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edited by Sue Courtney

Wine Reviews - Riesling
2015, 2014 & 2013 vintages
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 22 May 2018

Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my Riesling notes, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.

[2016] [2015] [2014] [2013] [2012/2011/2010/2009] [2008/2007] [2006/2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and older] [index]

2017 Vintage [top] [index]

Beach House Stony Beach Gravels Hawkes Bay Riesling 2017 (sc) Lemon straw in the glass with pear nectar nuances and touches of oyster shell to the bouquet. A sweeter, delicate, low alcohol style with light viscosity to the texture and racy apple and lime acidity honed in nicely by tropical fruit and mandarin honey. Balanced and long. Gold Medal and Trophy NZIWS 2016. 9.5% alc. $18.99. 14Feb2018.

Ceres Black Rabbit Central Otago Riesling 2017 (sc) This instantly attractive Riesling has an intensely floral and tropical fruit scent with a vibrant citrussy zing. Itís deliciously juicy and quenching to the taste with fruit reminiscent of wind-fallen heritage apples accented with lime and tangelo zest. Itís a lower alcohol style with scintillating acidity that makes the medium sweetness seem more like off dry. Superb wine. Gold NZIWS. 10.5% alc. $22.99. 18Oct2017.
Inviting floral and tropical fruit aromatics and freshly juiced citrus and honeysuckle flavours are so en-pointe in this mouth-watering, lower alcohol, medium style thatís beautifully poised yet utterly refreshing with scintillating acidity and a spritzy vibe. Gold AirNZ. Gold NZIWS. 10.5% alc. $22.99. 6 Dec2017.
The attractive bouquet radiates honeysuckle, sweet citrus and tropical fruit and the taste is a masterful balance of scintillating acidity and medium sweetness. Itís juicy, tingly and delicately spritzy with tropical fruit sherbet, lime, tangelo, honeysuckle and apple skin. An expressive wine oozing deliciousness and finesse with the structure to cellar for decades. Multiple gold medals and Easter Show Trophy. 10.5% alc. $22.99. 2May2018.

Fifth Bridge Central Otago Riesling 2017 (sc) This is a slatey smelling riesling with a soapy floral nuance, maybe, and cut lime most definitely. It smells dry but tastes medium with soft apple acidity and an initial light delicate impression that increases in power with more emphatic green apple and lime flavours balanced by honey and apricot, and a pleasing persistent finish. 10.5% alc. $19.99. 2May2018.

Giesen Gemstone Limited Release Marlborough Riesling 2017 (sc) This has the most intriguing scent of pear and quince with a slightly earthy / funky / apple skin note. Itís a little spritzy in the palate with apple sherbet and pineapple dominant tropical fruit with a touch of sweetness balancing the refreshing acidity and an apricot hint to the lingering finish. Whatís unusual about this wine is fermentation and maturation in granite rock tanks. 10% alc. $16.99. 7Feb2018.

Mount Riley Marlborough Riesling 2017 This is refreshingly fragrant with its scent of lemon zest, honey and flower nectar and the flavours are bright, clean and aromatic with light viscosity to the texture, juicy citrus and apricot fruit, just a touch of sweetness and refreshing apple acidity to the bright zesty finish. Well-balanced and drinkable. Gold NZIWS. Gold & Trophy Air NZ. Gold and Trophy Marlborough Wine Show. 12% alc. $12.99. 29Nov2017.

Mt Maude Vineyard Maude East Block Central Otago Riesling 2017 (sc) There's a wet rock after summer rain and a lime nuance to the scent and a tickle of spritz to the lime zest, nectarine and honeysuckle taste which is heading towards medium in sweetness level Ė like a German spatlese riesling Ė with acidity and sweetness in impeccable harmony. It seems light and delicate yet there is understated substance. I think itís just delightful. 10.5% alc. $25.99. 24Jan2018.

2016 Vintage [top] [index]

Forest The Doctors Marlborough Riesling 2016 (sc) Straw gold in hue with bright aromas of orange zest, honeysuckle and flower nectar with a momentary pop of kaffir lime and quenching flavours of juicy tropical fruit, apple, citrus, sherbet and honeysuckle combining in harmony. A light, refreshing, lower alcohol, medium sweet style that served chilled is fruity and delicious. 28 grams/litre residual sugar. Trophy for Champion Riesling. 9% alc. $19.99. 5Oct2016.
A vibrantly fresh, lower alcohol, spatlese-inspired, medium sweet style with apple and citrus zest aromas and spine-tingling Granny Smith apple crispness balancing the lightly honeyed sweetness and juicy tropical fruit sherbet flavours. Gold and Trophy for Champion Riesling, NZIWS 2016. 9% alc. $19.99. 7Dec2016.

