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Wine Reviews - Riesling
2005 & 2006 vintages
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 18 Aug 2012

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 and older] [index]

2006 Vintage [top] [index]

Abbey Cellars Hawkes Bay Riesling 2006 (sc) Ripe, rich and full of lime and grapefruit becoming more fleshy as the wine travels across the palate with a stony, grainy, pithy undercurrent, and talc, limes and tropical fruit on the finish. Dry, crisp and refreshing with the ripeness of the fruit belying the almost non-existent residual sugar. 12% alc. 2g/l rs. 4Sep2007.

Amante Central Otago Riesling 2006 (sc) A off-dry / medium style, very typically in the Central Otago mould, pale in colour with lime sherbet and honeysuckle on the nose. It's very fine, very linear, with gorgeous underlying lime and stonefruit, a talcy minerally backbone and a fleshy, long finish. 12% alc. $25.99. 20Sep2006.
Pale lemon-lime in colour, this sweetish aromatic wine is full of apricot and stonefruit with a spicy yeast lees undercurrent, hints of custard and cream and a bright seam of citrus zest. A light, fresh, summery wine that can be well-chilled - but not immediately identifiable as Riesling. I was thinking unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and even Viognier at one stage. 12% alc. $22.99. 30Jan2008.

Aurum Central Otago Riesling 2006(sc) This is a lovely rich, immediately approachable, lightly spicy Riesling with warmth to the palate Quite a full-bodied, flavoursome style with apple and orange blossom defining the acidity on the lightly, zest finish. 13.5% alc. 11g/l rs. 4Sep2007.

Bouldevines Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Technically medium with 7.5 grams per litre of residual sugar but it has well defined acidity to keep it dry and tight, yet it is juicy and approachable with tropical fruit emerging from under the zesty citrus and the finish is long. It will take chilling, which bodes well for the summer. 13% alc. $21. 8Oct2006.

Camshorn Waipara Valley Classic Riesling 2006 (sc) Straw gold, aromatic with citrus and floral scents, it's tastes sweet and honeyed with crisp acidity that makes it finish dry. A juicy style with apple flavours to the fore. 12% alc. $23.99. 4Apr2007.

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Straw gold and star bright, it's slightly petrolly on the nose with a touch of oiliness to the texture and a weighty mid palate filled with lemon, limes, apples and sherbet. A classy, powerful dry Riesling with a definite juicy factor and a touch of honeyed sweetness but the racy acidity makes it seem dry. 11.5% alc. $18.99. 12Dec2007.
Pale straw gold in colour with citrus peel and honeysuckle on the nose together with a touch of kero that makes you think Australia, as does the dry, lime-rich, talcy, smooth textured, weighty palate. An excellent example of a rich, dry Marlborough style with hot spicy notes to the full, rounded finish. It is also picking up some desirable bottle-aged toastiness. 11.5% alc. $18.99. 6Aug2008.

Craggy Range Glasnevin Vineyard Riesling 2006 - Waipara (sc) Fresh and fruity smelling, a little like juicy fruit gum, it's fresh and crisp to the taste with juicy apple and sweeter lemon honey and a bright juicy finish with just a touch of honeysuckle. Light with lowish alcohol, this is perfect for summer. 30 g/l rs. 10.7 g/l acidity. 9.9% alc. $23.95. 31Oct2006.

Craggy Range Fletcher Family Vineyard Riesling 2006 - Marlborough (sc) Crisp, steely, lime-rich aromas follow through to the palate. There's a firm acid backbone to the off-dry flavours with baked apple and citrus fruit and some weightiness and grip to the finish which has excellent length. 14 g/l rs. 8.9 g/l acidity. 11.5% alc. $23.95. 31Oct2006.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Riesling 2006 - Martinborough (sc) The crisp, steely, lime-rich aroma has a pithy nuance and hints of talc and chalk. It's racy and crisp in the palate with upfront lemon, pineapple, green grape and tropical fruit, a tight, grainy texture, a leesy nuance and baked granny smith apple flavours coming into play. Tart kaffir lime acidity drives this beautifully focused wine and there are fusel notes and hints of flowers on the finish. Great focus. Intense Riesling flavour. My favourite of the three Cragyy's. 8.2 g/l rs. 8 g/l acidity. 12.7% alc. $23.95. 31Oct2006.

Dry River Craighall Riesling 2006 Dry, crisp, lean and steely with scents of lime sherbert that impart a spritzy tingle to the tongue, there's a purity to the flavour with acidity that evolves through lemonade to lime to more weighty juicy green apple and the finish is clean, crisp and refreshing. A wine that tastes very dry, although it's technically off dry with 8 grams of residual sugar. It is the low pH of 2.7 that gives itís that "sucking on a river stone" minerality and will no doubt contribute to a very long life. 12.5% alc. Release price $36.16Sep2006.

