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edited by Sue Courtney

Wine Reviews - Riesling
2004 vintage
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 6 Mar 2010

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.

[2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and older] [index]

2004 Vintage [top] [index]

Allan Scott Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Nice fruity style with good weight, plenty of citrus and a ripe fruit spectrum with good tartness to the finish. 13% alc. 20Sep2004.
Lightly floral, citrussy aromas and sweet citrussy flavours with some toastiness coming through that builds up the richness in the palate. The backbone is quite steely with a touch of stonefruit to flesh it up, a long finish that is developing some zestiness, and juicy tropical fruit flavours lingering. Off dry in sweetness yet still crisp with a slight chalkiness to the texture. A classic NZ style if there is such a thing. 13% alc. Top pick. 24Sep2004.

Amor-Bendall Gisborne Riesling 2004 (sc) An interesting combo of all sorts of floral, honey, citrus and ripe fruit with an earthiness to the palate and a grainy finish. 12.6% alc. 7.5g/L rs. $21. 15Sep2004.

Borthwick Wairarapa Riesling 2004 (sc) Off dry, showing more density to the lemon colour than the wines surrounding it. Soft, lemony, lemon oil aromas with a waft of hokey pokey lead into a full-bodied riesling that has a steely undercurrent of suckery, citrus acidity that balances the almost voluptuous mandarin, mango, passionfruit and pineapple fruit. Terrific palate weight and intensity with a honeyed texture and a long, full finish. 8 g/L residual sugar. 13.5% alc. $18. 11Apr2005.

Brookfields Ohiti Hawkes Bay Riesling 2004 sc) Tropical fruit, guava and floral aromas, soft fat acids and a slightly oily texture, this is quite an easy, no-fuss style with citrus/apple tartness on the finish balancing the tropical fruit sweetness. The finish is long and I think it will evolve well. 12.5% alc. $18. 24Sep2004.

Brookfields Ohiti Riesling 2004 (sc) Dry and citrussy with lovely mandarin and lime citrus flavours. Earthy with good balance and a long fresh finish. Developing nicely. 12.5% alc. $15.95. 8Sep2005.

Canterbury House "The Good Times" Riesling 2004 Earthy-smelling with a hint of kero, just a little pongy at first, this off-dry, grainy-textured wine has crisp, bright pineapple-like acidity, zesty spices with a touch of ginger and nicely balanced lingering lime and apple flavours. 14% alc. $14.95/$12.95. 27Apr2005.

Charles Wiffen Riesling 2004 - Marlborough (sc) A more steely austere Riesling filled with lemons and limes with just a smidgen of honeyed fruit to balance the sharpness and a fresh, long, spicy finish. The tingling acidity gives a spritzy effect on the tongue. A drier style that just about everyone loved. 13.5% alc. $17.95. 24Nov2004.

Clifford Bay Estate Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Spritzy style, lifted fruit with a spicy honey and citrus palate. Needs to unfold a little more to show its true potential, and potential is what this wine has. 13% alc. 9.8g/L rs. $18. 15Sep2004.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Very dry, rich, lime and apple. Developing some lovely kero-like nuances. Gorgeous texture - lightly honeyed with full-bodied palate weight. Lively freshness of fruit on the finish. Beauitful. 12% alc. $33.95. 31Dec2008.

Corbans Homestead Waipara Riesling 2004 (sc) Straw gold. More developed, slightly kero aromas, very floral with a rich, oily texture. Quite dry, weighty and mouthfilling with juicy citrus, tropical fruit and apricot, a gravelly texture and a slight earthiness to the honeyed finish. Good, flavoursome stuff. 12.5% alc. 13g/l rs. $13.95. 8Dec2005.

Crossroads Destination Series Hawkes Bay Riesling 2004 Driven by apple flavours and a grainy steely palate with a weightiness to the finish. Good balance. 20Sep2004.
Fruit salad, apple, a twist of honey and just a hint of cork on the nose. The wine is not overtly corked, just marginally so because it is quite dull in the palate with very little fruit expression and has a dry steely finish. 10.5% alc. $18.95. 11Apr2005.

Danny Schuster Waipara Riesling 2004 A sweetish, lowish alcohol, slightly Germanic style with plenty of sweet citrussy fruit, hints of yellow guavas and slightly muscatty flavours that are well balanced to the grape acidity, with a texture heading to wards viscous. A wine that can be well chilled for drinking on its own or to accompany slightly spicy, Asian flavour-influenced food. 9% alc. $19.95. 30Nov2004.