Gibbston Valley GV Collection Central Otago Riesling 2016 (sc) Light glossy gold with a touch of honeysuckle to the scent and maybe the merest hint of kero. It's searingly dry with racy lime and green apple acidity yet leaves behind a juicy and quenching aftertaste. It really does need food if you want to drink now Ė fish and chips would be perfect Ė or take the punt on cellaring for several years because it will morph into something absolutely magnificent. 13.5% alc. $24.99. 17Jan2018.

Giesen New Zealand Riesling 2016 (sc) The bouquet of this lighter hued wine abounds with the scent of tropical fruit and perhaps a touch of lychee. Full of flavour in the palate with honey, apple and tropical fruit including cherimoya and yellow guava. A blend of Marlborough and Waipara fruit, this lower alcohol, medium sweet style will relish chilling ó itís one for blue sky summer sipping. 10% alc. $12.99. 24Aug2016.
This bright lemon gold coloured wine is beautifully perfumed with honeysuckle and sweet citrus. It's one of those juicy and deliciously refreshing lower alcohol, Mosel-inspired styles with moderate sweetness offset by quenching apple-like acidity and a lingering zesty zing. Serve chilled to the bones at this time of year. 10% alc. $12.99. 10Jan2018.

Mount Riley Marlborough Riesling 2016 (sc) Aromatic with initially a hint of pear drop to the bouquet, then honeysuckle, lemon and a juicy tropical fruit brightness. Heading towards off dry this is juicy, fruity and refreshing all the way through with light viscosity to the mouthfeel, hints of apple, peach and pineapple then finishing with a lively sherbet flourish and a lingering suggestion of honey. 12% alc. $12.99. 12Oct2016.

2015 Vintage [top] [index]

Ceres Black Rabbit Vineyard Central Otago Riesling 2015 (sc) Straw gold with a fruit driven bouquet of apple and spice with a zesty shimmer of lime. No doubt to the variety when you taste because it has super scintillating fresh apple acidity, a little of the classic Riesling sucking-a-river-stone dryness, a beautifully balanced touch of honeysuckle and a mouthwatering finish. It seems incredibly dry but the sweetness scale indicator on the back label puts it at just on the dry side of medium. Gold Easter Show. Gold AirNZ. 10.5% alc. $23.99. 24Feb2016.
Apple sherbet fills the bouquet then in the palate the juicy fruit is layered with honeysuckle with mouthwatering green apple and mandarin acidity that is well-balanced and not overpowering. Off dry to medium dry in sweetness perception, itís clean, crisp, zesty and fresh. 10.5 % alc. $23.99. 31Aug2016.

Clark Estate Block 8 Single Vineyard Dry Marlborough Riesling 2015 (sc) The bouquet reminds me of prepping for apple pie with slices of apples sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with lime then in the palate thereís more crisp tangy apple and lime with a touch of flower nectar and wonderfully shimmery acidity and flint. The residual sugar is balanced by ultra high acidity and low pH which makes this beautifully refreshing lower alcohol style much dryer than the sugar component alone would have you think. Double gold medal and trophy winner. 8% alc. $17.99. 30Nov2016.
A light delicate style with an attractive lime sherbet bouquet and tangy lemon, lime and apple jelly flavours with a touch of kero in the background and a nectar-like touch to the finish. It's clean and refreshing and a perfect start to the evening. Two golds. Trophy. 8% alc. $17.99. 27Apr2017.

Fromm Marlborough Riesling Spatlese 2015 (sc) Ravishly aromatic with its scent of lime peel, apple peel, a hint of flower nectar and a waft of kero and full of flavour in the mouth-watering palate with racy acidity honed in by a grapey / white raisin sweetness with a texture that is almost creamy. Bright and refreshing with exciting sweet/sour tension and quite outstanding. 7% alc. 15Feb2017.

Giesen New Zealand Riesling 2015 (sc) Straw in hue. Delicately floral with hints of mandarin on the nose and an off dry, spatlese-like taste with racy acidity that sends quivers down the spine and a fine nectar-like sweetness to balance it with a smile. Itís juicy and quenching and perfect to serve icy cold on hot summer days. A blend of Marlborough and Waipara grapes, this multiple gold medal and trophy winner is one of the great Riesling buys. 10% alc. $12.99. 25Jan2017.
A blend of Marlborough and Waipara fruit, the bouquet offers up a myriad of citrus and honeysuckle and the smell of the road after rain. Made in an easy to drink style, itís ultra juicy with medium sweetness thatís balanced by fresh green apple and mandarin acidity, which makes it seem dry. Low alcohol with pleasing mouthfeel and texture, it is a multi Trophy and gold medal winner. 10% alc. $12.99. 23Aug2017.