Dry River Craighall Late Harvest Riesling 2006 - Martinborough Made in that lovely, lowish alcohol Germanic Spatlese style that some NZ producers can do so well. Just a little closed on the nose but everything is there in the palate - apples, limes, orange peel and juicy mandarin, pure and clean with a greywacke river stone undercurrent and lovely fruit sweetness and florals to the finish. I love this Germanic style with its piercing acidity and impeccable balance. 10% alc. 60 g/l rs, 9.5g/l TA. $49 11Mar2007.

Drylands Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Dry, crisp, fresh and racy with toasty lime and hints of 'kero', it seems to have a little age and in some respects is heading towards a Clare Valley style. A touch of sweetness adds brightness to the finish. 4g/l rs. 13% alc. $20. 10Jan2008.

Escarpment Martinborough Hinemoa Riesling 2006 (sc) Bright yellow gold. Honey, beeswax, toffee, grapefruit marmalade, apricot jam and hints of spice with a lovely floral fragrance emerging, this wine is just so darn rich and delicious, I feel if I could set is as jelly, I could spread it on my toast for breakfast. It just takes over the palate with its powerful citrus and honey flavours and just doesn't want to budge as the brightness and complexity of the taste remains for ages. Beerenauslese style. 10.2% alc. 120g/l rs. $29. 9Sep2007.

Felton Road Central Otago Riesling 2006 (sc) Off dry in style with tangelo peel and lime aromas, it has that rounded greywacke riverstone character that imparts a slight graininess to the texture, honeyed notes come through and the citrussy flavours on the finish are pure and clean. 10.5% alc. 50g/l rs. 8.3g/l TA. 10Oct2006.
Light straw with a glimmer of lime, this delicious tasting Riesling has tantalising aromas of citrus zest and wet potter's clay and juicy, sherbetty, mouthwatering flavours of limes and tangelo with a touch of orange water, a suggestion of ginger and a piercingly pure and seemingly dry finish. But this beautifully balanced wine is actually off dry and imparts a honeyed, nectar-like nuance on the lingering, moreish aftertaste. 10.5% alc. 50 g/l rs. 8.3g/l ta. $28.99. 15Aug2007.

Forrest Estate The Doctor's Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) This Riesling is just what 'The Doctor' ordered because of its low, 8.5% alcohol content. Light, sweetish and beautifully refreshing when served chilled to accentuate the racy acidity of the lime and green apple flavours, hints of orange honey and zesty spices emerge on the crisp, clean, vitalising finish. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 26Sep2007.
Pure and delicate yet intense at the same time, there's refreshing racy acidity in the form of apple, lime and mandarin balancing the delicate honeyed sweetness, and a Mosel-like earthy, stony, slatey character adding extra complexity and intrigue. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 21Nov2007.
Served lightly chilled, this pale straw coloured Riesling smells like freshly squeezed lemon and honey and tastes even more so in the bright, fresh, enlivening palate. An exemplary example of perfection of balance with screechingly high apple and citrus acidity to balance the floral sweetness and juicy fruit. It's a summer orchard of vigour and liveliness. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 19Dec2008.

Fromm Dry Riesling Marlborough 2006 (D) Light gold hue. A little austere and slightly earthy on the nose with some dried lemony herbs coming through. It's very austere to the taste, earthy, even a little dirty, perhaps overly malic. There's a ticklish sherbet character to the texture with flavours of baked green apple and herb and a bitter finish. Not an easy wine to drink. Has a 'corky' character. While difficult to appreciate when first opened, this wine really blossomed over a few days in the bottle. 12.5% alc. $22.90. 26Jan2010.

Fromm Marlborough Riesling Spatlese 2006 (D) Water pale, sweet, light, floral and fruity with a delicate scent of honeysuckle, this is a slightly spritzy textured wine, a low alcohol, Germanic style, floral and zesty with an earthy undercurrent and a delicate touch of kero too. When you come across perfectly balanced medium sweet wines, like this one, it's very hard not to like. 7.5% alc. $27.99. 25Apr2007.

Framingham Classic Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Pale with light green glints, it's perfumed and floral with hints of honeysuckle and tastes pure, light and delicate with apple and lime, well balanced sweetness and a long, dry finish. There's a touch of salinity and a little earthiness as it lingers with great length. Totally classic for this producer, it will be even better with time in the bottle. 11.5% alc. $17.99. 14Feb2007.

Gibbston Valley Central Otago Riesling 2006 (sc) Green-edged, tight yeasty aromas - swirl to bring out citrus and earthy nuances. Lovely Riesling purity in palate - it's almost tropical in it's fruit expression of melon, mango and limey citrus with a honeyed backbone and sweetness to the finish. It was like it was made to match the chicken in citrus and honey and coriander dish. The remains of the wine (tasting sample only extracted) and this had just blossomed. It's a truly superb Central Otago Riesling. It has 14.2 grams per litre of residual sugar, but the high acidity balances it beautifully. 13.5% alc. $26. 18Jun2007.

Hunter's Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Light lemon gold. The crisp, steely, lemon-tinged citrussy aroma has a delicate floral nuance and it is crisp and juicy in the palate with lots of citrus and apple flavours, a hint of tropical fruit and a fresh, bracing finish with a light honeyed richness as it lingers. Looks like it has the potential to age extremely well. 13.5% alc. 6.0 g/l rs. $19.90. 4Feb2007.

