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edited by Sue Courtney

Wine Reviews - Riesling
2000 vintage and older
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 4 July 2004

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.

[younger] [2008/2007] [2006/2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999] [1998] [older] [index]

2000 Vintage [top] [index]

Brightwater Vineyards Nelson Riesling 2000 Brightly hued lemon gold. A bit more fleshiness to this brightly acidic riesling with flavours of limes, grapefruit and honey spiced apple flavours lingering. Zingy and lively and very good indeed when tasted in Dec 2002. 13.5% alcohol. ****1/2 - 5.

Cainbrae Old River Riesling 2000 Sweet and a little cloying tasted immediately after the terrific Corbans PB 1999, which I ratesd as top wine of this tasting. Tropical fruit flavours abound. Zesty acidity in the lemony spectrum. Pineapple lingers. Finishes dry. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

Chard Farm Central Otago Riesling 2000 Hints of botrytis, a fleshier riesling with mandarin over peach. Heaps of toasty citrus, a little floral, perhaps a little cheesy (and broad) as in lemon cheese. Orange honey, a little oxidative too. Baked apple with lemon juice on finish. Someone said chalky. I don't get this. Too 'fat' a style riesling for me. But I tasted the same wine again 3 days later in the search for a match for dukkah (Spiced buts eaten with bread that has been dipped in oil). This was the best match by far and therefore matches it a superb aperitif wine with this style of food. $20. 5Jun2002.

Charles Wiffen Marl Riesling 2000 Citrus and stone fruits. Honey aromas. Spicy, fleshy, rich, reasonably luscious. Limey, a little floral. Toasty. A little sweet for me. No, perhaps not on a second sample. A little bottle variation here. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

Coney Martinborough Rallentando Riesling 2000 Very dry and full of lime flavours. Very well balanced and with the ability to age. One to put down for 2-3 years to let some toasty characters develop. $17.95. 6May2002.

Coopers Creek Marlborough Riesling 2000 First Marlborough Riesling from this producer. Faint honey and citrus blossom on nose. Sweet apricots and stone fruit with some zingy citrus and florals loitering in background. Good palate richness with honey characters. Finishes dry. (5 grams r.s.). $14. 22Oct2001.

Dry River Craighall Riesling 2000 Pale straw gold. Racy lemon aromas excite the nose together with a floral nuance. In the mouth it's juicy, juicy, juicy. There's bright citrus and honey, hints of limes and apples, and a little chalk perhaps. It's seemingly dry in the front of the palate although there is 13% of residual sugar retained in the wine. The finish is long, hot and intense with loads of zingy spice. ($29.00). 18Mar2001.

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Riesling 2000 Dry, floral, lemons and hints of lines. Minerally, cool climate style. 16.5/20. Tasted 30/10/2000
From the Yates Vineyard near Clive, a 25y-old vineyard on a cool site in Hawkes Bay. Very pale. Aromatic, pure aromas of lemon and soft lime. Very steely, pure and dry with plenty of juicy lemon & lime. Lowish alcohol, moselle-like. Others would call this a 'lithic' riesling. 15grams RS, 9gms acidity. V.low.pH. Exc. balance, as you can't tell it is so sweet and acidic. 25July2001.

Firstland Riesling 2000 Pale. Dry, juicy citrus - lemon then limes, floral, a little honey, fills out in the palate. Fleshy. Very pure. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

Felton Rd Riesling 2000 Lime, talc, zingy, spicy, ginger. Some RS +.botrytis. Very intense, full and quite gorgeous. Spicy notes on the long finish. Excellent. 5/5 24 Jan 2001

Fossil Ridge Riesling Nelson 2000 Very impressive wine from this new producer whose label depicts the shell fossil Monotis richmondia which occurs in the substrata of the vineyard. Pale lemon hue with a slightly oily looking texture. Dry to just off dry, lots of limey acidity, quite salivating and refreshing with mandarin peel notes emerging to linger. White roses with a touch of spiciness on the slightly viscous textured finish and there's a hint of candied pineapple in there too. Impressive debut wine. 12.7% alcohol. ****. Dec2002.