Lawson Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2015 (sc) The bouquet is like classic dry Riesling with lime, talc, a vague suggestion of kero and, intriguingly, a just opened bag of rubber bands. Searingly dry in the slightly spritzy palate with racy apple and citrus acidity nicely rounded out by a touch of toastiness thatís accrued with bottle age. Drinking beautifully. 12.5% alc. $17.99. 9May2018.
This smells so bright, clean and refreshing with wafts of honeysuckle and sherbet more obvious in the lightly spritzy palate which is like a medley of citrus with a dried apple toastiness that has evolved with bottle age. It seems like a dry Riesling but the honeysuckle reins in the racy acidity and the super quenching finish is rounded and complex with phenomenal length . 12.5% alc. $18.99. 14Feb2018.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 2015 (sc) Thereís a suggestion of grapefruit and mandarin zest on the nose and loads more in the palate that has a lightly viscous texture. Itís ripe and zesty with well balanced sweetness and suggestions of hokey-pokey on the lingering finish. Fulfilling and expressive. 12.5% alc. $29.99. 9May2018.

Soho ĎBettyí Lower Alcohol Marlborough Riesling 2015 (sc) Named after Betty Ford this pale straw gold stunner is an exciting lower alcohol style like the famous Spatlese wines of the Mosel Ė itís all apples, lemons and tropical guavas with a delightful honeysuckle infusion to the aromatic allure and so light and luscious in the palate with a licking-a-river-stone minerality, a light salty tang and a wonderful shimmery thirst quenching finish. Irresistibly delicious. 9.4% alc. $19.99. 7Oct2015.
Straw gold. Lemon curd and honeysuckle fill the bouquet and itís beautifully crisp, clean, fresh and vibrant in the palate with juicy apple and lime to the fore and then a hint of apricot nectar that adds textural complexity as well. Fruit forward and just so refreshing when served chilled to the bones Ė in fact it is so deliciously drinkable you need to ensure it is opened in a child-free zone! Gold & Trophy for Champion Riesling NZIWS 2015. 9.4% alc. $19.99. 9Mar2016.

Wairau River Marlborough Summer Riesling 2015 (sc) Straw gold in hue with delicate talcum powder florals and citrus nuances to the bouquet that make you think you this Riesling is dry and with its crisp refreshing acidity is does seem dry on first tasting but juicy apple, citrus and sherbet pops out of the spritzy texture with slivers of sweetness shimmering through on the finish. 26 g/ rs. Champion Riesling Easter Show 2016. 10% alc. $18.99. 6Apr2016.

2014 Vintage [top] [index]

Aronui Single Vineyard Nelson Riesling 2014 (sc) Thereís a lovely sunshine glow to this light yellow gold wine. An off dry style with barley sugar nuances emerging on the bouquet and the taste is soft and round Ė silky in its flow with fruit flavours of mandarins and stewed apple with a touch of lime then suggestion of aromatics herbs with hints of anise. Lovely wine, nice to have just on its own. My favourite match was the side salad accompanying my Asian baked salmon - the salad comprising of iceberg lettuce, fennel fern, coriander fern, parsley, grated cheese, grated carrot, tomato and an orange juice dressing, but the kaffir lime component in the salmon was divine. 12% alc. $21.95. 23Aug2015.

Black Peak Central Otago Riesling 2014 (sc) From Queensberry near Wanaka this delightfully juicy Riesling has 42 grams per litre of residual sugar but with its refreshing acidity it is more off dry to the taste than sweet. Itís full of apples, citrus and honeysuckle then more honey and spice on the mouthwatering and persistent finish. Lovely aperitif style. 9.2% alc. $22.99. 16Mar2016.

Ceres Composition Central Otago Riesling 2014 (sc) Light gold with hints of apple blossom, musk and sweet spices wafting from the delicately fragrant bouquet, then honey, apple, quince and citrus fill the palate. Thereís vinous concentration thatís commensurate with a higher alcohol, off dry style while the lusciousness abetted by a touch of botrytis is nicely offset by a flinty undercurrent. With around 12 g/l of residual sugar you expect it to be medium but citrus pith acidity makes it seem more off dry. 14% alc. $21.99. 4Mar2015.