Dry River 'Craighall' Martinborough Riesling 2004 Dry, lean and minerally with underlying spice, citrus zest and a squeeze of honey. Nice weight, slightly grainy in texture and a delicate floral note to the long dry finish. A wine to rest in the cellar for some time before pulling the cork. Neil McCallum recommends at least 3 years. 11.5% alc. $33. 20Sep2004.

Esk Valley Black Label Hawkes Bay Riesling 2004 (sc) A sweeter style, ripe, honeyed, immediately luscious with lovely tart lemon, good palate weight and bright zesty flavours on the long honeyed finish. Perhaps a slight hint of botrytis. 11% alc. 14.5 g/L rs. 8.2g/L TA. $19.95. 15Sep2004.

Fallen Angel Marlborough Riesling 2004 Juicy and zesty with ripe fruit and nicely balanced acidity making it very approachable and a lusciousness to the finish. 12.5% alc. 16g/l rs. $33. 8Sep2005.

Felton Road Central Otago Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale coloured, fruity smelling, lightly floral, quite tangy in the palate and a little spritzy on the tongue, like sucking fizzy fruit lifesavers. Juicy, bright and spicy with a myriad of tangy, fresh citrus flavours and a delectable infusion of honey, a wonderfully pure Riesling, a classic example of the style and a treat to try. 9.5% alc. $27.95. 12Jan2005.
Bright in its citrine-coloured hue, slightly kero on the nose, but mostly an aroma of sweet and sour with the sweetness of nectar and limey acidity making a presence too. Rich, ripe, zesty and totally flavoursome, fleshy apricot combines beautifully with crisp apple and concentrated lime in the palate - you sense the sweetness rather than taste it because the Riesling acidity is pure, clean and piercing, it makes the finish seem almost dry. There's a smidgen of botrytis too. Impeccable balance, a gorgeous mouthfeel with a light viscosity to the texture, the most seductive Riesling flavour, unbelievable power and sensational length. 9.5% alc. 27Apr2007.

Fiddlers Green Waipara Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale coloured, fresh and fruity with lots of citrus blossom, flesh and peel that has it heading toward the marmalade spectrum in flavour with tropical fruit sweetness to round out and balance the finish, this lovely zippy clean wine will take chilling and will be an instantly likeable drink this summer. Bright, clean, floral and fruity. 12g/L rs. 12% alc. $20. Top pick. 24Sep2004.

Five Flax Waipara Riesling 2004 (sc) Tantalising fresh lime and honeysuckle aromas and crisp, fresh flavours of pure citrus with a delicate overlay of honey. A wine with body and style, the acidity balances the sweetness well and the finish is zesty and juicy. One of the best value-for-money rieslings on the market today. 16 g/L residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $11.95. 17May2005.

Forrest Estate Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Good acidity in this wine means it seems drier that the sweetness level suggests. Earthy, a little yeasty, with floral traits and a citrus honey finish. 12.5% alc. 14g/Lrs. 8g/L TA. $16.95. 15Sep2004.
Concentrated perfumed lime blossom and lime peel aromas and powerful, floral-influenced, lime and green-apple flavours with a talc-mineral backbone and a bright citrussy finish. Although there is 14 grams per litre of residual sugar, the wine has refreshing acidity that makes it seem drier. 12.5% alc. $14.95. 22Feb2006.

Forrest Estate Dry Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Light yellow gold, aromatic, citrussy and lightly toasty with a scent reminiscent of Rose's Lime Juice. Crisp and dry to the taste with underlying flintiness, bracing acidity, some bottle age adding complexity to the full-bodied palate but there is still with plenty of zesty, mouthfilling freshness. Given the track record of the label, it can only get better. 12% alc. $19.99. 18Apr2007.
Light lemon gold. Dry, talcy, lime aromas. Crisp, lightly oily flavours, medium-bodied with the merest hint of sweetness making it almost off dry, it's spicy and tingly with lime, a touch of apple and a warm, creamy, earthy finish. A well-made wine and quite classic for its style. 12% alc. $17.99. 11Jul2007.

Forrest Estate Brancott Vineyard Riesling 2004 (sc) Straw gold coloured with sweet citrus and hints of potter's clay on the nose, there's a fascinating sweet, citrussy, savoury and almost salty flavour, like lemon cream-filled biscuits, in the palate. It's rich, sweet and slightly earthy with piercing acidity that shows the purity of the fruit and a lightly toffeed finish with excellent length. Beautiful now but a great cellaring proposition too. Cuisine's No. 1 Riesling. 30 g/l rs. 13% alc. $29.99. 18Apr2007.