Framingham Classic Dry 2000 Dryish, very balanced. Excellent limey acidity. Delicate yet powerful flavours. Sweet fruit tending to tropical. Starting to develop. Excellent wine. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

Framingham Dry Riesling 2000 Hotter wine. Dry and limey with a rich floral, apple, toffee (fat) - liked it better when it was served at the Wine Options. Otherwise a very long finish. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

Giesen Canterbury Riesling 2000 ($14.95) This a wine that everyone is going to love for both its flavour and price. Juicy, ripe, fresh and zingy with its scents of summer garden flowers and impressive citrus, apple and honey flavours it is simply moreish and yum. Aug 2000.
Pale gold with full fresh aromas of summer flowers, honey and citrus and a crisp, sweet and fresh flavour where granny-smith apples mingle with zingy lemons and limes topped with a honeyed richness - there is definitely botrytis in this wine. It's weighty with a little viscosity and as it fills out in the palate there are fleshier fruits - juicy white peaches and even passionfruit come to mind. Terrific length and a sweet aftertaste. 24 g/L rs. $14.95. WOTW 3Sep2000.

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2000 (Clare Valley, Australia) Dry crisp citrussy floral limey Riesling. Delicate flavours that grow in intensity in the mouth. Fresh and vibrant. Powerful wine with a lovely floral expression. Perhaps some stonefruit too. Great example of a richly acidic riesling balanced with perfection to the sweet ripe fruit. 9 May 2001

Grove Mill Sanctuary Riesling 2000 Lovely concentrated richness with honeyed limes. Developing well. 2 days later: grapefruit sweetness, honey, light and refreshing. At NZ$12.95 this is excellent value for money. 31Oct2001.

Hays Lake Riesling 2000 A fairly dry wine with a powdery texture and lemon and lime flavours. Quite delicate at first but then the flavours explode in the mouth. Excellent potential. It just needs time. 18Aug2002.

Isabel Estate Riesling 2000 A lovely ripe style with balanced sweetness. Floral, talcy, stonefruits with juicy lemon squeezed on top and some ripe apple lingering on the finish. (15 grams residual sugar). 18/20. Nov 2000

Kim Crawford Riesling 2000 ($17.95) Citrus - lines and honey. Lovely, rich, balanced texture. Dry, zesty and zingy on the finish. 18.5. 7 Mar 2001

Konrad and Conrad Marlborough Dry Riesling 2000 Ripe, limey fruit with good palate weight. Dry (4 grams residual sugar) and balanced. 18Sep2001.

Main Divide Riesling 2000 Musk, lychee, talcum powder with floral blossom and citrus, - this is a very GW-like Riesling. Richly flavoured in the palate. Ripe guavas, poached peaches. 28 Feb 2001

Margrain Riesling 2000
Intense fruit with apples and juicy lemon and orange citrus. Just the slightest hint of oiliness on a mineral backbone. A honey richness emerges on the finish and orange zest flavours linger on. (About 12 to 13 grams residual sugar). 17/20. Nov 2000

Martinborough Vineyards Riesling 2000 ($19.95) Sweet scented citrus aromas - lemons & orange juice. Tropical fruit hints and apple spice. A off dry wine and with its 8 grams of residual sigar is sure to be a crowd pleaser. A crowd pleaser. I found a bit of a chalky character on the finish, which I wasn't too sure about. 4/5 14 Mar 2001

Morton Estate Marlborough Riesling 2000 Fruity aromas. Citrus and tropical fruits in the palate with a touch of sweetness. Orange and spicy, zingy, almost hot white pepper. Refreshes the palate well. 3.5 stars, 13 abv. $14.95 FGST 6Jan01

Mount Riley Marlborough Riesling 2000 Perhaps the mildness hint of corkiness on the nose or some other detrimental character. Then I can smell a toasty, overripe (er - rotten) fruit character. Juicy in the plate but then that whiff of wrongness appears. There's a long apricot flavour on the finish but the wine lacks in that there is not enough acidity to balance the ripe fruit sweetness. Others descriptors from around the room were "lime sherbet and tinned apricots with a good length of flavour". $15.95. 20Feb2002.

Mt Difficulty Riesling 2000 (Central Otago) Intense fruit and spice on the nose. Zesty grapefruit, green apple and honey in the palate. Seems a little developed in style. Nice intensity, great length and not too sweet. We like this. $19.95. 20Mar2002.

