Cuisine Wine

NZ Riesling Tasting results

18 February 2019 (Cuisine magazine Issue 193)

There is a riesling out there that is perfect for you, says JOHN BELSHAM.

There is so much to love about riesling and in New Zealand we are fortunate to have a climate and winemaking culture that creates some brilliant examples. Increasingly, we are seeing more rieslings cellar-aged prior to release. Not only is this a wonderful benefit for the consumer, but it signifies that the New Zealand wine culture is coming of age as it gains a greater appreciation for quality that only comes with time.

With a wide range of riesling styles, I realise that it can be difficult to find a style that suits your personal preference. My advice is to never give up! Visit cellar doors, try them by the glass in restaurants and ask questions of your local wine merchant. I promise you that there is a style to suit you and there is simply no etter quality-to-value ratio than riesling. It is also, despite popular misconception, one of the most food-friendly wine styles. Try it out with anything from rich and creamy to fresh and spicy. Riesling can often be the perfect choice.

Top 5 NZ Riesling

Wairau River Summer Riesling

New Zealand has very few genuine multi-generational family wine businesses. Wairau River is exactly that and continues to perform as one of our best and most enduring wine companies. Phil and Chris Rose pioneered grape growing on their Rapaura farm in the Wairau Valley in 1978. Initially viewed skeptically by the local conservative farming community they rapidly earned a reputation as being sought-after high-quality grape suppliers. In 1991 they launched their own “Wairau River” wines to instant success with the inaugural wine claiming the trophy for the best Sauvignon Blanc in the country at that year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards. International accolades soon followed, and the journey began. Almost three decades later the business is showing no signs of slowing down as the wines continue to improve and impress. With the next generation at the helm and the following in the wings the sustainable and successful future of Wairau River is in safe hands.

This beautiful Riesling is from some of the oldest vines on their Rapaura Rd property. As vines mature their root system delves deeper and with this greater resource at their disposal the resultant wines are more complete and more focussed. The alluring apple blossom and honeysuckle aromas of this wine are underpinned by perfectly ripe and concentrated fruit. The hall mark to great Riesling whether dry or sweet, younger or older is harmony. The essential elements of sweetness acidity and texture are wonderfully poised in this wine. A wine to enjoy whilst young yet worthy of cellaring for at least five years.

| $20
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Star ratings for this tasting

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  • Outstanding 3
  • Excellent 2
  • Very Good 13
  • Good 19
  • No Award 27
  • Total Entries 64