Domain Road The Water Race Dry Riesling 2014 (sc) Citrine gold ó lustrous in appearance. The bouquet is lime pith and honeysuckle ó very delicate and distinctly varietal. Honeysuckle, lime and mandarin shimmer all the way through the palate with a light viscous touch. Lifted, fresh and clean; more Ďoff dryí than dry I would say as the balance of sweetness to acidity is excellent and the zestiness on the finish is bright and refreshing with a slight apple skin earthiness providing a quivering undercurrent throughout. Great with salmon cooked in a kaffir lime and ginger marinade.12.5% alc. $25. 16Jun2016.

Felton Road Dry Central Otago Riesling 2014 (sc) This straw gold wine is crisp and dry. The aromas hint of lime pith and the taste is full of the racy acidity of green apples and limes with concentration to the texture and a tickle of almost spritzy-like zest. This wine has puckery ugly duckling awkwardness right now but it will blossom into the most graceful swan and live for an exceptional number of years. 12.5% alc. $31.99. 11Feb2015.

Forrest The Doctor's Marlborough Riesling 2014 (sc) This almost water pale wine is aromatic and fresh with a bouquet of apples and honeysuckle and is lightly spritzy in the thirst-quenching palate with juicy flavours of red apples, honeysuckle, the most delicate touch of lime with a touch of tarragon-like herb adding an enchanting allure. It low alcohol yet has texture and length to the refreshing yet luscious medium sweet finish. 9% alc. $19.99. 26Nov2014.

Main Divide Waipara Valley Riesling 2014 (sc) Moderate gold. Spiced citrus honey fills the bouquet and itís honeyed and luscious in the palate where the sweetness a foil to the refreshing acidity with flavours reminiscent of apricot jam and orange and lime marmalade with a slightly earthy undercurrent akin to German Auslese and lingering honeysuckle deliciousness. For fans of Main Divide take note it's not as 'spritzy' as it has been in the past. 12.5% alc. $17.99. 8Feb2017.
Golden in the glass with a bouquet of toasted beeswax and citrus honey, and rich and unctuous to the taste thatís like concentrated grapefruit syrup with vibrant acidity honed beautifully by a lingering tropical fruit sweetness. Main Divide is known for spritzy Riesling, but the spritz has settled with bottle age. 20 g/L residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $17.99. 9Nov2017.

Misha's Vineyard Limelight Central Otago Riesling 2014 (sc) The earthy / slatey / limey / honeyed bouquet with lashings of kero is so expressive and totally en pointe for this off dry to medium Riesling with flavours of apple, honey and touches of tarragon and a crisp clean mouthfilling finish. Complex, full, concentrated and tasty with the 33 g/l residual sugar balanced by refreshing acidity. 10.5% alc. $26.99. 11Apr2018.

Mission Estate Hawkes Bay Riesling 2014 (sc) Light yellow gold with a delicate honeysuckle / citrus blossom scent and slatey textured with racy grapey acidity balanced by a delicate sweetness and lingering hints of lemonade peel. A light, youthful, just off-dry style. 11% alc. $14.99. 1Mar2017.

Mount Edward Central Otago Riesling 2014 (sc) Straw gold. Aromatic with a fresh cut apple aroma, the apple traits carrying through to the bright racy palate. It's young, fresh and thirst quenching with a fairly dry, flinty backbone, a citrus pith / apple skin-like earthiness and a welcome sliver of honeysuckle sweetness. Then an intriguing salinity lingers in the mouth after the wine is swallowed - it makes you want to have another sip. 11.9% alc. $22.99. 25Mar2015.
The bouquet of this pale straw hued wine offers up citrus and honeysuckle, giving the impression the wine could be a little sweet but it is really is quite, dry Ė I would say almost bone dry. Itís actually quite tart and acid driven with green apple the dominant fruit at this stage of its life. But for those who like to cellar Riesling it has all the markers to develop into a rich toasty beauty Ė it just needs time. 11.9% alc. $22.99. 13Jan2016.

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Waipara Riesling 2014 (sc) Deep gold coloured. The bouquet is orange honey and brulee toffee with hints of beeswax thatís even more obvious in the bright spritzy palate where the tingly vibrancy is a nice foil to the golden syrup / honeyed sweetness. A concentrated, weighty style with a long rich finish it is made from late harvest grapes have been fermented to dryness, which makes the alcohol higher. 14.5% alc. $31.99. 31May2017.

Peregrine Rastasburn Central Otago Riesling 2014 (sc) This is moderately rich and weighty for Riesling. Itís a light golden colour, thereís an intriguing bouquet that reminds me of bath salts and itís starting to show some kero characters that come with a little age. In the mouth itís spritzy and while thereís a touch of sweetness the overall impression is dry with lashings of apple on the persistent yellow fruit finish. 12.5% alc. $21.99. 27Apr2017.