Isabel Estate Dry Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) There's a hint of Europe in the rich oily, nutty, marzipan-like and orange zest aroma and the oiliness carries through to the richly textured palate. Oily but dry with a grainy, almost pithy character, the oily texture and the citrus acidity gives the wine a zingy intrigue. It's smells sweeter on the nose that it tastes, it is incredibly dry but has a mouthfilling richness nevertheless. I like this wine. It's interesting and it grows on me because it is so intriguing. There's some feijoa in there too. The next day the oily character has almost turned to petrol. Definitely a wine for petrol heads. I imagine this would cellar exceptionally well. 12.5% alc. $23. 27Apr2007.

John Forrest Collection Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Aromatic, with the classic purity that John Forrest attains in his Rieslings - it's a lemon and honey wine with crisp apples, a juicy sweetness underpinned with taut acidity and great length. Much more expressive than the 2005 was on first tasting last year - but this could be because the bottle had been opened for a while. I'm a great fan of Forrest rieslings and this one gets a great big tick for taste. 8 g/l acidity. 14.7g/l rs. 12.5% alc. $50. 26Jul2007.

John Forrest The Doctors Riesling 2006 (sc) Pale in colour with lime blossom aromas, this tastes light and fresh with beautifully clean, invigorating and mouth watering flavours of citrus, sherbert and tropical fruit - it's spritzy on the tongue with hints of gingery spice to leave a lovely fresh fruity aftertaste. Very easy and tasty to drink. 8.5% alc. $20. 3Nov2006.

Kaimira Brightwater Nelson Riesling 2006 (sc) Straw gold with honeysuckle, citrus and Bartlett pear aromas, it's crisp, juicy and lightly honeyed with upfront sweetness and incisive lemon and bitter orange flavours with tangy acidity that attacks the sweetness and makes it seem drier than it really is. A fresh, exciting, medium-styled Riesling. 11g/l rs. 11.5% alc. $15.99. 18Apr2007.
Bright lemon gold. Honeysuckle and nectar on the nose with a toasty (earthy) character to the zesty scents, there's some perceived sweetness in the palate which has a spritzy texture. Has an earthy/plastic impression to the lemonade fruit with tropical fruit joining in on the finish. A little bit herbaceous and light-bodied on the finish. $20. 19Apr2009.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Light yellow gold with a hint of lime. Concentrated on the nose with lime, tropical fruit, a hint of kero and lemon pith, it's quite dry to the taste yet not completely dry. Zesty and fresh in the palate with concentrated citrus fruit sweetness and lingering grapefruit and lime leaf notes. A rich, clean, lengthy Riesling with acid drive and a flinty tang, it has the potential to get even better with time. 6.5 g/l rs. 12.5% alc.
$19.99. 18Mar2009.

Main Divide Canterbury Riesling 2006 (sc) Light yellow gold with earthy, lemon oil aromas, there's some retained CO2 in the wine which imparts a spritziness in the form of tiny tiny bubbles that you can see in the glass and that you feel as they dance on the tongue. Low alcohol, sweetish, honeyed and floral with crisp lime/lemon acidity beautifully balanced to the light nectar sweetness and a lingering citrus and honeysuckle aftertaste. 10.5% alc. $17.99. 18Apr2007.

Morton Estate Stone Creek Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Fragrant and spicy with bright, vibrant citrus and honeysuckle aromas that lead into a warm textured, creamy, toasty and lightly honeyed palate with bright fruit salad flavours of pear, apricot and limes. It's bright, fresh and refreshing with juicy fruit sweetness and lots of zing to the lingering finish. A full-bodied, higher alcohol style of riesling. 13% alc. $19.95. 4Jan2007.

Mount Riley Riesling 2006 (sc) Light gold coloured, quite restrained on the nose with delicate scents of pear drops and honeysuckle and crisp, steely flavours padded out with green apples and lemons. A blend of Marlborough and Nelson grapes in an off-dry, medium-bodied package - the acidity stimulates the salivary glands and the finish is long. 12% alc. $14.99. 11Apr2007.

Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling 2006 - Central Otago (sc) Lime blossom aromas and juicy lime and honeysuckle flavours with a touch of ginger set the scene for this sweetish wine that is quite rich and weighty in style. The sweetness is kept in check by gorgeous refreshing apple-like acidity and there are hints of marmalade and a spicy musk-like nuance to the finish. For followers of Target Gully, this is not as low in alcohol as previous vintages but it still just as delicious and therefore more dangerously drinkable. 12% alc. $25.99. 18Oct2006.
Pale straw yellow. Toasty lime aromas introduce this medium sweet style that's crammed with juicy citrus, tropical fruit and sherbet which imparts a vibrant spritzy acidity to balance the sweetness. There's a slightly pithy character coming through, and toasty lime and freshly squeezed juice lingers on the finish. 30g/l RS. 12% alc. $25.99. 21Mar2007.

