Rieslings Part 1: A walk on the dry side

My trusty helpers sat down with me recently to taste through two flights of Riesling, which I’ll present for you all as a double header.

Some of the wines were clearly on the dry end of the spectrum, others equally obviously sweeter, with a number that fitted somewhere in the middle.

It was a bit of a juggling act to group them in flights that were not only a cohesive whole, but also allowed the individual wines to shine, but shine they did.

The drier grouping this week.



2022 Mondillo

Central Otago Riesling 


Price RRP $30 
Rating Excellent 

Brightly fragrant nose, white flowers, talc, apple, lime zest, very attractive.

Fruit sweetness leads in the mouth, red apple and lime again, bush honey, an appealing wisp of chalkiness adding to the palate impact with a long, just off-dry finish.

No mistaking the depth of flavour and intensity here. Smart wine that comes together nicely as a whole. 




2022 Misha’s Vineyard 

Lyric Central Otago Riesling 


Price RRP $25 
Rating Very good to excellent 

Florality leads, a stony mineral quality, a sense of fruit sweetness yet the overall impression is dry.

Good depth on the quite dry palate, a lovely, grainy, fruit-pithy aspect adding to the texture.

Some stonefruit notes come into play, an almondy bittersweet nuance, an element of fruit sweetness before the overall dryness rounds this out nicely. 




2022 Pegasus Bay

Bel Canto Dry Riesling  


Price RRP $40 
Rating Excellent  

Bold and powerful nose, matchstick, smoke, musk, honey, grapefruit, mandarin, lots going on here.

Richly mouthfilling before a grainy quality kicks in, the musk and orange characters running through the wine, a wisp of apricot kernel on the long close.

Full-bodied, distinctive and fascinating; it may not be for everyone but is undeniably a class act. 




2023 Riverby Estate

Single Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 


Price RRP $24 
Rating Very good to excellent  

Immediately appealing, floral aspects, green apple, dry honey, spices.

Racy and crisp, the surge of bright acidity drives this along, again apple to the fore and quite "correct" for a dry Riesling.

Opens up to reveal more of its flavour intensity with aeration, retaining that fresh, raciness on the finish.

The flavours carry really nicely on the palate. 



2022 Valli

Waitaki Vineyard Riesling  


Price RRP $39 
Rating Excellent to outstanding 

White flowers, river gravel, a gentle perfume, elegance to this.

Deceptively powerful palate, dances in the mouth, lovely sugar/acid balance that adds textural depth yet gives freshness.

Apple, citrus, spice, hints of mandarin/ripe grapefruit with a delightful grainy aspect adding to the texture.

Mouthwatering sapidity, coming across drier than first thought. 



2022 Rockburn

Tigermoth Central Otago Riesling


Price RRP $36.99 
Rating Very good to excellent  

A musky botrytis note, honey, stonefruits, apple and flower petal later.

A rapier like shaft of acidity gives this firmness and structure, paring back the sweetness too, which is less than the nose might infer.

Really tangy, grapefruit, an almost sour worms aspect gets the salivary glands going.

Some fruit pithy chewiness along with strong tanginess cries out for food.