Framingham Classic Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Nice weighted, full and long, with terrifically balanced acidity, heaps of flavour in the citrus, pineapple spectrum and a lingering off-dry aftertaste. A smart wine, one of the best Rieslings of the vintage so far. 12% alc. $20.95. 22Dec2004.
Vibrantly aromatic, crisp and fresh with intense flavours of citrus layered with lime and grapefruit zest and a dryish, beautifully balanced finish with apple flvours lingering. Lovely purity and terrific length. 12% alc. $19.95. 21Jul2005.

Framingham Dry Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Lemon gold hue - looks as if it has some age. A classically dry Riesling on the nose with a toasty richness emanating from the scent and hints of kero coming through. A creaminess to the texture helps to counteract the initial austerity - but this is aged dry Riesling that's drinking well right now with toast, honey and mandarin with tropical fruit mid palate and zesty lemon peel the most dominant character on the very long finish. Very good. High silver. Could go higher. 13% alc. 5 g/l rs. 7.9 g/l TA. $26.95. 26Jan2010.

Framingham 'Select' Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale straw gold. Crisp and zesty with vibrant lime aromas and earthy, slightly kero, lime and lemon flavours with a fleshy, grainy texture, a touch of tropical fruit and a toasty, honeycomb finish. A reasonably weighty, mouthwatering style for summer with complexity from a year in the bottle. Excellent. 8.1% alc. 68g/l rs. 9.5g/l TA. $35. 8Dec2005.

Francis-Cole Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Lovely yellow hints to the colour, fantastic fusel notes on nose and a richness and complexity to palate that has come with age. Tropical fruit, hints of coconut and lime, it's long, full and vibrant and still incredibly fresh. Just off dry and drinking superbly now. 12.5% alc. $19. 10Oct2006.

Giesen Canterbury Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale lemon, also floral and soapy smelling with clean crisp citrus and tropical fruit in the warm textured, talcy palate with just a lacing of honey. But it finishes just a little hard and seems quite dry on the finish for a wine with 20 grams/litre of residual sugar. Good length however, it will probably integrate nicely with just a little more time. Tonight the jury was out. 9.5% alc. $16.95. 8Dec2004.

Greenhough 'Hope Vineyard' Nelson Riesling 2004 (sc) Soft and sweetish at first but with excellent definition of long, pure Riesling acidity, the steely backbone is balanced to honeyed citrus. Beautifully balanced, not over the top with its alcohol. 25 g/L residual sugar. 11.5% alc. $23. 11Apr2005.

Greenhough Nelson Dry Riesling 2004 (sc) Lightly toasty, citrussy, grainy, squeezed, trying very hard to express the fruit, this is quite a neutral wine that some people would probably call minerally, in that they can't describe what is there. Overall quite pithy with a 'sucking on stone' dryness, the sweetness of exotic tropical fruits comes forth on the finish. 12% alc. $19. 11Apr2005.

Grove Mill Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale straw gold with delicate honeysuckle and citrus aromas and crisp, fresh, zesty, citrus and apple flavours with warm spice, a smooth silky texture and a long clean finish with honeysuckle, citrus and a toasty character starting to emerge on the lingering finish. Lots of acidity to balance the sweetness. Delightful drinking. 12% alc. 14g/l rs. $19.95. 9Nov2005.
Light gold. Earthy limes on the nose and a touch of tropical guava that balances the lime and grapefruit in the palate with underlying spice to the long juicy finish. Beautifully balanced and very drinkable. 12% alc. $14.99. 9Aug2006.

Huia Marlborough Riesling 2004 Dry, earthy, delicate. From a tart beginning steely citrus fills the palate and the finish is long and pure with a floral citrussy aftertaste. 13.2% alc. 5.7g/L rs. 7.87g/L TA. $24.95. 15Sep2004.

Hunter's Stoneburn Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Quite delicate floral citrus and honeysuckle combine nicely in the reasonably dry palate with zesty spice and a fresh, crisp finish. 12.8% alc. 9Nov2005. $18.95.