Margrain Martinborough Proprietor's Selection Riesling 2006 (sc) Pale lemon gold. At first the aroma is quite floral with sweet honeysuckle and lemon zest but that's just the first impression of this utterly interesting and complex wine because I then get juicy green grapes, tropical guava, fizzy fruit lollies and the slightest hint of petrol. Very fruity and juicy to the taste with a strong citric character and a hint of dried pineapple though the texture is quite drying and teeth coating and the kero/fusel characters detected on the nose are much stronger in the palate. An fascinating wine, a unique wine, quite different to any New Zealand riesling I've tasted before - it is more like a riesling from Alsace - and the aftertaste goes on and on and on with the citrussy flavours taking over everything as the flavour lingers in the mouth. I can honestly say I love it. 11.5% alc. 12 g/l rs. $24.00. 4Feb2007.

Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Riesling 2006 (sc) A little restrained on the nose, it's crisp and clean with a talciness to the palate. Fairly neutral but clean and well-made with a lovely integration of sweetness and acidity, a touch of rose petal, an oily texture and a grainy finish. Opens up nicely in the glass. 9.5 g/l rs. 13% alc. $16.95 19Aug2007.

Muddy Water Waipara James Hardwick Riesling 2006 (sc) Lemon and river stones, perhaps a touch of herb, dry grainy texture, but the wine is sweet and long. A little savoury at first with yeasty things but the beautiful citrus fruit comes through to seduce the palate and then stays there to linger with a blossomy fragrance and a stony note to the finish. 12.5% alc. 18g/l rs. $26. 18Sep2006.
Light lemon gold. Fresh, zesty, spicy and lightly honeyed citrus scents. It smells sweetish and tastes sweetish too with a spicy honeyed richness and a citrus zestiness. Possibly a little botrytis which adds weight and richness to the palate and a touch of orange toffee on the finish. Weighty and complex with a luscious factor creeping in and a long, clean, rich, zesty aftertaste. Tight and subtle to start with but it opens up and explodes with flavour. 12.3% alc. 18 g/l rs. $26.00. 4Feb2007.

Muddy Water Waipara Unplugged Riesling 2006 (sc) Glimmers of rich gold to the lemon gold hue, hints of botrytis and a touch of beeswax add a depth to the honeyed scent. It's sweet yet tart in the palate, like a kumquat with a sweet rind and an invigorating tart but juicy centre. Fantastically balanced and concentrated flavours of lime and tangelo interlaced with dried mango and passionfruit, it is rich and tasty, powerful and concentrated, with a nectar-like texture and a touch of honey comb on the long, lingering finish. Wonderful purity. Absolutely delicious. 12.9% alc. 53 g/l rs. $27.00. 4Feb2007.
Light gold coloured with perfumed apricot and lime sherbet aromas, it's a sweet, botrytis-influenced, late harvest style with a spicy, spritzy palate full of zesty lemon and limes with hints of tropical fruit. It's lightly viscous in texture with earthy honey on the finish and a touch of tangelo to keep that focused seam of brightness throughout. A delicious wine that really suits being chilled. 13% alc. 58g/li rs. $26.99. 6Jun2007.
A little green gold in colour, it's mellow on the nose and though it tastes quite sweet, the balancing acidity is exquisite. This is a gorgeous opulent style full of honeysuckle, lime, mandarin and marmalade with palate richness and power and brightness of length and flavour. More in the 'Alsace style' with moderately high alcohol for Riesling, and high residual sugar (58 g/l rs) too. 13% alc. $26.99. 12Dec2007.

Neudorf Brightwater Riesling 2006 - Nelson (sc) Aromatic and floral on the nose. Dry and minerally in the palate, a strong undercurrent to the pure steely fruit with hints of lime and grapefruit with hints of lime and grapefruit emerging. Lean, focused, with a long fine finish, the floral notes return to linger. 12% alc. 8g/l rs. $21. 18Sep2006.
Pale straw. Bright, pithy, steely citrussy scents and even brighter to the taste with a slight earthy undercurrent, a myriad of lime and lemon citrus, apples, fresh Riesling purity and a dry racy, flinty and even slightly bracing finish with just a touch of sweetness to keep everything in balance. Great tautness and focus. 8.9 g/l rs. 7.3g/l TA. 12% alc. $21.99. 18Jun2008.

Neudorf Moutere Riesling 2006 - Nelson (sc) Pale straw in colour, this smells reasonably dry with it rich, kero-like scents and hints of florals but it is surprisingly much sweeter to the juicy, crisp taste with tropical fruit, passionfruit, tangelo and honeysuckle and underlying pure seam of lime. A lower alcohol 'Germanic' style, this has a gorgeous long finish and it's still superb drinking when totally chilled. 36 g/l rs. 9.5% alc. $35.99. 12Dec2007.

