Otago rieslings worthy of praise

A couple of weekends ago, I had a thoroughly enjoyable Saturday visiting Central Otago cellar doors.

At one, one of the family mentioned that they had bought a new block of land to plant in vines, with riesling being an important part of the mix. At another, a family member enthusiastically told me how restaurants were using their rieslings in tasting menus, broadening perceptions of what this grape variety could offer.

As a riesling lover, this is a delight to hear. While riesling can be the darling of people in the industry, it sometimes struggles to gain traction: getting it into people's consciousness (and mouths) is key. Here's your chance.


2017 Framingham F-Series Old Vine Riesling
Rating: Outstanding

Fascinating dry honey and smoky, almost savoury nuances. Citrus, fruit jube/gum drops allied with a delicious sweet and sour twist, framed by a deliciously creamy mid- palate that flows to lime zest on the close. Power, richness, with complexing nuances popping on the palate.

Thought-provoking and would marry brilliantly with food.




2013 Lone Goat Cantebury Riesling
Rating: Very good to excellent

Rich and voluminous nose of buttered toast, comb honey and mandarin which flow through the palate adding smoky, herbal notes, orange zest, musk and a sweet and sour element with a camphor-like nuance on the close.

Secondary flavours, just tightening a little as a bittersweet apricot kernel draws this to a long close. 




2017 Carrick Bannockburn Riesling
Rating: Excellent to outstanding

A whiff of struck match moves to lemon, sweet jube, musk and an almost earthy, cashew nut-like note. A real burst of flavour hits the front palate, the citrus and honey bought into line by a flood of racy acidity, tempered by a lick of residual sugar. Classic riesling, young, vibrant, fresh, juicy and lip-smacking.





2015 Domaine Rewa Central Otago Riesling
Rating: Excellent

Perfumed nose with white flowers, citrus and schist. Power to the fruit here, a chalky quality in the mouth, a quiet intensity to the dry honey, lemon and grilled grapefruit notes, which grow on me and are in perfect harmony with the fruit sweetness. Nicely integrated with a long carry of flavour.

Rather beguiling.




2015 Millton Opou Gisborne Riesling
Price: $25 (cellar door)
Rating: Very good to excellent

A wild, funky hint at first, moving to musk and honey. A subtlety to this, yet lovely flavours building in richness as spiced, stewed fruits lead the way.

Underlying sweetness, buried in the fruit intensity, a richness, roundness and suppleness which gives a softness to this, yet the acidity is there to give it all the spine it needs.




2018 Giesen Gemstone Limited Release Marlborough Riesling
Price: $20
Rating: Excellent

Explosive nose of citrus blossom, fruit jube, sherbet and apple. The rich and bold palate continues the theme, adding honeyed elements, yet for all its fatness, it does retain a light, aerial quality.

Distinctly youthful and primary, developing more creaminess in the glass with aeration: time should be a friend here.


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