Hunters Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Quite racy and fresh with lime peel on the nose, citrus, lime and a hint of pineapple in the palate, an oily texture, good weight and a slightly talcy dryish finish. There's a touch of ginger as it lingers and good length. 13% alc. $20.95. 9Feb2005.
Light gold colour with a yellow glint, the floral and lime-rich scents have a biscuity nuance - like lemon delights. There's honeysuckle laced with tangelo and lime zest too. Concentrated citrus in the palate, fresh yet toasty, quite dry and racy with a honey character balancing the acidity and sweetening the finish. Gentle in its attack but with great length and flavours of tropical fruit and Tahitian lime lingering deliciously. I close my eyes and imagine myself on a tropical island, palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze, the ripples gently breaking on the sand, the ceviche of freshly caught fish marinating in coconut and Tahitian lime with fresh juicy pineapple on the side. 7g/l rs. 13% alc. $24.90. 8Feb2008.

Jackson Estate Dry Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Honeyed, biscuity, good underlying earthy lemony traits with mid-palate richness and a fat, slightly oily, full-on finish. 13.3% alc. 3g/L rs. 6g.85/L TA. $16.95. 15Sep2004.

Jules Taylor Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale lemon with limey aromas that make you think the wine is going to be quite dry but this well chilled wine is, in fact, off dry to the taste. It's full of red and green apples flavours with a spicy backbone and a rich finish. It's starting to develop some complexity with age. 12.5% alc. $17.99. 28Mar2007.
With a leesy, phenolic and citrus peel character to the aroma and an oily textured palate which is mellow with some oxidised apple characters, it is very disappointing this time round. It seems reasonably dry and limey fruit tries to take over the lightly spicy finish, but doesn't really succeed. It showed much better when tasted in March, but then the weather was warm and the wine was served chilled. 12.5% alc. $17.99. 11Jul2007.

Kahurangi Estate Heaphy Series Moutere Riesling 2004 (sc) Rich, toasty, lime scents with a hint of talc, and sweetish citrussy flavours with a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity - a rich, off-dry style. 12.7% alc. $18.95. 9Nov2005.

Kaimira Brightwater Nelson Riesling 2004 (sc) Aromatic, fruity, floral - even a hint of rose petal and pollen. Bright and zingy in the palate, slightly biscuity, slightly toasty, a sweeter style well-balanced to the zippy acidity and with an earthy (river stone) steeliness and freshly squeezed lemon-drink flavours as it lingers. Will take some chilling. A wine to match to white fleshed fish. 12% alc. Top pick. 24Sep2004.

Kim Crawford Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Dry, appley, with hints of honey over citrus. Quite subtle at this early stage and needs to fatten up a little. Good length with lovely tartness signifying the true character of the variety. 12.5% alc. 6g/Lrs. 8g/L TA. $19.95. 15Sep2004.

Lake Chalice Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Sweet smelling with ripe fruit, an easy going style with a honeyed richness to the full, weighty, tropical fruit and citrus finish. There's a nice layer of honey and a zingy aftertaste. 12.5% alc. 7.5g/Lrs. 7.4g/L TA. $17.95. 15Sep2004.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Light gold in colour, fresh, fruity and vibrant to the nose, the flavour is of crisp apples and limes with a steely earthiness. A lovely, pure, crisp, clean, juicy Riesling with zingy acidity, a powerful finish and a lemon honey aftertaste with just a touch of oiliness. 7 g/Lrs. 13% alc. $19. Top pick. 24Sep2004.

Main Divide Canterbury Riesling 2004 (sc) Crisp and zingy, a Moselle-style look-alike with an oily element and lots of citrus and floral characters. 8% alc. 20Sep2004.
Smelling floral and citrussy, it is spritzy in texture like fizzy fruit sherbet and fermented apple juice, with a ton of acidity from the lemon, lime and crisp apple flavours. Slightly oily with a citrus pith earthiness it's bracing right now but has the potential and the heritage to develop more fullness over the summer. Refreshing! 8% alc. $17.95. 29Sep2004.
Biscuity smelling! Like Griffins 'Lemon Treats' - a crisp savoury biscuit with a lemon creme centre. Crisp and fresh with steely acidity on the first taste, there's delicious sweet ripe fruit to balance it together with lemon honey, angelica, citrus blossom, spice and a touch of ginger on the finish. Good length. A clean, crisp, lowish alcohol, sweeter style with terrific length and lots of acidity that keeps it true to variety. Excellent. 8% alc. $16.95. 11Apr2005.

Martinborough Jackson Block Riesling 2004 (sc) Smelling talcy, crisp and pure, a waft of hokey pokey tantalises. Beautifully balanced sweet fruit , upfront juicy, ripe citrus with lime, mango and coconut emerging on the lingering finish. It will become quite toasty as it ages. Off dry. Try with Asian food as well as seafood. 11.5% alc. $22. 11Apr2005.