Riverby Estate 'Eliza Marlborough Riesling 2014 (sc) Kero abounds from this golden hued number with orange honey and unlit beeswax candles joining the aromatic party, and the taste is juicy and mouthwateringly delicious with the medium sweetness (40 g/l rs) and honeyed botrytis flavours impeccably balanced by lemon/lime citrus and the refreshing edginess of fresh pineapple. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 23Nov2016.
Yellow gold in the glass with Rieslingís classic lemon/lime aromas infused with kero and a lightly viscous honeyed palate with flavours reminiscent of lemon honey and lime curd with underlying flint honing the sweetness perfectly. Itís starting to pick up gorgeous toasty notes with age. 40g/L residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 8Nov2017.

Spinyback Nelson Riesling 2014 (sc) Served lightly chilled this lemon-gold hued wine has a wonderfully aromatic bouquet that radiates everything you expect from Riesling: Citrus blossom, hints of toast, hints of kero - it smells complex and intense. Yum - crisp, fresh and vibrant - full of tangy lemon, mandarin and lime with apple brightness and a complexity that comes from the haunting acidity. Super wine at a super price. Exciting with fennel pollen, newly formed fennel seed and orange segments off my brotherís tree. 12% alc. $15.00. 22Dec2015.

Spy Valley Marlborough Riesling 2014 (sc) Lime tinged gold in hue with a bouquet that is the essence of dry Riesling Ė all lemon pith and lime with a vinous allure that becomes quite floral after a while. In the mouth the wine has an invigorating spine of fresh acidity and yes, it is very dry Ė itís all shimmers and tingles of zingy brightness with lemonades, apples, the slightest suggestion of flower nectar / nectar and a mouthwash of lime. Vibrant, apple crisp and crunchy with a flinty core. My favourite food match was thick slices of apple pan-fried in butter atop a ham steak. 13% alc. $23.00. 23Aug2015.

Te Kairanga Martinborough Riesling 2014 (sc) This is straw gold in hue with an intense lime, talc and apple skin bouquet and refreshing in the palate with racy acidity and flavours that morph from crisp apple to citrus to apple butter with a welcome sliver of sweetness on the long, persistent, invigorating finish. 12% alc. $19.99. 15Mar2017.

Vidal Marlborough Riesling 2014 (sc) Light straw lemon gold. The bouquet is so riesling Ė all lime and talc and apple peel Ė it smells like itís moderately dry Ė it smells like a neighbouring countryís rendition. Dry in the palate but with gorgeous slivers of sweetness Ė a delightful combo of racy lemon and lime with a tingle of sherbet, a honeyed sweetness and a toasty character building on the finish. I think it is delicious. 11.5% alc. $0.00. 6Oct2015.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Dry Riesling 2014 (sc) This dry Riesling is light straw gold in hue. The aroma is all green apples and the taste echoes this, yet thereís a hint of honeysuckle to hone down the dry edges and the effect is a strikingly crisp aromatic wine. An excellent match to sally ham steak with butter-fried slices of granny smith apples and warm coleslaw. 12% alc. $17.99. 1Aug2015.

Waimea Nelson Classic Riesling 2014 (sc) White gold, gem-like in the glass. The bouquet is redolent of honeysuckle and limes with a pithy but attractive sourness. It smells so racy and refreshing and the taste is full of apples, lemongrass and orange zest with exciting acid verve but sweetness balances and adds softness and lusciousness with floral, blossomy honeysuckle flavours lingering on the bright fresh finish and very attractive subtle nuances of tarragon too. A juicy wine to be served chilled for refreshing summer day sipping. 12.5 g/l rs. 12% alc. $20.00. 27Feb2015.

Waipara Hills Waipara Riesling 2014 (sc) There is a gorgeous floral allure to this pale straw gold wine. Itís noticeably medium in sweetness on first tasting with red apple, honeysuckle and a fresh citrussy brightness to the long juicy finish. It ticks all the Riesling boxes and has satisfying length. 12% alc. $14.99. 4Mar2015.