Muddy Water Riesling 2000 (med/dry) Floral style with a little honey. Sweeter style. Quite salivating as it dries out on the finish.. Nose is reminiscent of a little fizzy drink . 'Eno mineral salts for indigestion', say some of the others. Lingering floral and subtle honey finish. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

Nga Waka Riesling 2000 (Martinborough). Has a year in the bottle before release. This is a bone dry wine, with searing limes but with a lovely honeyed richness on the finish. 18Sep2001.
Dry, spritzy apple-like then limes take over. Very classical wine and delicious drinking. 18Nov2001.
Lots of lovely citrus, grapefruit and talcy flavours. A very fine and pure wine with a nice strain of acidity flowing through it. There's a blossom-like character and a honey complexity emerging on the finish of this slightly grainy textured wine that has good concentration and length. NZ$24.95.

Palliser Estate Riesling 2000 Pungent aromas- guavas definitely back up by concentrated tropical fruit. Very flavoursome, mouthfilling, balanced, a little residual sugar provides a luscious backbone. Sweet ripe finish although classified dry. A little green pepper and some honey too. A very popular wine at the tasting. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001.
Subtle citrus bouquet. A medium balanced style (7 gm rs, 13.5% alc.) with concentrated fruit that hints of grapefruit. Honeyed richness and an almost caramel texture that lingers well on the finish. $20. 24Sep2001.
Juicy riesling with luscious tropical fruit, citrus, apricot richness and just a hint of honey. Just sneaks into the dry category with its 7g/l residual sugar. There is a botrytis in this wine. Yum - would be perfect served chilled on a hot summer's day. $21. 16Nov2001.

Pegasus Bay Riesling 2000 from Waipara north of Christchurch reminds me of a wine from the Moselle with its honeysuckle, citrus and mineral chalky character. There is a seductive sweetness to this pale coloured, low (10.5 percent) alcohol wine. The flavours intensify in the mouth to give way to a honeyed apple and stone fruit richness that lingers with a zingy spicy tang, long after the wine is swallowed. This is perhaps one of the best Rieslings ever made in New Zealand. $19.95

Rippon Riesling 2000 Zesty limes and lively fruit in the palate. A bright little riesling with citrus, floral notes and a zesty finish. There's plenty of acidity, which will give the wine a long life. $27. 24Sep2001.

Riverby Riverstone Run Riesling 2000 A little more age but still plenty of zest, sherbet-like, fizzy fruit flavours. A touch of honey creeping in. Very good expression of Marlborough Riesling. Butt having tasted Riesling with a screwcap in all its purity, I can now detect the cork character in this wine. Great length that lingers well with bright citrus. 19Jul2002.

Saint Clair Fairhall Riesling 2000 (from the mouth of Omaka). Pale coloured dry wine with passionfruit, grapefruit. citrus, spicy and prickly zest. Citrus enrichens on finish. Concentrated. $20.95. 13 June 2001

Saint Clair Riesling 2000 Sweeter, juicier, simpler style than the St Clair Fairhall wine. Citrus with a touch of stone fruits. Lemons, flowers. Full, long finish. $15.95 13 June 2001

Seresin Marlborough Riesling 2000 Limey, a little talc character. Very dry. Stone sucking stuff. Pretty good acid. Ouite pure Tropical fruits emerging. A little peach-like fleshiness. 15Aug2001

Stoneleigh Marlborough Riesling 2000 Honeysuckle and citrus aromas. A yeasty nuttiness at first, then spice, honey and powerful flavours of grapefruit and lemons as the richness develops in the palate. A dry, wonderfully refreshing style with warm honey, the merest hint of beeswax and juicy citrus that lingers well. This is a wine I consider a benchmark for Marlborough riesling. It is a wine that has heritage and the ability to age. $15-$17. 1Oct2001.
Fragrant, floral, pear aromas. lemons, a touch of honey, good acidity, no lime. Quite juicy and refreshing with a touch of musk. Says 'dry' but has fruit sweetness. Full body. Excellent length. Benchmark Marlborough wine. $18. Cuisine T10 tasting. 12Jun2002.
Yellow gold in colour, this wine smells lush and ripe. It's dry, spicy, earthy, nutty and limey with hints of stonefruit and a honeyed toastiness developing on the lingering lime-flavoured finish. It's a full rich and powerful Riesling and though it is technically dry, there's a hint of residual sweetness in there that gives it a well deserved nod of approval. $17.95. 29Jan2003.