Matua Valley Shingle Peak Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Delicately floral and citrus aromas with a little honey, definitely pollen. Steely and crisp with good richness of fruit in the palate and with a dry, talc-textured backbone. Lemon flavours linger with an overlay of delicate honey and a floral finish. Very dry. 12.5% alc. $18.95. 11Apr2005.

Mills Reef Riesling 2004 - Hawkes Bay (sc) Pale in colour with floral (perfumed soap) aromas leading into a delicately textured wine with vibrant acidity, juicy green apple and citrus fruit, a dry earthy backbone and just a touch of honeysuckle to sweeten the finish. Serve chilled, it seems much drier than it actually is. Very refreshing. 12% alc. $14.95. 2Nov2005.

Millton Opou Riesling 2004 Gisborne (sc) Straw gold with more intensity to the floral aroma and toasty lime scents that convert to toasty lime flavours in the palate. Slightly oily with apple and juicy citrus laced with honeysuckle and apricot. super fruit acid balance and a rich, voluptuous finish with terrific length. It reminded me of the richness of a clean Alsace Riesling combined with the low alcohol of a rich dryish Spatlese. Bio-dynamically grown grapes. 30 g/L rs. 9.5% alc. $22.95. 12Jan2005.
Light straw coloured, fragrant and floral smelling with honeysuckle and lime blossom paving the way for the luscious, sweetish palate laden with limes, lemon honey, marmalade, ginger and apples. Beautiful balanced with a juicy, refreshing finish. Evidently the back label says honey and butterscotch. I found the honey but I'm not so sure about the butterscotch. 30.6 grams per litre residual sugar. 9.5% alc. $22.95. 24Aug2005.

Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling 2004 (sc) Lovely citrus scented, grapefruit blossom aromatics. Crisp steely fruit. Good mouthfeel. Lots of lovely flavour and a long mouthfilling finish. A stunning wine made in the sweeter, lower alcohol style. 10.5% alc.25g/L rs. 9.4g/L ta. 5Oct2004.
Pale straw. Lemon peel, orange blossom and honey on the nose lead into bright crisp flavours with lots of Riesling purity and well-balanced acidity, lime, mandarin, lemon zest, fizzy fruit sherbet lollies and a long, long finish. Drier than normal for Target Gully, the different style reflects the vintage. 10.5% alc. $21.95/$18.95. 27Apr2005.

Muddy Water Dry Riesling 2004 (sc) Already developing some kero notes on the nose, this bone dry wine is very steely and earthy with zest spice, a grainy texture and succulent cherimoya and citrus on the lingering finish. 12% alc. 2.5g/l rs. $23. 19Sep2005.
Pale straw in colour with bright, lime-scent, pungent oily scents, the oily character on the nose carries through to the palate, which is crisp and dry. A strong flavoured wine with citrus oil and tart apples to the fore, and a lanolin character to the oily finish. A little atypical for New Zealand, more Euro in style, heading into the direction of Alsace. 12% alc. 2.5g/l rs. $23.

Muddy Water James Hardwick Waipara Riesling 2004 (sc) Citrus peel aromas, dry and steely in the palate, a pure, lean, citrussy style with a pithy touch to the finish. Just bottled when tasted. 12.2% alc. 20Sep2004.
Smooth textured with just an aura of talc-like powderiness about it, fairly dry tasting for its 15 grams of residual sugar, it's nicely balanced with a little honey and fruit salad on the finish. ). Dryish, a little honey, nicely balanced, with fruit salad on the finish. 12.2% alc. $22. 11Apr2005.

Muddy Water Unplugged Waipara Riesling 2004 (sc) A rich style made to the Alsace mould with sweeter fruit and an almost buttery finish. Bright tropical fruit and zingy, bracing acidity, then full fleshier apricot-like flavours hinting of botrytis, and a crisp, creamy aftertaste. The acidity belies the sweetness. 50g/L rs. 13% alc. 20Sep2004.
A big, ripe, powerful style. Earthy, a little funky and laced with botrytis that gives a sweet finish, yet tart and bracing at the same time. Lots of citrus, hints of apricot and a long, lingering aftertaste. Utterly interesting but not what you would think of as classical Riesling. 50g/L rs. 13% alc. $24.95. 9Feb2005.
Delicate honey on the nose, it smells sweet, and it is sweet, very sweet, it needs chilling. Earthy and deep (for riesling) with a honey-like viscosity, delicate acidity and toffee apples on the finish. Tasted again later after chilling, the acidity has become quite crisp and grapefruit-like, balancing the sweetness well while waking up the mouth and extending the honeyed aftertaste. Nice touch of botrytis. 50 grams residual sugar. 13% alc. $25. 11Apr2005.

