Cuisine Wine

NZ Riesling Tasting results

12 February 2018 (Cuisine magazine Issue 187)

Dry rieslings and those from older vintages most impressed the judges at this year’s tasting, writes JOHN SAKER.

RIESLING USUALLY dominates the highlight reel of a Cuisine aromatics tasting. This year the variety was noticeably less dominant, mostly because of the challenging nature of the 2017 vintage. “It wasn’t the strongest showing we’ve had from riesling,” said panel chair John Belsham. “Too many of the younger wines were heavy-handed and lacked balance.” Simon Nunns expressed a preference for the drier styles from the 2017 vintage: “Phenolic management was clearly critical in 2017 and many of the medium wines were more grippy, with tougher textures. The dry wines I generally liked a lot more.” Once again, riesling’s ability to age was on display at this tasting. Four different vintages featured in our top five – two of them from the excellent 2014. The oldest among them, a 2011, is a
wonderful advertisement for the benefits that come with cellaring quality riesling..

For this New Zealand riesling tasting, John Belsham, an international wine judge and owner of Foxes Island Wines in Marlborough, was joined by Simon Nunns, winemaker at Coopers Creek, and John Saker, author and Cuisine wine writer.

All wines are tasted blind. If, after discussion, the tasters do not agree on a star rating, the wine will receive the rating given by the majority but dissenting comments will be included in the wine notes. The scores of winemaker judges cannot exceed those of other judges.


Top 5 NZ Riesling

Archangel Halina Central Otago Riesling 2014

“A BEAUTIFUL EXPRESSION of pure fruit and sensitive winemaking,” opined John Belsham. A few years in the bottle has also imbued this wine with gentle toast characters and textural elegance. It’s a delicate, limey, medium-dry style, with fine acidity and great persistence. The sweetness is restrained. It would be a perfect match for scallops, or pecorino cheese.
| $25.00
→ more 1 View All Results in the Archangel Halina Central Otago Riesling 2014 Tasting

Star ratings for this tasting

» How ratings work

  • Outstanding 3
  • Excellent 5
  • Very Good 9
  • Good 21
  • No Award 26
  • Total Entries 64