Palliser Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Pale in colour with a honeysuckle and citrus blossom aroma, lemons and lime flavours abound. Focused and pure, it's medium in style with racy acidity, a texture that feels slightly spritzy and a delicate marmalade character to the finish. Juicy and delicious now with excellent cellaring potential. 12.5% alc. $19.99. 22Nov2006.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 2006 (sc) Lime and grapefruit aromas lead into a surprisingly rich and weighty palate with a hint of botrytis that adds a honeyed richness and spritzy acidity in the form of lime and tangelo zest with honeycomb on the finish. Not as floral as previous years, a stylistic departure Ė except for a character like 'sugared grapefruit which has been refrigerated overnight' - a kind of palate pleasing sweet and sour. 12% alc. 20g/l rs. $24. 18Sep2006.
Citrussy, slightly sherbetty, lime aromas a little floral with a hint of the sweetness that lies within. It tastes like a Spatlese style with perfect balance of sweetness to acidity. Honeysuckle nectar imparts richness to the mid and end-palate. It's spicy, sherbetty, zesty, fresh and lively - with a spritzy tickle to the bright, citrussy finish. 20 g/l rs. 12% alc. $24. 18Jun2007.
Straw gold coloured with perfumed floral aromas, hints of lime and a fragrance reminiscent of dissolving powdered bath salts, this Riesling has garnered some richness with three years of age but it is still overtly characterised by a sherbet-like spritzy texture. A sweetish wine with lots of tangy citrus, the back label says it is made in a 'Spatlese' style. 12% alc. $27.99. 8Apr2009.

Pegasus Bay Aria Waipara Riesling 2006 (sc) Straw gold coloured, it smells so enticing with its flower nectar and exotic tropical fruit fragrance and tastes delicious with it tangy-edged, sweet flavours of passionfruit, juicy citrus, lime sherbet, orange honey, flower nectar and rose musk. The texture is ever so slightly spritzy while botrytis adds a honeyed richness and succulence. Stunning. 7.5% alc. $37.99. 14Feb2007.
Light golden in colour, perhaps influenced by a touch of botrytis, there's toasty lime amongst the sweet citrussy and honeysuckle aromatics. Sweetish, weighty and viscous with a gentle suggestion of spritz, the flavours are full of tropical fruit and sweet citrus with a hint of grapefruit, a honey infusion and a lasting luscious finish that you just want to savour all night. Incredible wine. Just yum! 7.5% alc. $37.99. 23Jan2008.

Pyramid Valley Lebecca Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Perfumed with concentrated juicy citrus, yet there's quite an earthy Germanic-like veneer to the wine. It's fresh, its zingy, it's deliciously juicy yet quite savoury too and the acid is perfectly in balance with beautiful honey-coated flavours. Six years old but looking like it could easily go for another 10 years, the vote for country was split on this wine and half of the tasters went for Germany. It's so good, I went for Germany too. 8.5% alc. $32.99. 1Aug2012.

Richardson Waipara Riesling 2006 (sc) With honeysuckle and delicate spices on the nose, its smell rather delish with medium sweetness, but be prepared for a crisp, tight, steely palate. It will emerge from its shell over the next few months and the purity of the lime, nectarine and crisp apricot fruit that comes to the fore on the slightly talcy finish will become rich and fleshy. 12.5% alc. $25. 15Aug2006.

Rippon Jeunesse Young Vines Lake Wanaka Riesling 2006 (sc) Perfumed, with lightly honeyed, floral and lemon biscuit scents. Dry, crisp, bright, zesty, and spicy with a spritzy tickle as the wine flows across the tongue, the fruit is juicy with lime, lemon and mandarin peel and hints of honey on the lingering finish which is clean and cleansing. A lovely balance of sweet and dry. 8 g/l rs. 10.5% alc. $22.50 22Jul2007.

Rippon Lake Wanaka Riesling 2006 (D) Light lemon gold in appearance, this is dry and taut smelling with pithy, lemon peel scents and hints of clay. It tastes crisp, fresh, bright and juicy with a lightly honeyed viscous texture that coats the tongue and the sides of the cheeks with a vinous deliciousness. Surging flavours of lime, lemon and orange - pure, powerful, clean and long join flavours fromthe earth, from the clays that have formed from the weathering schist rocks. Then floral nuances emerge as the wine lingers. The gorgeous texture and weight makes this wine stand out in a blind tasting. 15 g/l rs. 11.3% alc. $28.50 22Jul2007.

Riverby Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Pale in colour with a talcy, dry, citrussy aroma and sprightly Tahitian lime flavours abounding in the palate, it's dry, crisp, steely and refreshing with a lightly spritzy texture and a fruity, citrussy freshness with a hint of oiliness on the bright finish. It's typically in the dry Riverby mould but the fruit seems much riper this year making it one of the most enjoyable Riverby Rieslings on release. I matched it to chicken baked in honey, citrus and coriander - the honeyed syrup beautifully balanced the lively acidity in the wine. 4.5g/l rs. 12% alc. $19.50. 27May2007.
Tasted two days later from the same bottle, I love the way this has developed. Talc on nose, limes and a little pith. Lovely weight in palate with an earthy backbone and a honeyed sweetness creeping in on the floral finish which balances the dry acidity.