Stratford Marlborough Riesling 2000 Dry limey nose - intense lime and citrus leaf. Very dry at first in the palate with some yeast character then luscious, limey, apricot and pineapple emerge. It is a very dry, high acid wine but one with heaps of flavour. Classic stuff that will reward cellaring. 13% abv, Comment: After trying several wines after this riesling, it was the flavours of the Riesling that I could taste as I drive home. The flavour - intense lime and tropical fruits. Yummy stuff. 4.5 to 5 stars, FGST $20. FGST 6Jan01

St Francis Marlborough Riesling 2000 A delicate medium-sweet riesling with lovely floral notes, a touch of ginger, honey and a spritzy sherbet (fizzy fruit lolly) sweetness on the finish. Sipping slowly, underlying flavours of limes enrichen on the palate. This wine is developing nicely in the bottle. 30Sept2001.

Te Whare Ra Riesling 2000 Honey and citrus on the nose. Spicy lemon and grapefruit with hints of exotic fruit like feijoa. A juicy undercurrent with a sweet balance titillating the palate. Good medium style. $16. 17Oct2001.

Vidal Riesling 2000 A blend of Hawkes Bay and Marlborough fruit. Powerful and flavoursome, it oozes class, from the first sniff to the lingering finish. Intense fragrance of orange blossoms and lemon zest, fresh and zingy flavours with an array of lemons, oranges and limes, some aromatic spices and nutty lemon honey marmalade. 6.5 grams residual sugar. 18.5/20. Tasted 30/10/2000

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Riesling 2000 Restrained, with zingy lemons and limes and some stonefruit too. Talc complexities. Builds up in the palate with rich, mouthfilling limes and oranges. Floral nuances, a hint of honey and blossom flower linger. Very good with a clean finish. 18/20. Tasted 30/10/2000

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Riesling 2000 Talc-like minerally wine with intensifying citrus, limes and a touch of honey emerging. Delicious fruit, tending to marmalade complexities. Lovely Flavour with Asian spices. Fresh and zingy. Very good. The aromatics build to leave an intense, long, pleasing flavour. 8 grams residual sugar. 18/20. Tasted 30/10/2000

Waimea Estates Classic Riesling 2000 (Nelson). Zesty attractive and a bowl of fruit in the palate. Balanced with a hint of botrytis. 18.5/20 28Aug2001.

Waipara Springs Riesling 2000 Held back to release with a bit of age on it. Shows nice bottle age. I thought there was botrytis, but no. The honeyed complexity is a factor of age. 23Sep2002.

West Brook Marlborough Riesling 2000 ($15.95) is a sweetish, fruity Riesling. Served chilled in this hot weather it seemed an ideal match for the Asian-influenced chicken ***1/2 Feb 2001

Whitehaven Marlborough Riesling 2000 Rich, limey, off dry, melon, apples, nice palate weight. $14.95 23 May 2001
Nutty with rich fruit of grapefruit, peach, melon and a spicy apple finish. Medium style with a little heat at the end. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

1999 Vintage [top] [index]

Alan McCorkindale Marlborough Riesling 1999 Very subtle in the palate at first but explodes with intense lime flavours and culminates in a zesty, prickly finish. Great intensity on the finish. This wine has excellent potential. It is dry (6 grams residual sugar). Whole bunched pressed. This is one of the first release of riesling under the Alan McCorkindale label. Tasted 9/99 NZWTF.

Bladen Marlborough Riesling 1999 A richly concentrated, lush, full, juicy wine, strongly aromatic with an intense bouquet of citrus, citrus blossoms and honeysuckle then, in the palate, the citrus is overwhelming. There a myriad of citrus fruits - limes, grapefruits and tangelos - and a honeyed, almost oily texture. Great palate weight. There's a pile of acid in there but the extraordinary balance means it is almost invisible, as is the 15 grams of residual sugar. The finish is long and the rich citrus flavours linger with a pleasing softness. WOTW 21Nov1999.
A silver medal winner at the Air NZ Wine Awards. I tried this wine a couple of weeks earlier at the Wine Trade Fair (before the awards) and just loved it. Richly aromatic. Intense concentrated flavours in the palate. Lots of citrus - lemons and limes - with a honeyed coating. Quite lush yet very soft. Sweet floral nuances on the finish and a lingering hint of apple. Great finish. A delicious wine. Tasted 10/11/99.