2013 Vintage [top] [index]

Domain Road Central Otago The Water Race Dry Riesling 2013 (sc) This citrine tinged, light yellow gold Riesling has an entrancing bouquet that is a harmony of exuberant citrus brightness with a concentrated apple richness and touches of sherbet. Thereís a lovely roundness to the edges of this ultra dry wine that is so very crisp, flinty, fresh, divine. That roundness balances out the lemon / apple acidity and as this long, fine, lifted wine lingers there is a subtle suggestion of honey and the aftertaste envelops the mouth with touches of aromatic spices, lemon honey, a lovely rounded sherbet sweetness and the most subtle suggestion of ginger. I really really like this and it proved to be a versatile food match with ham steak and apples, pork pate on a sesame cracker, and prawns sizzled in garlic butter. 13% alc. $25.00. 23Aug2015.

Drylands Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Light gold. Gorgeous aroma of talc and lime. Even a hint of kero that makes it smells like a top notch Clare Valley wine. Concentrated in the palate with juicy tropical fruit and honeysuckle and just a touch of sweetness to balance the fresh mandarin and lime flavour. Has body and weight with a flinty undercurrent Ė it is the whole package. I really like this. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 10Sep2014.

Felton Road 'Bannockburn' Central Otago Riesling 2013 (sc) With juicy apples to the fore on the nose and in the palate, this delicious tasting Riesling has a tingly freshness and a vibrant finish with hints of freshly squeezed tangelo and an x-factor lusciousness to the lingering aftertaste. It has 56 g/l of residual sugar but wonderfully fresh acidity to balance it. 9.5% alc. $29.99. 13Nov2013.

Felton Road Central Otago Dry Riesling 2013 (sc) Glossy gold. Lime and crushed sea shells fill the bouquet and while it smells dry there is a beguiling hint of honeysuckle wafting through. Time in the bottle has garnered textural and flavour complexity with hints of dried hay and lanolin; lemon butter, lemon grass and lemon balm; and a honey layer that imparts a sense of lusciousness to the finish yet always that steely, dry, racy acid undercurrent quivering through. Enjoy now with oysters or cellar confidently for many years. 12% alc. $22.99. 13Jul2016.

Framingham 'Classic' Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Medium light gold with a touch of orange marmalade on the nose but the palate is more classic lemon / lime with a flinty undercurrent and a zesty brightness to the succulent honeysuckle and apple skin finish that coats and swaddles the tongue. While not as concentrated in texture as the previous wine, it has line and length with racy acidity surging again on the finish to give exciting verve and an impression of being dry. 12% alc. $19.99. 4Mar2015.

Fromm Winery Marlborough Riesling Spatlese 2013 (sc) Wow, this is quite sweet but the Riesling profile is outstanding. Floral, a little slatey, with citrus encompassing all varieties and a grapefruit component that pops. Balanced beautifully by the mouthcoating sweetness with a suggestion of botrytis it seems, it's exhilarating on its own, or perhaps match to pineapple-glazed ham on the bone. 7% alc. $31.99. 26Feb2014.

Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) This straw gold wine has a pretty floral scent and while it is quite noticeably sweet, the refreshing acidity that keeps the wine in balance. Tonight it seems a little like Muscat with its soapy honeyed flavours and subtle suggestion of spritz, but just so fresh and refreshing with a tangy citrussy finish. Must be served chilled for sunny day drinking. 10% alc. $14.99. 28Jan2015.

Greenhough Apple Valley Nelson Riesling 2013 (sc) Pale as wine can be, it's a more powerful and concentrated Riesling all round. A suggestion of kero on the nose and baked apples the dominant flavour in the palate with a honeyed richness to the medium sweet finish. 8.5% alc. $17.99. 16Apr2014.

Greywacke Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) On first tasting you get the impression the wine is searingly dry but it fleshes out beautifully in the palate with a tropical and stonefruit sweetness and touches of grapefruit and mandarin. Complex and reasonably full-bodied for NZ riesling - it reminds me more of a European style and the wild yeast ferment adds a touch of pithy funk that really is quite endearing. Great sense of acidity with beautifully rounded edges. 20 gl rs. 12% alc. $29.95. 28Jan2016.

Hawkshead Central Otago Riesling 2013 (sc) Richly aromatic with orange honey and an intriguing nutty character too. Fruit-sweet on entry to the palate with light viscosity and honey layers that coat the mouth but there are waves of flinty, sucking on a pebble, dryness that surge through the wine. Lemonades and limes are the key citrus characters and a subtle suggestion of flower musk (almost daphne-like but nowhere as strong) as the flavours persist for ages with a sense of lusciousness to the aftertaste. Lots going on in here. 11.5% alc. 4.7 g/l rs. $23. 9Aug2014.

Highfield Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) There's a hint of spice infusing the honeyed apple nose and it is almost creamy in the smooth honey and citrus palate that has such beautiful flow. Itís one of those wonderful Mosel spatlese-inspired styles with high sugar but equally high acidity to balance it, and has mouthfilling concentration to the gorgeously long finish that is accented with a touch of zesty spice. Just delicious. This is the style of Riesling I really like. $19.99. 4Mar2015.

