The Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2020 is sourced from a single vineyard (Milbrandt) in the Ancient Lakes AVA of the Columbia Valley in Washington. Kung Fu Girl is one of the wines in the Charles Smith Wines brand. Charles Smith sold the wine company to Constellation Brands, but the production details of this Riesling have been basically the same since 2016.
Charles Smith is an innovator and made Columbia Valley wines cool, I will go over a little of his story in the podcast. These wines were all value-priced, but he did not skimp on the details, the Merlot (The Velvet devil) was the least expensive Merlot aged in oak barrels. This Riesling is a single AVA, single-vineyard wine and still sells for around ten bucks.
The grapes for the Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2020 were whole-cluster-pressed. That means the grape clusters, stems, and all are pressed to extract the juice. It helps to control the acidity and can produce more nuanced flavors. Pinot Noir and Sparkling wines typically the whole cluster.
The winemaker used natural yeast for fermentation which is where the yeast that floats in the air and sticks to the grape skins starts the fermentation process. It is thought that natural, local yeast is a better match for the grapes than commercial yeast.
The Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2020 is then aged for 6 months “on lees”. On Lees sounds fancy but it means that the dead, spent yeast is kept in the tank with the fermented wine during aging. It adds a nutty/salty sensation and when stirred can add a creamy texture to the wine. The more the wine is stirred the creamier it gets.
This is a dry Riesling, but with loads of fresh fruit and citrus flavors. The alcohol content is proper for Riesling, 12%. This wine gets 90 points from all the leading wine magazines and it is one of those rare wines that your aunt likes as well as your wine snob neighbor.
The Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2020 Tasting Notes
The color is a pale wheat yellow with a touch of gold. The nose is lemon, apple, honey, orchid, gasoline (ok, that scent may look weird, but Riesling from Mosel, Germany, the elite Riesling growing region typically has a petrol aroma, but American Riesling especially value Riesling never has, that scent is a very good sign for a Riesling wine), pear, peach, and melon.
The Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2020 is dry, with balanced acidity and an excellent display of flavors.
This Riesling tastes like a stew of unsweetened pineapple, apple, lemon, tangerine, and soft spice. The mid-palate shows hat salty/nutty “on lees” thing, tropical fruit, kiwi, and key lime. The acidity lets the flavors roll on and on and invites you to take another sip.
- The Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2020 is one of my favorite wines.
- It is the definition of a Bang-For-The-Buck wine.
- I have sampled this wine several times before and this is the first time a got petrol from the nose, which got the wine geek in my excited. All the great, expensive Riesling wines show that aroma and so does Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2020.