Coney Rallentando Riesling 1999 "It's Bone dry", says Tim. Yes, it is indeed very dry but it developing some oily characters in the palate that gives it good weight and balance. Floral, talc-smelling nose, apple and lime palate, a nuttiness on the finish with lingering apple, it's dry and zingy and shows that NZ Riesling does age. 13Oct2003.

Corbans Private Bin Marlborough Riesling 1999 Rich, limey colour. Rich flavour, limes, prickly acidity, a touch of talc, very dry on the finish leaving a slightly caramel nuance. Intense limey flavour starting to develop. Sweet fruit emerges. Very impressive. My favourite wine of the Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

Felton Road Central Otago Dry Riesling 1999 Tasted in September at the vineyard, the pale lemon colour of the wine glints in the sunlight while the flavour is of find fresh, stone fruit characters accompanied by extremely high, racy, acidity, a good palate weight to this wine and a full rich texture. Although the alcohol is only 11% it seems like more. Evidently indigenous and wild yeasts lend to more volume and flavour and the natural weight assists the acid balance. A lovely lemon and lime citrus flavour follows through and a tang that winemaker Blair Walter describes as 'mineral' (think of the mineral in mineral water). Although the wine is bone dry, there's a ripe fruit sweetness on the lingering finish. I write in my notes "stunning wine - pursue".
Two months later I taste the wine again to find rich ripe, floral, succulent, juicy fruit reminding me of the fruity flavour in Juicy Fruit chewing gum if anyone can remember that (although I haven't eaten chewing gun for years). There is lemon and limes with a touch of tropical fruits and just a hint of nectarines - all the things that make you think of hot summer days. It finishes like lemonade. I could imagine it frozen into an ice block to suck on in the hot summer sun. The wine finishes very dry, but the upfront and mid palate impression is all sweetness. This wine is just the best. It has incredible balance, elegance and style and ever lasting length. Easily drinkable now but is an excellent prospect for cellaring. Price - around $17. WOTW 12Dec1999.
Lemon colour, good glow. Very strong 'kero' nose. I would go Aussie in a blind tasting based on the smell and the initial taste but when the fruit comes through you not it's not from across the Tasman. Limey citrus, minerals, stones, clay. Very dry but beautifully balanced, a high-toned Riesling, lovely backbone of citrus with a hint of apricot, still v.v. lively, with a spicy warming finish. This wine came in a Central Otago bottle, a tall bottle with a wide lip to the rim. 28Dec2003.

Forrest Estate Dry Marlborough Riesling 1999 Floral scents accompanied by faint citrus with a lush, honeyed richness. In the palate this bone dry wine is quite minerally and steely at first, but it quickly develops lush, richly weighted, flavours with a honey wax texture, then finishes with month-filling sweet ripe citrus fruit and beautifully balanced acid that enhances the lingering finish. RRP $19.95. 25Aug1999.
Fantastic aromas of floral scents accompanied by faint citrus with a lush, honeyed richness. In the palate this bone dry wine is quite minerally and steely at first, but it quickly develops lush, richly weighted, flavours with a honey wax texture. It finishes with month-filling sweet ripe citrus fruit and beautifully balanced acid that enhances the lingering finish. $19.95. WOTW 12Sep1999.

Forrest Marlborough Riesling 1999 This wine exhibits a yeasty / leesy aroma, quite unusual and spicy in its character. In the palate the wine is much sweeter than the previous offering. I detected yeast again in the palate, then a floral, orange-blossom nuance. The finish is lingering with a honeyed richness. A wine that will appeal to the non-fastidious riesling appreciator. RRP $15.95. 25Aug1999.

Grove Mill Riesling 1999 Intense rich citrus with talc, florals, limes and other juicy fruit. Luscious, yet fresh and zesty with an orange rind finish. 18/20. Nov 2000.
Oily pungent aromas changing to fizzy fruit sherbet and lemon. Fat in the palate sweet orange citrus, orange blossom. A soft sweetish expression, soft acids. 31 Jan 2000.

Huia Marlborough Riesling 1999 This wine has a lovely mid-palate. It is sweet and rich yet finishes dry. Whiff of kero (very faint) and a touch of anise. Lovely lime and citrus flavours linger in the mouth. This wine is a keeper. 8.5 grams residual sugar. Tasted 9/99 NZWTF.