Mud House Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Earthy style with lemon and a little honey giving good mouthfeel. Mouthfillingly fruity with lots of citrus and a long, rich, zingy finish. $19.95. 15Sep2004.

Neudorf Brightwater Nelson Riesling 2004 (sc) Dry but not dry,theres goodfruit sweetness but the acidity makes it seem drier than it is. Crisp and racy with spicy lemon peel zinginess and a long, refreshing and juicy honey and lemon drink finish. 10g/L rs. 8.2TA. $20. 12% alc. 20Sep2004.
Floral smelling with limes and green apples. In the mouth it's dry with lots of crisp, refreshing citrus, lovely palate weight and texture. Lovely and pure, the richness of the lime flavour fills the palate in a beautifully balanced way. Excellent. 12% alc. $20. 11Apr2005.
Lime, tangelo and tropical fruit aromas entice the nose, flowers too. Delicately textured with limes and buttered lemon and a nuttiness to the honeyed finish. Fresh, clean and long with a deliciously succulent aftertaste. 12% alc. 9g/l rs. $20. 19Sep2005.

Omaka Springs Riesling 2004 - Marlborough (sc) A rich, ripe smelling, oily Riesling with mid-palate richness, the off dry flavours balanced beautiful by the citrus acidity that is reminiscent of freshly squeezed lime juice with lots of underlying juiciness. A wine that will age and develop really well. Match to white fish. 12% alc. $17.95/$15.95. 23Mar2005.

Palliser 'Autumn' Martinborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Abundant floral aromas, beautifully balanced palate. Off dry to medium sweet with terrific balance of the honeyed sweetness to the crisp acidity that takes over the finish. Beautiful wine, fantastic varietal definition, long finish. Excellent. 12.5% alc. $26. 11Apr2005.

Palliser Martinborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Fragrant and floral with lots of bright citrus-peel characters enhanced by just a touch of botrytis. A beautiful riesling, dry but terrifically balanced with an abundance of citrus, apple and tropical fruits and a touch of honey on the finish. Though it finishes dry, the pure Riesling fruit flavours linger deliciously. Top wine and great to drink just on its own. Excellent. 12% alc. $18. 11Apr2005.

Pegasus Bay Aria Riesling Late Picked Riesling 2004 (sc) Light golden lemon. Tantalising honeysuckle and delicate citrus scents lead into a lightly viscous, slightly toffeeish, honeyed apricot and cream palate. Medium-bodied, yet unctuously rich in flavour and mouthfeel with a nectar-like infusion to the lightly spicy finish, the underlying lime-like acidity is perfectly poised to the sweetness of the fruit. Just delicious. 9.5% alc. $34.95. 9Sep2007.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 2004 (sc) Water pale, citrus blossom aromas, lovely richness and flavours. Everything in Riesling that you hope to find, a touch of earthiness, a lovely seam of citrus, a smidgen of honey and citrus peel / marmalade on the finish. 11% alc. 20Sep2004.
Very pale in colour with sweet citrussy aromas, it tastes crisp and tart with apple and lime acidity balancing sweeter lime marmalade and honeysuckle. Quite steely with a lovely purity of clean fruit, a touch of honey on the finish and hints of apricot together with lemon and lime as it lingers, it is deliciously juicy with a long, long finish that builds in richness. 11% alc. $24.95. 29Sep2004.
Grapefruit! A racy riesling tasting likes it has been laced with freshly squeezed winter grapefruit. Crisp and fresh throughout with zippy flavours, a spritzy mouthfeel and a slightly sweetish finish. 11% alc. $24.95. 11May2005.

Pond Paddock Harvest Moon Riesling 2004 (sc) Very dry, steely and earthy with lots of acidity. Spicy!! Ginger abounds on the finish. Quite tasty and lively with citrus fruit sweetness as it lingers, and a good length of flavour. 7 g/L residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $19.25. 11Apr2005.

