Overcoming internal hurdles to embrace rieslings

The day I tasted these wines I bumped into an old friend, Bruce, who happens to be an ardent fan of both riesling and Gewurztraminer.

Bruce was bemoaning the fact that many wine lovers turn their noses up at these varieties.

It’s a common refrain among those like him and I, which has been captured by these wines.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the hurdle that holds people back from riesling; perhaps today’s wonderful wines might change a few minds?

I’m certain Bruce would have been in heaven, had he tried these: I was definitely in my happy place! Note the stellar Pegasus Bay Museum release - it won’t be available for long.


2023 Carrick Organic Bannockburn Riesling

Price RRP $32
Rating Excellent
Florality leads, white 
dustiness, lime flecks, 
apple, mandarin later. 
A hint of sweetness 
leads before a shaft of 
acidity romps in to give 
a drier impression on 
the close. Grapefruit, 
lime cordial, apple 
crumble, racy and 
quite lip-smacking. 
Aeration sees the 
palate fatten, gaining 
creaminess, a 
honeyed note on the 
close. Bright, crisp & 

2023 Gibbston Valley Red Shed Central Otago Riesling

Price RRP $42
Rating Excellent
Engaging nose, white 
flowers, florality, 
citrus, green apple a 
touch of minerality, 
dry honey and lanolin 
later. Some 
creaminess,  then 
wonderful interplay 
between racy acidity 
and fruit sweetness, 
yet closing dry. Again, 
dry honey, apple and 
citrus with a very long 
close. Draws you 
back for more, a 
lovely each-way bet 
between drinkability 
and potential.

2023 Hunter’s Marlborough Riesling

Price RRP $20.90
Rating Excellent
Another lovely nose, 
flirts with honeysuckle, 
there’s red apple and 
spice, lemon zest, very 
classic. Dry on the 
palate, nice textural 
action going on, a wisp 
of fruit pith adding 
interest, initially an 
almost sweet ‘n’ sour 
quality adding 
piquancy which 
rounds out very nicely 
as it takes on air, the 
red apple flavours to 
the fore. Already 
drinking well, but likely 
even better with time.

2023 Dicey Bannockburn Riesling

Price RRP $32
Rating Excellent
The nose implies 
richness, musk, apple, 
clover honey with an 
undercurrent of stony 
minerality. Honey is 
joined by orange and 
herb on the palate, a 
smoky backdrop, a 
rather fascinating 
palate, a deeper, more 
brooding aspect 
snapped back into line 
by the honeyed yet 
zesty, just off-dry 
close. A tingly quality 
makes a foray. 
Fascinating, some 
intrigue here.

2020 Gibbston Valley G.V Collection Central Otago Riesling

Price RRP $30
Rating Excellent to Outstanding
Very aromatic, quince, 
smoke, a camphor-like 
note, apple and honey, 
a suggestion of a wisp 
of sweetness? Creamy 
texture leads to a 
deeper register, still a 
youthful tautness, 
delicacy rather than 
exuberance, cerebral 
rather than a crowd 
pleaser, this somehow 
feels effortless. The 
nose and palate grow 
with air, this is a stealth 
bomber that quietly 
ignites the senses.

2014 Pegasus Bay Aged Release Waipara Riesling

Price RRP $45
Rating Outstanding
The nose exudes 
richness, flinty 
minerality, beeswax, 
mandarin/tangelo, apple, 
a sumptuous and 
complex nose that draws 
you back again and 
again. That richness is 
there on the palate too, 
matched by wonderful 
tension, a chalky aspect 
adding to the texture. 
Writing about the 
flavours is superfluous 
— this is vital, vibrant, 
complete. A wonderful 
example of aged riesling 
with yet more potential.