Rockburn Central Otago Parkburn Riesling 2006 (sc) A change in style from previous vintages, this has 24 g/l residual sugar compared to 0g/l in the past. It's quite fleshy with juicy citrus, apples and a hint of tropical fruit but the high acidity keeps the sweetness in check. The result is a crisp fresh dry finish with just a hint of musk on the lingering fruity finish. 11.5% alc. $21. 11Oct2006.

Saint Clair Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Light gold in colour, it's quite floral with apple candy on nose and plenty of juicy apple flavours, a medium style with a slightly tart lime finish and a touch of honey to bring back the sweetness to the long, toasty aftertaste. 13% alc. 10g/l rs. $19.95. 14Feb2007.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 9 Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) With tangy lime and grapefruit aromas and a clean, refreshing, juicy taste with piercingly crisp acidity, this is like a sorbet to the palate after the softness and fullness of the Chardonnays and Gewurtz. There's limes, citrus zest, green grapes and a hint of honey with an earthy minerally undercurrent and although the wine is sweet (50 grams per litre residual sugar), it finishes dry because of its high (9.5 grams per litre) acidity. Made in the Germanic Spatlese style, it shows lovely fruit purity and can only be described, in Riesling-lovers speak, as 'orgasmic'. 10% alc. $24.99. 8Aug2007.
Lemon gold coloured. It smells like a dry Riesling style with its lime biscuit aromas and although it seems dry, spicy and zesty on the first taste, it's actually quite sweet but the acidity balances the sweetness beautifully. Garnering richness and complexity from that little bit of bottle age, it's lightly viscous in texture with flavours of stonefruit, tropical fruit, honey and lime peel. For Riesling lovers, this is simply delicious. 10% alc. 45 g/l RS. $21.99.4Feb2009.

Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) With tropical fruit and honeysuckle aromas, this is a light and fruity tasting with medium sweetness. Tropical fruit flourishes mid palate and it's citrussy and sherbetty on the finish. Not overly complex. A lunchtime style. 13% alc. 9.2g/l rs. $16.95. 17Mar2007.

Soljans Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Pale lemon gold. Well balanced to the taste, soft, juicy and floral with a hint of musk, fleshy stonefruit, red apples and a sherbet spritziness that wakens up the palate and leaves a fresh, tingly, fizzy fruit aftertaste. Apples are the dominant fruit as the flavours linger. Overall a very fruity style, just lacks the concentration that all of the others in this tasting have. 12% alc. 12 g/l rs. $18.95. 4Feb2007.

Spy Valley Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Light lemon gold. Lime with a hint of pollen on the nose, this juicy, fresh, full-bodied flavoursome riesling is full of lemon, lime and tropical fruit with a spritz, zesty bite to the lightly spicy finish. It has good length and a flavoursome aftertaste where a honeyed richness emerges. A user-friendly style without being too complex. 12% alc. 11 g/l rs. $16.95. 4Feb2007.

Te Mania Nelson Riesling 2006 (sc) A little deeper in colour than most of the wines in the 10th January tasting, no doubt because it has that extra year of age. Concentrated with a toasty richness, it's full of lime with underlying spritzy acidity. Quite dry with crisp crunchy fruit - this wine just gets better and better as it develops in the bottle over the course of a week. 12.5% alc. $17.95. 10Jan2008.

The Crater Rim Waipara Riesling 2006 (sc) Sweet, floral, juicy and slightly spritzy in texture, there's citrus zest on the nose and a honeyed sweetness to the taste with fruit that's verging on apricot and juicy, freshly squeezed orange and lemon. With a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, the finish is reminiscent of sugared grapefruit that's been in the fridge all night. With its moderately low alcohol, it's simply delicious. 9.5% alc. $22.99. 7Nov2007.
With gorgeously tempting aromas and flavours of honeysuckle, orange blossom, mandarin, tropical fruit, spice, musk and zesty sherbet, no wonder 90% of the room picked this wine as Waipara because this region is leading the country with this style. Wonderfully reminiscent of the previous vintage's stunning Melness Riesling, it's clear, fresh and vibrantly juicy with beautifully balanced sweetness to fine acidity and low alcohol as well. Can be served well chilled and simply fantastic for summer. 9.5% alc. $22.99. 12Dec2007.

Timara Winemaker Selection Riesling 2006 (sc) Not overly expressive on the nose with delicate floral notes. Light, fruity , clean and well-balanced with a spicy, zesty finish, reasonably acidity, though a touch of flabby sweetness on the finish. "Fruit is harvested from selected New Zealand vineyards". 12.5% alc. $11.95 19Aug2007.

Torlesse Canterbury Riesling 2006 (sc) Fragrant citrus and honeysuckle aroma and Lovely juicy lemon and lime flavours over a nicely weighted spicy backbone. With 26g/l rs and zippy acidity to balance it perfectly , this is going to be a winner this summer and next. 12% alc. $15.95. 8Oct2006.