Rippon Lake Wanaka Central Otago Riesling 2004 (sc) Quince on the nose and green apples with a squeeze of lemon in the palate with quince paste and a nuance of tropical fruit on the finish with a strong yeast lees influence that underpins the wine and a lingering earthiness. A crisp wine that tastes quite dry but with 10 to 11 grams of residual sugar, it is not dry at all it is the natural high acidity that makes the wine seem so bracing. A superb match to the earthy flavours of an aromatic Moroccan Chicken Soup with chickpea and cumin. 12% alc. $28.95. 10Apr2006.

Riverby Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale straw colour, zesty aromas that hint of lemon blossom and marzipan (almond) and a high acid palate choc full of green apples and lemon. Dry, earthy and quite austere upfront but clean and fresh with a fruitiness to the finish, enjoy with a piece of fish that you would serve a lemon wedge with. 12% alc. $20. 1Mar2005.

Sacred Hill Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Honeysuckle and citrus aromas and mouthfilling citrus and apple flavours provide a good steely backbone to this rich yet delicate dryish riesling that has its zesty acidity beautifully balanced by just a hint of honey. Toast flavours add complexity and the flinty finish is long and mouthfilling. 12% alc. $19.95/$17.95. 16Mar2005.
Delicately sweet honey and honeysuckle is balanced by steely citrus in the lime/mandarin spectrum. Very steely up front, a fine layer of viscous honey emerges as weighty tropical fruit evolves and there's a floral note to the fat, honeyed, but dryish finish. 8 g/L residual sugar. 12% alc. $19.95. 11Apr2005.

Saint Clair Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Ripe and juicy, easy going, tropical fruits, citrus and just a squeeze of honey to balance the tartness on the long zingy finish. 12.5% alc. 10g/Lrs. 7.7g/L TA. $19.99. 15Sep2004.
Lemon pith aromas, a little earthy and limey smelling. In the palate there's lime peel, hot lemon, a touch of spice and a tart finish with a dry, zesty aftertaste. 10 g/L residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $19.95. 17May2005.

Saint Clair Vicars Choice Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Grainy textured, yeasty, quite neutral in flavour and generally lacks character. 9.3g/L rs. 12.5% alc. $16. 24Sep2004.
A little earthy smelling first up with a citrussy, oily-textured palate, but this is a crisp, powerful wine that explodes in the mouth with its juicy flavours. There's citrus and a touch of apple as it lingers and the finish is long with nicely balanced acidity throughout. 9 g/L residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $16.95. 17May2005.

Seifried Nelson Dry Riesling 2004 (sc) Floral, limey scented, fresh and appealing, has the potential to blossom, just a little tight at this stage. $19. 15Sep2004.

Seifried Nelson Riesling 2004 (sc) Sweeter style, homey and limes with an earthy, zesty palate structure and lingering citrus flavours on the grainy textured, spicy finish. $19. 15Sep2004.

Seresin Estate Dry Marlborough Riesling 2004 Bone dry with an underlying yeasty note coming through, a hint of kero and a long, lemony finish. Think of sucking on river stones. Fermented with 100% wild yeasts. 12% alc. $23.90. 19Sep2005.
Pale gold with freshly squeezed limes and blossoms on the nose, this has a lovely crisp, dry grainy texture and although mouth-puckering dry to start with, after two or three sips you feel the weight coming through. A very pure Riesling with excellent length, this is full of acid but is starting to take on a honeyed character - and will garner more honey and other complexities with a little more age. A great cellaring proposition. 12% alc. $24.95. 14Jun2006.
A pale gold colour introduces this very dry, steely, bracingly acidic style. It's lighter (than the St Helga) and a little more delicate with citrus and apricot, a slightly grainy texture and a touch of honeysuckle on the finish. 12% alc. $24.99. 16Aug2006.
A fresh bright Riesling with crisp lime and lemon zest aromas, searingly dry, like sucking on a granny smith apple, with good body weight, a spritzy grainy texture and a hint of 'kero'. So easy to think it is Australian, as it is very much in that mould. One of the driest Rieslings made in NZ and great with seafood that you would serve a wedge of lemon with. 12% alc. $21.99. 31Jan2007.

Southbank Hawkes Bay Riesling 2004 (sc) Apple aromas and juicy tart apple flavours, with a dash of mandarin adding citrus sweetness that builds to an off-dry, tropical fruit finish. 10.5% alc. $18.95. 17May2005.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale lemon coloured, concentrated, floral, lemon and lime aromas and a crisp, weighty, spicy palate with lime marmalade and lime curd. With over a year in the bottle it has built up some complexity and although it seems quite dry, it's actually off-dry with a touch of honey sweetening the lengthy finish. 4 Stars - Cuisine. 12.5% alc. $19.95. 1Mar2006.

