Here at Advintage, we are massive Riesling fans however, the Kiwi market doesn’t seem to share our enthusiasm for it. There are so many fantastic riesling options – produced both in NZ and internationally - but public interest is lukewarm at best; a crying shame when a glass of lightly chilled riesling is one of the world’s great wine experiences. As is often said in the wine trade “Offer someone a glass of riesling and they may well decline. Give them a glass of riesling and they will almost certainly say ‘That’s delicious!’”. Chance your arm on a few of our favourite picks below and we bet you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.
Mountford Estate Liaison Riesling 2021 – North Canterbury
Available from $16.99
In classic style, the 2021 Mountford Liaison has intense notes of honey/lime on the nose. Those characters flow through to a medium dry palate where more citrus, marmalade and honeysuckle flavours come out to play. Those sweeter upfront fruits are countered with lovely fresh acidity and this wine finishes refreshingly dry. Track some down immediately.
Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling 2020 – Germany
Available from $19.99
This is a classic release from Erni Loosen, a veritable legend of German aromatic wine production. Off-dry and very juicy, this wine opens on the nose with white flower, pear and honeysuckle aromas before the palate kicks into gear with salivating citrus flavours and layers of zesty acidity. Those zesty notes rock on through to a crisp, long finish that stays alive with more tangy acidity and lingering fresh lime nuances. At 8.5% alcohol it’s light and bright in every regard and should be on the shopping list of every wine fan.
Main Divide Riesling 2018 – Waipara
Available from $17.99
Proudly in the medium spectrum, this opulent wine explodes on the palate with honeyed flavours of spicy citrus while a subtle botrytis influence brings a lushness into play. A couple of years under screwcap has amplified those already generous characters and while some subtle secondary flavour development is showing, this 2018 release is clean and fresh with tangy acidity acting as a perfect foil for that initial sugar hit. Enjoy as an aperitif with a drinks platter and or match with citrus desserts.
Astrolabe Grovetown Spatlese Riesling 2020 – Marlborough
Available from $22.99
This excellent example from Astrolabe is a perfect option to try if you want to reacquaint yourself with the sweeter style of riesling. Spatlese is a German winemaking term meaning late harvest and rieslings that carry that descriptor typically have higher sugar levels and usually show apple, pear and honeysuckle flavours. They also age very well. Astrolabe’s 2020 release shows juicy flavours in the classic Spatlese spectrum, with layers of fresh citric acidity freshening the palate. It’s quite a rich and opulent wine, but those sweeter lemon/lime characters remain focused and zesty, and very easy to love.
Mount Ridge by Giesen Riesling 2021 - Marlborough and Waipara
Available from $10.99
Giesen have an unrivalled riesling reputation in the key sub$15 bracket and the introduction of their price fighter Mount Ridge label a few years ago has set the pace for everyday New Zealand drinking. This 2021 Riesling is proudly medium dry and laden with tangy flavours of citrus and honeysuckle. It’s a blend of Waipara and Marlborough fruit - Waipara gives it that classic juicy fruit chewing gum flavours while the Marlborough portion brings fresher acidity and zing to the palate. It’s great drinking now but 100% cellar worthy if you wanted to tuck some away for a few years.