Hunter's Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Delightfully aromatic, tropical fruit, mango and citrus on the nose, the same in the palate. Deliciously refreshing and juicy with great acid verve and tang. 12.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 10Sep2014.

Invivo Central Otago Riesling 2013 (sc) Light gold with apple honey on the nose and a very obvious honeyed sweetness in the palate Ė even when chilled to the bones the concentrated sweetness holds its ground but crisp apple-like acidity adds crunch and bite and the delicious, juicy, succulent finish just lasts and lasts. A wine that can be enjoyed right now. Why wouldnít you? 11% alc. $19.99. 26Feb2014.

Main Divide Waipara Valley Riesling 2013 (sc) Rich lemon gold. Glorious bouquet of honeysuckle and tropical fruit - it is rich and aromatic, as Riesling should be. Full of flavour, there is a little TDN /kero action going on in the background of this gorgeously toasty, honeyed styled with candied tropical fruit, sweet citrus and a touch of spritz adding life and verve. Seems quite developed, which is exciting in a way, as it is so great to have a young riesling with Ďolderí Riesling characters. An off dry style that is ready to drink and enjoy now rather than cellar, itís 5 star quality and 5 star value. 12.5% alc. $15.99. 8Apr2015.
At Waiwera Beach on a summer evening this glowing golden wine is radiant as the sunshine. Honeysuckle and peach on the nose, and full of tropical fruit with the brightness of grapefruit and lime zest and tingles of sherbet dancing all the way through. Just delish. 12.5% alc. $19.95. 23Jan2016.

Maude Mt Maude East Block Vineyard Central Otago Riesling 2013 (sc) Pale straw with an earthy, exotic almost musky floral scent and a medium sweet taste exquisitely balanced by racy citrus freshness. It's incredibly juicy with youthful purity and clarity, a touch of spice, exotic Asian fruit, heritage apples and vibrant fizzy lime on the lingering aromatic finish. 10% alc. $22.99. 18Sep2013.
Shy on the nose and has some residual sweetness to the taste. There's a honeysuckle coating to the sweet citrus and green grape flavours and racy acidity provides a super bright, crisp, refreshing finish. 10% alc. $25.99. 15Jan2014.

Mount Riley Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Light and delicate yet assertive in its racy freshness, it's pale straw in colour and full of freshly squeezed citrus and juicy heritage apples with flinty notes in the background. Just on the cusp of off dry, a wonderful aperitif style. 12% alc. $14.99. 25Sep2013.
There's a sweeter aura to this lighter, fresher, silky textured summer sipper. It has a lovely floral bouquet with honeysuckle and mandarin dancing across the palate and a zing of apple on the flinty finish. 12.5% alc. $14.99. 29Jan2014
A fresh, youthful, racy, acid driven style that's straw in colour with an apple blossom fragrance and a taste that is crisp and fresh with a tangy lemon and lime vibrancy and an underlying flinty edge. It simply enlivens the palate and a touch of honeysuckle rounds it out nicely. 12% alc. $14.99. 26Feb2014.

Riverby Estate Eliza Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) The concentrated citrus and honeysuckle bouquet on this golden coloured wine is just gorgeous. With 40 grams/litre of residual sugar itís a medium sweet style with candied mandarin and almost hokey-pokey-like sweetness balanced by crisp grapefruit-like acidity and rounded edges ensuring a beautifully smooth flow. A mouth-filling curvaceous Riesling with a deft touch of kero emerging on the fabulously long finish. 13% alc. $19.99. 9Dec2015.

Rockburn Tigermoth Central Otago Riesling 2013 (sc) Gorgeously aromatic with a straw gold colour, it's very juicy, fresh and thirst quenching with apples and citrus to the fore. The medium sweetness imparted by layers of honeysuckle nectar is honed to perfection by ripples of fresh acidity and the finish is powerful and long. 8.5% alc. $29.99. 9Oct2013.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 9 Big John Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) The bouquet of this pale-hued wine is definitely aromatic Ė it's a gorgeous spring cottage garden flower fragrance infused with the scent of freshly squeezed lime juice and zest. Then lime, green apple and tropical guava add fascination to the flavours of this lighter alcohol style and although it has high residual sugar that gives it viscosity and an almost nectar-like honeysuckle texture, the natural acidity is zingy and racy and cuts right through the flesh. It is this sugar / acid balance that makes it such a sublime, lip-licking and refreshing wine. 9% alc. $19.99. 18Mar2015.