Torlesse Dry Canterbury Riesling 2006(sc) Very cold when tasted, but nicely balanced with a lovely richness, it shows its true potential on the finish where there is power of juicy citrus and tropical fruit that explodes and persists with length. 13% alc, 7g/l rs. 4Sep2007.

Tresillian Canterbury Riesling 2006 (sc) Fragrant lemony aromas and juicy tropical fruit flavours with a touch of sweetness and well balanced acidity. Itís bright, fresh and refreshing with a lush mouthfeel. Fruit from the Morworth Vineyard, south of Christchurch. 11.5% alc. 15 g/l rs. 3Sep2007.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Fresh vibrant apple, lemon and lime fruit with a blossomy aroma, a steely mid palate, an earthy undercurrent and citrus blossoms and honey suckle on the long, crisp finish. Medium in style with zesty acidity to balance the sweetness and just so deliciously juicy. 11.5% alc. $21.99. 27Sep2006.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Lightly floral with hints of talc on the nose and a crisp, dry, talcy palate with tropical fruit and apples. Well-balanced with an underpinning of zesty citrus, it's just off dry and is clean, light and long. 11.4 g/l rs. 13% alc. $16.95 19Aug2007.

Waimea Bolitho SV Nelson Riesling 2006 (sc) A lustrous deep gold. Lime and mandarin on the nose with a toasty overlay, perhaps indicative of some age. Some exotic spice adds to the attractive scent. Very smooth and harmonious in the palate - the wine coats all parts of the mouth with its honey, perhaps even some toffee - such a lovely balance of acidity and sweetness, the acidity has mellowed a little with age and some candied orange notes coming through together with tropical lime, subtle exotic spice notes and an earthy depth. Gorgeous. 19/20. 12% alc. 13.8 g/l rs. $17.90. 19Apr2009.

Waimea Dry Nelson Riesling 2006 (sc) Straw gold. Gentle and floral on the perfumed nose with hints of lime and talc. A dry wine but with a hint of fruit sweetness, it is warm and toasty with lemon drop to the fore, perhaps a hint of 'spritzig' or 'sherbet' to the texture, and the lemon/lime citrus component joins red apple on the slightly creamy finish. Probably a more user-approachable style with its softness and just that hint of sweetness, it has excellent length. 17/20. 13% alc. $17.90. 19Apr2009.

Waipara Springs Waipara Riesling 2006 (sc) Bright and zesty wine with ginger spice and an abundance of juicy fruit with a tangy, citrussy brightness to the dancing finish. Served chilled, this medium sweet wine is just delicious. 10.5% alc. $21. 9Oct2007.
Fragrantly scented with a talcum powder, rose petal and lime zest perfume, it tastes bright and zesty with an abundance of tangy, lip-smacking orange, lemon and lime and a ginger-like tingling spiciness to the racy finish. Slightly richer with a suggestion of oiliness to the texture and just the merest hint of honey, this is another gorgeous medium-sweet Waipara Riesling that can be served well chilled. 10.5% alc. $19.99. 21Nov2007.

Waipara Springs Premo Waipara Riesling 2006 (sc) One of those low alcohol Germanic styles - many thought so in the stand-up options as a number of people sat down on the region question going for something other than NZ or Aus. Made in a 'spatlese' style, this has earthy, subtle kero, honeysuckle and lime scents. Gentle in the mouth with lovely balance of sweetness and citrus acidity, delicate honeysuckle, a touch of botrytis and an earthy finish that lasts for ages. 8.8 g/l total acidity. 29 g/l residual sugar. 10.5% alc. $24.99. 8Jul2009.

Wild Earth Central Otago Riesling 2006 (sc) Earthy on the nose with lime, this has great mouthfeel, presence and length. It dances across the palate, swirling and twirling with its freshness. Crisp, lemony and brightly zesty, it has a gorgeous balance of honeysuckle sweetness, citrus acidity and a ginger spritziness - and as it lingers and evolves there is juicy ripe apple, a hint of pineapple and 'just ripe' Central Otago apricots leaving a bright fruity aftertaste as a memory. 28.3g/l rs. 12.4% alc. $25.00 22Jul2007.

Woollaston Nelson Riesling 2006 (sc) Served chilled, this is crisp and fresh yet has a pleasing softness. There's a hint of that Mahana clay on the nose, it's off dry in style with tropical fruit, limes, citrus zest and ginger, and a saline minerality emerges on the lingering finish. 12.5% $18. 23Nov2006.

2005 Vintage [top] [index]

3 Terraces Wairarapa Riesling 2005 (sc) A fruity smelling wine , packed with line and lemon zest and crisp, steely refreshing palate with a strong, lightly honeyed, yeasty, citrussy finish. Young and fresh. 12.5%a lc,. 6.5g/l rs. $24.95. 8Sep2005.

Abbey Cellars Hawkes Bay Riesling 2005 Smells a little dry with hints of lime and a touch of honeysuckle. Nicely balanced with fusel notes to the fore. Dry, fresh and delicate with a zesty aftertaste. 2g/l rs. 11.5% alc. $21. 9Oct2006.