Main Divide Riesling 1999. A flinty whiff on the nose. More intense juicy citrus in the palate A hint of rotten grapefruit. Very concentrated and juicy. 28 Feb 2001

Millton Opou Riesling 1999 Comb honey, bees wax and lemon zest aromas, then in the mouth the acidity explodes with lemons, limes, and grapefruit to the fore. But after the liquid is swallowed, the balance of the wine comes through, to give a softer, rounder, spicy marmalade flavour. Another mouthful and the mouth is already prepared for the acid attack, which now I can't notice at all. This wine is so intense. What are all those flavours? Herbs, perhaps and granny smith apples. Tropical fruits and lemon oil. And the florals - roses and orange blossoms abound, while there's a toasty honey / butterscotch complexity on the finish. It is a luscious weighty wine that finishes dry, and the aftertaste is long and satisfying with a hint of sweetness. $19.95. 23Jul2000.

Mitchelton Blackwood Riesling 1999 Fragrant, citrus, limes, hint kero. Something gorgeous & sweet, apricot liqueur aroma.. Rich in the palate with some residual sugar. Well balanced with the citrus & other tropical fruit. Nice viscosity 4.5**** 17 Jan 2001.

Montana Reserve Vintage Release Marlborough Riesling 1999 Deep lemon in colour with a zesty, citrus, pineapple, pepino and melon fruit taste. There's an aged character that gives a toasty complexity to the wine even though it has not seen any oak. Warm and rich, this off-dry wine is made with cellaring in mind. Expect a honeyed richness to appear with time. $19.95

Neudorf Brightwater Riesling 1999 Rich citrus fruit aromas. A touch of sweetness at first in the palate with flavours of lemon and loads of concentrated limes cutting through the sweetness to balance the sugar superbly and leave a clean refreshing sherbet aftertaste. A zingy, zesty, lively wine - my favourite style of riesling - where flavours of limes and sherbet abound. $16.90 ex-winery. WOTW 21May2000.

Pegasus Bay Aria Riesling 1999 Inviting scents of honeysuckle flowers and waxy botrytis fill the room as the wine is poured. Then as you sip the wine, sweet ripe fruit fills the palate - a powerful potion of citrus, peaches, apricots and nectarines with honey, spices, herbs and lemon zest. It is full and weighty with a tongue-licking texture and a succulent sweetness that is masterfully counterbalanced with the crisp, fresh acidity of limes, while a flavour of orange zest lingers on after the wine has been swallowed. Suitable for any time of day, serve slightly chilled in the heat of summer. 9.5% alc. $25. WOTW 10Dec2000.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 1999 A light honey glow to the colour and an aroma full of ripe passionfruit and honeysuckle. The taste - imagine ripe, purple-skinned passionfruit pulp that has had some lime and tangelo juices poured over it then sprinkled with sugar. The result, ripe sweetness with subtle citrus acidity to keep the flavours in perfect balance. Tropical fruit, mangoes, guavas and perhaps just a suggestion of grapefruit and a butterscotch complexity, this wine is so agreeable you have to beware how fast it disappears. A touch of botrytis provides the lusciousness found in super sweet wines, but I regard this as a wine in the 'medium' style. About $19.95. 12% alc. WOTW 6Feb2000.
Quite developed, smells a little cheesy as if it is starting to oxidise with just a suggestion of toffeed orange skin on the nose. It tastes much better than it smells with a good dollop of acidity to balance the raisined fruit with creamed honey and marmalade on the finish. 12% alc. 30Mar2004.

Ponder Classic Riesling 1999 Exceptionally intense flavours of ripe limes and stonefruits. Fantastic balance and the 23 grams of residual sugar melds in. Luscious and rich. A great wine. Tasted 9/99 NZWTF.

St Clair Riesling 1999 Fantastic lemon/lime flavours and huge length. Excellent. Tasted 9/99 NZWTF.