Te Kairanga Martinborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Off dry, heading towards medium. Soft smelling with citrus and honeysuckle, the beautifully balanced sweetness is rich and honeyed, building to a full, toasty finish. Just a little cloying on its own at room temperature, serve chilled with some food to soak up the sweetness. A very pretty wine with lots of personality. 12.5% alc. $22. 11Apr2005.
Fragrant honeysuckle and citrus aromas and grapey, slightly nutty, pear-like flavours at first with grapefruit and mandarin emerging to make a strong statement with honey lingering on the full-bodied, almost toasty finish. A tasty, medium-sweet style with 28 grams of residual sugar. Screwcap. 12.5% alc. $17.95. 27Jul2005.

Te Whare Ra Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) A crisp, zesty, dryish wine with zippy apple flavours, steely crisp acidity and an underlying earthiness, it opens up well and the finish is long and lemony with nice riesling purity. 6.5g/L rs. 12.8% alc. $19. 24Sep2004.
Quite pale coloured, this is a seemingly dry style with a medley of apple and citrus with lemon and lime to the fore, some mid palate sweetness and a spicy gingery finish. 6.5g/L rs. 12.5% alc. $21.95. 5Jan2005.

Trinity Hill Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Apple and grapefruit on an oily texture characterise this seemingly dry style. Apple traits build to linger on the soft finish and earthy notes linger. $19.95. 15Sep2004.

Triplebank Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Straw gold in colour and richly aromatic with a lime marmalade aroma, this is rich, ripe and flavoursome with delicious fruit concentration. Mouthfilling and satisfying with bright tropical fruit with hints of yellow guavas, citrus and marmalade building in the palate and linger on the quenching finish. Apples and limes emerge on the spicy aftertaste and there's a hint of botrytis as well. Off-dry with excellent balance of acidity to the 14 grams of residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $20. 17May2005.

Waipara Hills Canterbury Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale coloured with sweet fruited, floral, slightly soapy aromas and crisp tropical fruit flavours with a good lacing of lime and sweeter citrus and a long juicy zesty finish with lingering lemon meringue. Nicely balanced in an off dry mode, it takes on a slight lolly/estery character after sitting in the glass a while. 11.5% alc. 24Sep2004.

Wairau River Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) A textbook riesling. Delicate fruited with well-balanced crisp acidity, but it just doesn't have anything 'wow' about it, it doesn't jump out. Other than that it can't really be faulted. A wine to have with food or when you don't want some overpowering. Very nice. 12.8 g/L residual sugar. 12% alc. $19.95. 11Apr2005.

William Hill Central Otago Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale coloured and showing a slightly Euro character, it's earthy and a little oily with apple flavours and a crisp, steely dry finish. Fruit sweetness balances the wine and there is a herbal-like nuance as the wine lingers. 12.5% alc. $19. 24Sep2004.
Quite a dry lemony style, with good sweetness behind it that balances the acid but doesn't hide the varietal crispness. Getting into more tropical fruit regimes with feijoa, banana, making a statement and crisp citrus acidity brightening the finish. Very good. 18 g/L residual sugar. 13% alc. $19. 11Apr2005.

Vidal Estate Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Lots of fresh lime and mandarin citrus with a green apple crispness to the fruity flavours and a touch of sweetness to balance the finish. 13% alc. $19.95. 30Oct2005.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Quite dry smelling with talc aromas and crisp, fresh flavours with just a hint of toastiness on the lime rich finish. Beautifully balanced with the residaul sigar nicely in check, good weight and excellent length. 12.5% alc. 11.6g/l rs. $21.95. 9Nov2004.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Fruity style with ripe apple and orange flavours on a tarter citrussy backbone. It has some toasty honeyed characters, there's a youthful earthy yeastiness to the finish and the aftertaste is crisp and tart. A wine that like its predecessors, will develop nicely. $15.95. 15Sep2004.

Vynfields Classic Riesling 2004 (sc) Lime and honeysuckle on the nose, a mix of tart and sweet, the limey acidity races through the palate then marmalade-like sweetness comes forth on the finish. Developing some more mature notes but when tasted chilled the freshness is still there. 12.9% alc. 36g/l rs. 7.8g/l TA. $29. 10Oct2006.

[2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and older] [index]

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

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