"I thought rieslings were all sweet," is a comment that I hear regularly.
This is a common misconception that hinders interest in riesling to this day.
The truth sees riesling covering the gamut of dry to sweet styles, with today’s selection showcasing it in all its guises.
A racy, dry and refreshing pair are followed by two playfully off-dry versions.
A sumptuous aged release version shows the marvellous complexity that comes with time, while a lusciously sweet noble riesling takes things to another level of richness.
2019 Misha’s Vineyard
Rating: Excellent to
Fascinating, almost deeper register to the nose. Lime zest, dusty stones, pear, dry honey. A stony/schistiness to the palate, a whisper of anise and quinine with lemon/lime interplay, creaming soda later. Ripe fruit, a creamy palate and zesty acidity find exquisite balance in this dry style that grows in the glass, flowing to a long, lip-smacking finish.
2018 Riverby Estate
Dry, spiced honey, lemon, smoke and wet stones. Lightness and airiness, the brisk acidity meets excellent flavour intensity, the whole having good balance and integration. Grapefruit, just ripe pear, lemon join the mix with a little fruit pith like element to the texture. Long carry of flavours that hang in the mouth. A racy style that really works.
Rating: Very good
Musky perfume on the nose at first, evolving to spiced pears and honey. There’s sweetness to the fruit before fruit pith and bittersweet notes create contrast. Clean, bright, easy to drink though initially seems a little underpowered, before making a fool of me by building in weight as it opens in the glass.
2017 Misha’s Vineyard
Rating: Excellent to
Jasmine, fruit blossom, lime cordial and a hint of struck match. Gives the impression of being dry, but there’s a vein of sweetness here kept in check by a fine core of acidity. Lime cordial, honey, lovely depth of flavour and real vibrancy to this. Deliciously drinkable. Would work well as an aperitif or a food style.
2009 Pegasus Bay
Pale gold. Expressive nose of lemon/mandarin, beeswax, musk and lemon cheesecake. Richly, flavoursome palate of honey, biscuit crumb, musk, apple pie and citrus. The richness suggests sweetness, yet the long, long finish is off-dry. Wonderful complexity. Astonishingly youthful and fabulous now, yet still time ahead of it.
2019 Riverby Estate
Price: $35 (375ml)
Exotic on the nose, mango, lychee, toffee, a wisp of citrus, honeycomb and apricot with time. Fat, rich and slinky in the mouth, yet a lovely vein of acidity keeps this vibrant. Honey, musk, toffee apple, a savoury/apricot kernel element on the close, a counter to the sweetness. So much going on. Gorgeous.