Riesling relies on acidity for its freshness and structure.
This can be mitigated by varying degrees of sweetness, but
whether sweet, medium or dry, there should be enough fruit
weight to balance the lively acidity. Drier versions are
usually best with rich food, such as cheese or fish pie, or
Asian dishes with a hint of sweetness and ginger, lime or
BEST UNDER $20
Wild River Waipara Riesling 2011
Four stars (out of fiv)
An attractive wine with hints of lime marmalade and
stonefruit, and a nutty, savoury aftertaste. It's a complex,
off-dry wine, textural and mouth-filling with a well-balanced
Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2012
A fragrant, fruity wine hinting of citrus and ripe peach,
medium sweet with a crisp acidity on the finish. It's very
young and will benefit from a few months bottle age.
Neudorf Nelson Dry Riesling 2011
A youthful wine hinting of lime and flowers, but tight,
textural and complex, yet delicate and harmonious with a
rapier-like acidity and lingering fruit on the aftertaste.
Best with food and with bottle age.
Neudorf Moutere Riesling 2011
Floral with a hint of lime and schist, lively fruit and silky
texture, this is delicate, seamless and persistent, off-dry
but with a refreshing steely acidity. Another fine riesling
from one of the country's leading makers, it will reward
Rippon Jeunesse Riesling 2011
Three and a half stars
With suggestions of lime marmalade and mandarin and an
underlying savouriness, this is an exuberant, lively wine
with a steely dry shaft of acidity on the finish.
Rippon Central Otago Gewürztraminer 2011
Four and a half stars
A wonderfully aromatic wine, fragrant with hints of roses and
lychees, but held in check by a firm structure and slightly
savoury undertones, unlike many blowsy northern examples.
This is delicious, one of the best Rippon has produced.
Well-structured gewurztraminer like this is versatile with
many types of food.
Rippon Central Otago Riesling 2011
There's lime and citrus fruit here, but also a hint of schist
and complex nuances of tar or rubber lurking intriguingly
behind the intense fruit. Like all good riesling this has a
lively, persistent rapier-like acidity and will reward a few
years bottle age.
Pasquale Hakataramea Valley Arneis 2011
Three and a half stars
Below average value
Arneis is a white variety from northern Italy, that makes
fragrant, crisp wines. This hints of ginger, herbs, flowers
and white pepper, with a flinty undertone, good structure and
texture, and a dry finish.