Joelle Thomson's Amazing Value Picks: Riesling from down under
by Abby Jones
Dry and decadent? Or sweetly seductive?
Riesling can excel at both styles from super succulent and sweet right through to deliciously dry wines. It is one of the world’s most versatile grapes because it makes such a successful range of different wine styles. It also ages surprisingly well because it has naturally high acidity, which acts as a preservative and can allow good Riesling to last and remain fresh for decades, as great German examples have shown over many centuries.
It is far newer to New Zealand where it remains the sixth most planted grape nationwide with 590 hectares, mostly in the South Island where the cool climate allows it to thrive.
Try these gorgeously fresh wines and watch the doors to a new world of flavour open in front of your eyes. Or should I say your wine glass?
The Giesen brothers were born and bred in Germany so they grew up knowing a thing or three about good Riesling and have since brought that knowledge to this country, producing wines that are best sellers.
The wine, Giesen Estate Riesling, is the single biggest selling Riesling in this country each year and is typically a medium dry to medium sweet style and is so well balanced by acidity (which adds freshness) that you’d easily think this wine is off dry.
Succulent, seductive, sensationally fresh and refreshing. This is a great wine at an incredible price.
The words Clare Valley are bywords for great Riesling, often made from old vines which are low cropped for great concentration of flavour, which is exactly the case in this dry Riesling. It’s made from hand harvested grapes grown on old vines in Watervale in Clare Valley. This is the definition of great white wine and comes from one of Australia’s most under rated wine regions, north of Barossa. Clare Valley Riesling often costs a tonne more than this, so be in fast to secure yours.
2012 Scarred Hill Riesling
4 stars, 17.5/20
Library clearance stock takes on a whole new meaning here with an aged off dry white made from one of the greatest white grapes in the world – the massively under rated, under priced, over performing Riesling. This wine was made from hand harvested grapes grown in this country’s biggest wine region, Marlborough; an area that’s brilliantly well suited to making stellar white wines, such as this fresh as a daisy, eight year old beauty.
If you’re a Riesling lover or yet to be converted, this wine will wow. It has the X factor in spades. Enough said. Try it.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com.
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!