WINE REVIEWS: Riesling and Gewurztraminer

There's a marked difference in weight and texture between aromatic varieties riesling and gewurztraminer: riesling is about vivacity often with a hint of mineral and whether sweet or dry, usually has a crisp finish; gewurztraminer is lusher and richer with a silky or oily texture, and the best have a firm, dryish finish.



Main Divide Waipara Riesling 2010


Three and a hlaf stars (out of 5)

Good value

Fragrant, floral and fruity with hints of lime, mandarin and a suggestion of mineral, medium sweet with weight in the mouth and a fresh, crisp finish.



Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2009


Three and a hlaf stars

Good value

A classic Marlborough riesling, ripe, fragrant and zesty with hints of lime, lemon, mandarin and mineral, full in the mouth, off-dry with a hint of underlying savouriness.



Ostler Lakeside Vineyard Waitaki Riesling 2011


Three and a half stars

Below average value

From a stony vineyard above Lake Waitaki, this is delicate and racy, floral with ripe, almost tropical fruit, a burst of lime freshness and a crisp, zesty, well-balanced finish.

Attractive, medium sweet and stylish.



Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Waipara Dry Riesling 2010


Four and a half stars

Good value

A big riesling with ripe flavours oozing Seville orange marmalade, honey and lime flowers, powerful, mouth-filling and stylish with a harmonious dry finish.

A portion has been fermented in old oak which gives texture and structure. Riesling aficionados will want to taste, and cellar, this.



Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2011


Four stars

Good value

Fragrant with rose petals, exotic spice and caramel, this is concentrated with hints of toasted nuts, a velvety, unctuous texture, and slightly savoury undertones. A rich, powerful, mouth-filling wine with a dry finish.



Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010


Four stars

Good value

A classic Marlborough gewurztraminer, big, mouth-filling, oozing rose petals, ginger and citrus with a rich, oily texture and firm, fresh, dry finish with a lingering aftertaste of Turkish delight.



Pegasus Bay Waipara Gewurztraminer 2010


Four stars

Average value

Lush, indulgent, and initially cosseting the mouth with oodles of soft fruit oozing spice, rose petals and fragrant herbs, this nevertheless is concentrated and mouth-filling with an oily texture, and is saved from utter decadence by a firm, dry finish with an aftertaste hinting of salted caramel.


Buller Beverford Victoria Moscato 2011


Three stars

Average value

A fresh, light, frivolous muscat, sweet and slightly bubbly with floral aromas and hints of ginger, grapefruit and pineapple. Best enjoyed well chilled.


Anchorage Nelson Classic Riesling 2011


Three stars

Average value

A light crisp riesling with a hint of sweet lime and lemon and a dryish finish.



Although wine sent for review is tasted blind to eliminate preconceptions, all wine tasting and evaluation is subjective. These are personal recommendations.

Check out the wine reviews on for more wines from this tasting. 


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