Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling

Winery/Vineyard: Maurice Car’rie Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Riesling
Vintage: 2019
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: David Raffaele

Rating: 89

2018 Vintage won Silver at 2019 San Diego International Wine Competition, 2019 Winemaker’s Challenge, and 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

How They Describe It

Slightly sweet, spicy aromatics with cardamom and clove, green apples and pear.

How I Describe It

The Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling shows as clear, pale mainly lemon yellow. The wine’s color intensity is richer than a typical Pinot Gris, though not quite as golden as oaky Chardonnays.

The most prominent aromas in the Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling are honeysuckle, pear, apple, and mango. Undertones of pineapple, lemon pith, and jasmine join the bouquet. Notably absent is the rubber, petrol, or “cat pee” aroma commonly associated with Rieslings. This absence and the wine’s sugar content bring out the floral notes considerably.

Flavors of honeyed lychee, pear, apple, and lemon rush to meet your taste buds. More subtle flavors of dragon fruit and pineapple join on the mid-palate, with a minor banana flavor on the finish.

With 1.7% residual sugar, this is a medium- or semi-sweet wine. The sugar is well-balance by medium-plus acid, as well as medium alcohol (12.5% ABV). All together the 2019 Riesling has medium-plus body, with medium-plus flavor intensity, and a medium-plus finish.

Why is This Wine Special?

Riesling originates as the premier wine grape varietal planted in Germany. Its country of origin developed a unique ranking system to classify wine fruit quality and winemaking. Generally speaking, there are six categories:

  • Kabinett – Usually light bodied, pale colored, lower alcohol (8-9%), and can either by dry or semi-sweet.
  • Spätlese – Grapes are picked later (“late harvest”), giving the wines a slightly darker hue, fuller body and higher alcohol content. Also can be made dry or semi-sweet.
  • Auslese – Grape clusters are hand-selected and picked at peak extra-ripeness. Wines can range from dry to sweet.
  • Beerenauslese (BA) – Grapes are left on the vine until they dry out a little, producing super concentrated wine. Only sweet wines are made in this style.
  • Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) – Similar to BA, but the grapes also develop “noble rot“. Also only sweet wines.
  • Eiswein – The grapes are left on the vine long enough that temperatures drop below freezing. Water freezes over the grapes, influencing the flavors and aromas. Also only sweet wines. Incredibly rare.

Using this classification to draw a parallel, the Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling is most similar to a Spätlese Riesling. Both the wine’s flavors, and the combination of >12% alcohol and a decent amount of residual sugar, indicate greater ripeness and richness.

Next, a note about residual sugar, also designated by their initials, RS. When wine is fermenting, the alcohol content is largely dependent on the grapes’ sugar levels.

If a winemaker allows most or all of the sugar to ferment, the wine becomes dry. Local grapes have little trouble producing enough sugar in the Temecula Valley AVA’s warmer climate. Thus, it’s not uncommon to find dry wines in Temecula with over 14% alcohol. When a winemaker wants some RS to remain, s/he will stop the fermentation process when alcohol reaches a desired level.

According to Winemaker Magazine, “dry wines are typically in the 0.2–0.3 percent range, off-dry wines in the 1.0–5.0 percent range, and sweet dessert wines in the 5.0–15 percent range.” For the Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling, winemaker David Raffaele left 1.7% RS in the wine.

Last, an interesting feature in the 2019 Riesling is the minimal amount of a compound called TDN. Found mainly in cooler climate Rieslings, this gives off an aroma and taste akin to rubber, petrol, kerosene, or even cat pee. While it’s often considered a positive in the world of Rieslings, it can be off-putting to many wine drinkers. If you’re one of those imbibers, you’re in luck with the Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling.

When & How I Would Drink It

While it has a touch of sweetness, a glass of the Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling pairs well with lunch and dinner fare. My mind immediately turns to brunch. Similar to some Chardonnays and méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines, the higher acid in the wine goes well with charcuterie platters, particularly soft cheeses and dried fruits. Also feel free to pop open a bottle with shrimp or crab omelettes, roasted vegetable quiche, or bacon.

For heartier meals, the 2019 Riesling would do well next to poultry like chicken, turkey or duck, as well as lighter meats like pork chops. If you’re making buttered garlic bread, this is a wine to go with it.

How to Get It

Order: Contact the winery at (951) 716-1711 or

Bottle Price: $25.00 ($20.00 for wine club members)

Cases Produced: 1,273 cases


Have you tried the Maurice Car’rie 2019 Riesling? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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