Stoneleigh Riesling 1999 A New Zealand classic - a wine I consider a benchmark for Marlborough Riesling. This is the current release and what a stunner. The extra year of bottle age has introduced some lovely developing characters. This wine went on to win gold at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2000 and I was not at all surprised. 18.5/20. Nov 2000.
Pale colour. Rich and limey with a hint of coconut in the aroma. Oily, juicy, citrus very intensifying to becoming quite hot & spicy. Excellent example. Very intense. 18.5/20. 10 Jan 2001

Stratford Riesling 1999 ($22.95) A rich intense riesling that reeks of limes and honeysuckle with a bit of talc. Intense rich limey flavour. Very, very, very dry with an oily richness. Just so delicious. A riesling for Riesling lovers and not for the faint-hearted. 5/5 14 Mar 2001

Vidal Marlborough Riesling 1999 First vintage of this 'new' Vidals Riesling with fruit sourced from Marlborough. This is exciting on the nose - lifted, aromatic, bold, floral and tropical aromas. In the mouth luscious, pungent, fresh tropical fruita nd limes with excellent balance and concentration and lingering finish. Very crisp and refreshing. An excellent wine. Sep 1999.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Riesling 1999 Sweet zesty. Some honey, a bunch of botrytis. Zingy sherbet aromas. Good intensity, juicy citrus, grapefruit & lemons.18/20. 10 Jan 2001
Lovely rich toastiness on the nose with sweet nectarine and peach then orange skin and lime citrus with cheesy overtones. Becoming rather flabby. Drink now based on this sample. $20. 27Mar2002.

Waipara Springs Riesling 1999 Pale gold with a hint of oiliness in the appearance. Citrus and floral aromas. Starting to develop nicely in the palate with concentrated spice, honey and citrus. Rounded toasty finish with warm spice. $16. 24Sep2001.

Waipara West Riesling 1999 First bottle a little oxidised/flat. 2nd.bottle:- Pale Lime/ gold colour. Talcy wine. Subtle citrus. Delicate flavours lengthen on the finish with chalky lime lingering. Cuisine Top 10 Riesling tasting. 20 June 2001

1998 Vintage [top] [index]

Craggy Range Riesling 1998 This wine had been opened for 4 days when I tried it. However it was still richly aromatic. In the palate the flavours are simply fantastic. Rich, zesty, limey and oily with a minerally tone on the finish accompanied with citrus. The powerful lingering flavours remind me of a freshly squeezed lemon drink made with a squeeze of lemon, sugar, honey and water, giving a perfect balance between the acidity and the sweetness. Tasted 18/09/99

Dry River Craighall Amaranth Riesling 1998 Quite minerally with a lovely balance and sweetish flavours appearing on the finish. Very austere at first with minerally, lemon flavours, but fantastic longevity and persistence. This is a wine for cellaring. $27.00. 13Mar1999.

Giesen Canterbury Riesling Reserve Selection 1998 Botrytis scents leap out of the glass, scents of honey and lemon blossom flowers, rich and full. And the taste, honey above all and an orchestra of citrus - limes, lemons and oranges - playing a sweet clean, crisp symphony on the palate, with the occasional crescendo of passionfruit sweetness harmonised by the totally balanced acid. A big, luscious wine in the style of the great Riesling wines from Alsace in France. 7 grams of residual sugar, 14 % alc. About $22.95. WOTW 5Mar2000.

Mahurangi Estate Moutere Riesling 1998 Pale yellow gold. Honeyed aroma. Intense mouth filling flavours of limes but otherwise not too citrussy. Some sherbert-like acidity on very front of palate. Very enjoyable and perfect for luncheon which is when I tried it. 22/11/98 Rating V. Good.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Riesling 1998 Floral, lemony / limey aroma with the slightest hint of honeysuckle. Off dry with with ripe fruit flavours - mostly citrus with a hint of tropical, heaps of acid but beautifully balanced acid, and a fruity finish with a touch of sweet fruit persisting. It's got quite a bit of flesh with its 13.0% alcohol leaving a nice warm feeling in the mouth to go with that persistent fruit. Reminds me a little of the 'fizzy fruit' lollies I used to love when young. About $19. WOTW 25Apr1999.