Spy Valley Envoy Dry Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) This is a spiffingly good wine. It has the classic aromatic dry Riesling aromas of lime blossom and talc and the most delicate hint of honeysuckle nectar to tame the pithy scent. Magnificent. It gets the tastebuds salivating. The dry theme continues through the palate with rays of sweetness penetrating the taut lively prickly grapefruit/lemon/lime acidity. Great expansion of flavours and vinosity in the palate - this is a concentrated full-bodied style for the variety and hard to fault. Very good with a vegetable/cheesy omelette thing. 14% alc. $32.00. 7May2015.

Two Paddocks Central Otago Riesling 2013 (sc) Pale straw lemon in colour and a little shy on the nose with tangy apple sherbet aromas coming to mind, I like the looks and smell but Iím in love this coy little number as soon as I kiss it. So light, fresh and clean Ė yet I know it is wine because of the vinosity and increasing concentration. It tastes like the most freshly squeezed combo of lemon, lime and tangelo, the sweetness of the tangelo balancing the tart lime and lemon. Then pretty apple blossom nuances emerge on the lightly spritzy finish thatís super long, full of verve and tinged with honeysuckle thatís perfectly balances the flinty apple skin crispness that lingers. The Red Bank Vineyard in the Earnscleugh sub-region of Alexandra is one of New Zealandís most southern riesling vineyards. 5 grams/litre residual sugar, low pH and a racy 8.6 grams/litre of total acidity. 12% alc. $30.00. 12Mar2015.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Dry Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Just the merest hint of citrine to the glossy hue. Beautifully fragrant with lime blossom and honeysuckle nectar and fresh juicy flavours of honeysuckle, mandarin and lime with just a hint of sweetness to balance the racy acidity that leaves an impression of dry. Wonderfully quenching and refreshing. 12.5% alc. $14.99. 20Nov2013.
A little shy on the nose but fresh and tasty in the palate with orange zest brightness and a lime-rich tang. There's ginger-like spice, a suggestion of honeysuckle and a lively ultra-long and very refreshing finish. A scintillating dry style. 12% alc. $14.99. 26Feb2014.
Straw gold. Honeysuckle and lime aroma. Bright zesty flavours of lime and talc over a fresh flinty backbone with the honeysuckle emerging gently on the bright persistent finish. 12% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 10Sep2014.

Waimea Classic Nelson Riesling 2013 (sc) It smells crisp and fresh with alluring talc floral notes and there's plenty of racy acidity in this off dry to medium style with flavours of apples and mandarin with just a touch of honey and an incredibly long finish. 11.5% alc. $15.99. 4Dec2013.
Light gold with a lemon glow. Tangy aroma with a nuance of sherbet. Bright, fresh and tangy in the lightly spritzig palate, and while there's plenty of acidity that gives an impression of dry, there's underlying sweetness bringing it all into balance with a touch of apple skin on the finish. 11.5% alc. $20. 20Dec2013.
Light straw gold. Juicy aromas of citrus and tropical fruit then in the palate a pleasing and appealing off-dry sweetness with honeysuckle, mandarin and just a touch of ginger-like spice. Fresh and lively, terrific summer drinking without being too heavy. 11.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 10Sep2014.
So fragrant, so fruity, so tasty, so thirst quenching, so deliciousÖ this wonderfully exciting off dry style has a zing of ginger and lashings of tropical fruit and mandarin that imparts great sweet-sour tension. It takes chilling well and will be totally irresistible summer drinking. 13.6g/l rs. 11.5% alc. $15.99. 24Sep2014.

Wairau River Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Light gold. Warm rich aroma of apples and lime with a touch of blossom. Earthy and flinty, some apple crispness in behind. Very dry, fresh and bitey with a very subtle suggestion of succulent honeysuckle infusing the crisp lime finish. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 10Sep2014.

Zephyr Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Light gold with a honeysuckle scent underpinned by a flinty earthy note. Fresh and vibrant tasting with plenty of lemon, orange and lime, a tingle of ginger and a touch of honeysuckle nectar in behind to balance the racy acidity that totally carries the finish of the wine. A very exciting cellar prospect that is bound to take on some toasty notes with age but the big acid needs careful food matching right now. 12.5% alc. $23.99. 26Feb2014.

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Index to Varietal Tastings
Chardonnay Gewurztraminer
Riesling
Pinot Gris Sauvignon Blanc Other Whites
Bubblies Sweeties Pinks
Cabernet dominant Merlot dominant Pinotage
Pinot Noir Shiraz Other Reds

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