect Winemaker Sean O’Keefe enjoys. Containing roughly half of the residual sugar compared to the regional style with a present acid tension, our Late Harvest is less obviously sweet and strikes better balance.
Late Harvest translates to Spätlese, which is German for “a special selection of the ripest grapes of the harvest”. In the United States, these wines are often very sweet, but here at Mari we seek balance. Although our Late Harvest is a lush wine with obvious sweetness, the focus is on the ripeness of the fruit flavor, not the residual sugar content. “Late Harvest” is also a legally protected term—under law, no sugar can be added to increase sweetness or alcohol. It is a delicate balancing act of preserving underlying acid structure with the ripe fruit.
The bird on the bottle is a symbol of Sean’s journey as Mari’s winemaker. This bird is a magpie with a grape in its mouth, flying from a gilded birdcage, ready to stretch its creative wings.
2019 was an unseasonably cool summer, so we let the grapes hang on the vine as long as possible. Harvested at peak ripeness on October 26th, the fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks on its lees, and stopped at a cold temperature to preserve residual sugar. After being racked once on January 3rd 2020, the wine was bottled later that year on July 24th.
Sweeter Rieslings go well with anything pork, whether it be spicy or sweet and sour. The soft fruit and light acidity helps our Late Harvest compliment heavier cheese dishes, like baked raclette (try with pork sausage, bread, & pears) or macaroni and cheese with ham. For dessert, try pairing with a mango sticky rice or other tropical fruit.
Riesling ages wonderfully and will evolve in character with maturity. A patina effect can create new flavors that some describe as “petrol”. We recommend enjoying now through at least 2030.