Pegasus Bay 'Aria' Riesling 1998 Delicious aromatics of passionfruit and honeysuckle flowers with the spritz of freshly squeezed citrus and the lusciousness of freshly made lemon honey emanate from yet another stunning wine from the Pegasus Bay Winery in Waipara, North Canterbury. In the palate, citrus predominates with a melody of lemons and oranges, grapefruit and limes, their acidity balanced by the 80 grams of residual sugar been left in the wine after the fermentation has stopped. The texture is delicious and thick, it's stuff enough to wrap the tongue around, yet it glides over effortlessly. Warm and toasty with leesy characters and a touch of flinty smoke, the wine is full of delicious discoveries as the wine is savoured. Lime citrus intensifies while tropical fruit abounds, there's a hint of banana and the aftertaste is similar to that you would get if you'd been chewing on dried apricots – or perhaps like toasty honey and marmalade. 11% alc. 30 to 50% botrytised grapes. About $25. WOTW 2Jul2000.

Rippon Vineyard Central Otago Riesling 1998 Lively floral and honeysuckle aromas and good intensity of flavour with richly concentrated lime and a touch of sweeter mandarin to take the edge off the acidity, the citrus morphs into tropical fruit with fresh, crisp, pineapple, a hint of feijoa and just a touch of spice. The concentration carries through to the finish and mandarin-peel flavours linger with a nuance of honey. I loved the mouth-feel and weightiness of this wine. It is fairly dry with just 4 grams of residual sugar but with 13.5% alcohol the ripe fruit flavours have an apparent sweetness that lingers nicely. $21.50 ex vineyard. WOTW 31Oct1999.

Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 1998 A blend of Marlborough fruit from Seddon and the Wairau Valley. The wine is off-dry and is very clean and balanced with pineapple/tropical flavours and a steely citrussy backbone. Michelle is very excited about this wine. She says "It is a fantastic entry wine for people who are not used to drinking wine, but someone who drinks a lot will also enjoy it". I agree. **** Sep1998.

Voss Estate Martinborough Riesling 1998 Pale lemon in colour with an oily appearance with fresh citrus-like sherbet aromas and stell crisp acidity in the palate with floral undertones and a touch of residual sugar producing a luscious finish.. Oily texture,good length and long drawn-out flavours of lemons and limes lingering. Expect it to develop classic marmalade and honey flavours with time. About $16.50. WOTW 22Aug1999.

Wynns Coonawarra Riesling 1998 Delicate citrus & talc aromas. Floral, heaps of lime. In the palate, sweet and juicy. Off dry. Very long. Excellent example. 31 Jan 2000.

Older Vintages [top] [index]

Millton Opou Riesling 1997 Gold Colour. Honey. Complex mouthfilling honey and citrus flavours. Rich, full-bodied. Lingering botrytis finish. Excellent accompaniment for seafood. 2/3/99. Rating Excellent.

Montana Vintage Release Riesling 1996 The medium style wine has a citrus dominance with tropical fruit tones filling out to a sweet honeyed richness in the palate. It is pale lemon in colour, giving the impression it will last for quite a few years. It is the sort of wine you can come home to after a hard day's work and sit and relax with, letting the flavours envelope you with its refreshing smoothness, lovely texture, hint of oiliness and lingering citrussy sweetness. Made from grapes grown in the Brancott Estate Vineyard in Marlborough, the wine has 9.0gm litre residual sugar and 12.0% alcohol by volume. NZ$17.00 to $19.00. WOTW w/e 6Dec1998.

Robard and Butler Amberley Rhine Riesling 1989 in a Billy Apple 'As good as gold' collector's label. This bronzy-gold wine had lush aromas with hints of flowers and richly concentrated flavours of limes and honey toffee. It was fresh and pure with rich apricot and other delicious dried tropical fruit flavours. It was rich and full-bodied with zingy spice and the lively acidity indicated it still had years of life ahead of it. Tasted with food, Dec 2000.

Stoneleigh Riesling 1997 (Marlborough) Developed wine with oily texture and flavours of apples, citrus and some botrytis. Very rich concentrated flavours in the palate. Limes, developing to tropical coconuts with a toasty richness and botrytis lingering on the finish with honey notes emerging. Tasted 22/12/99 at Kingsley's 'Wines of the Year'.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Riesling 1997 (Seddon Vineyard) Who says NZ riesling doesn’t age. This is 6 years old and still developing, yet it is already developed. Intense lime/coconut tropical fruit aromas and strong mandarin and grapefruit flavours with a rich texture and a toasty finish with a sweet lime coconut richness. Lots of acid, bright and delicious. Subtle hints of apricot. Dry. 22Nov2003.

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

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