We all have our favourites and it is no secret that when it comes to Riesling, my favourite producer is Pegasus Bay. But would it still be a favourite when included in a blind tasting test? He had selected the wines so I had no idea, other than the variety was Riesling, what was there. At that stage I didn't know that they were all 2009 vintage as well. I tasted the wines and wrote my notes.
"Yum, this is delicious," I said of wine number six as I scribbled into my notebook:
' A gorgeous floral bouquet full of honeysuckle and citrus blossoms - beautiful. Great seam of citrus-like acidity - tantalising sweet citrus -balances the off dry sweetness. There's a depth to this wine and an amazingly long finish. Delicious. Perfection.'
"It tastes like a Pegasus Bay wine," I said. Neil looked at me quizzically, raising one eyebrow as he does when I'm close to guessing correctly.
"Yes, and no," he said. It turned out to be their second tier label, Main Divide – and "yum" is definitely the word.
Main Divide Waipara Valley Riesling 2009 has everything I love about Riesling in a just off dry style – bright and tangy, juicy and refreshing, perfect balance of sweetness to acidity so everything tastes just right. It's a wine that can take lots of chilling, but as it warms up to room temperature on a summery late spring day, it's still quite delectable and mouthwatering.
Matthew Donaldson and Lynette Hudson, winemakers at Pegasus Bay, have taken to adding a soupcon of carbon dioxide to the wine just before bottling – this gives the wine a slightly spritzig character and adds to the refreshing taste. However in this 2009 vintage, it seems more toned down than in the past – it's like a tingle of ginger infusing with the juicy apple and sweet citrus flavour with honeysuckle nectar adding to both the flavour and the texture.
Alcohol is a respectable 11.5%, and RRP is $19.99. Check out the website, www.maindivide.com for more.
© Sue Courtney
14 Nov 2010