Allan Scott Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Perfumed and floral with lime, apples and a burst of citrus and tropical fruit. A sweeter style with good acid balance, a grainy texture and a crisp, citrussy finish. 12% alc. 8.5 g/l rs. $17. 19Sep2005.
Light straw gold in colour, this smells rich and weighty with hints of stonefruit. It's quite grainy textured in the palate and drier tasting that the 'medium dry' on the label suggests, however the soft, slightly luscious finish is much sweeter than the entry. Juicy citrus, apples, lemon honey and fresh ripe apricots build on the palate and the spicy finish is crisp and steely, with an oily lusciousness from the apricots building as it lingers. 12.5% alc. $18.

Bald Hills Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) A rich, weighty riesling with a firm mid palate, line citrus, an earthiness like that of lime pith, and a floral tinge to the long, zesty finish with terrific length. Well balanced and fresh, it will be good drinking this summer. 12.5% alc. $19.95. 8Sep2005.

Borthwick Wairarapa Riesling 2005 (sc) Youthful, earthy and nervy with aromas of spiced apple and apple peel at first until white pepper and ginger flower scents start to emerge. Soft and well rounded to the taste with no pointy edges, a pleasing spritziness to the mid-palate and a juiciness to the finish with lime and grapefruit peel lingering and hints of apricot starting to emerge on the lingering, slightly luscious finish. The peppery character comes forth again - itís a little like the pepperiness of carnations. I call this a garden Riesling as it has lots of earthy, floral accents.. A complex style that will become even more complex with a little cellaring. Very good. 12% alc. 5g/l rs. $17.95.

Camshorn Classic Waipara Riesling 2005 (sc) Water pale with lots of flavour, a ripe fruited creamy texture and lime, lemon, pears, stonefruit and tropical fruit. Off dry but beautifully balanced with a firm citrussy backbone. 13% alc. $21.95. 9Nov2005.
Straw gold, fresh and clean smelling with youthful, floral aromas. Ripe, juicy and grapey to the taste with zesty lime and grapefruit marmalade and touch of honeycomb bringing the acidity into check while enriching the palate. Lovely purity of Riesling fruit - a classic style, as its name suggests. Rated very good to excellent. 12.8% alc. 26g/l rs. $23.95. 8Dec2005.

Camshorn 'Salix Clays' Waipara Dry Riesling 2005 (sc) Pale in colour and juicy smelling with citrus blossom and honey suckle scents. Clean and pure to the taste with lovely acidity in the form of juicy lemon and lime, red apples and a touch of tangelo with a floral honeyed note to the powerful, slightly viscous, grainy finish with a zesty, gingery bite as it lingers. 13% alc. 5.5g/l rs. $23.95.

Carrick Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) Lemon zest and honeysuckle on the nose, citrus and tropical fruit in the palate with a lightly grainy, silty texture. It's just off dry with a lusciousness to the aftertaste and with its earthy undercurrent, it's a very pure, crisp tasty rendition of the style. Quite weighty in the palate. Very good length too. 12% alc. 13g/l rs. $19.50. 9Sep2007.

Chard Farm Vipers Vineyard Riesling 2005 - Central Otago(sc) Pale in colour it smells of limes and lemons which follow through to the palate with lots of crisp fresh acidity. With lime honey the dominant character it's a taut steely combo of sweet and sour. A few days later it has fairly closed earthy lemony scents with delicate nuances of nuances of apple and grapefruit. It is sweet to the taste, a little spritzy on the tongue with a slightly syruppy viscous texture that coats the mouth. One moment it seems sugary sweet then underlying acidity surges in to make a zesty balancing statement. With its long lemony finish it is one for Riesling aficionados who love the Germanic style. 9.5% alc. $36. 20Sep2006.

Coopers Creek Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Fragrant with delicate citrus and honeysuckle with a toastiness coming through already. Quite dry but not totally dry with an oily texture, citrus skin nuances and a toasty lime richness to the beautifully balanced, strongly varietal finish. 12.5% alc. 6.9g/l rs. $17. 9Nov2005.
Floral, fragrant and slightly spritzy with lots of fresh acidity in the form of limes and green apples with a crisp, medium-dry finish and a touch of sweetness adding a luscious edge. 12.5% alc. $15.95. 23Nov2005.

Corbans White Label Johannisberg Riesling 2005 (sc) With green bean aromas - it seems dirty on the nose and it lacks varietal character in the sweet palate. 15 g/l rs. 13% alc. $8.95 19Aug2007.

Culley Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Dry and steely with talc and lime aromas and a fruity flavour with crisp, zesty lemon oil acidity and hints of cherimoya, it's weighty and long with richness to the finish. 13% alc. $17.99. 31Oct2007.

Delta Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Light gold coloured with honeyed aromas and medium-sweet flavours with with tart citrus balancing the sweeter stonefruit. An approachable, crisp, fresh, juicy style. Produced by Spy Valley for Cardmember Wines. 13% alc. $17.95. 9Nov2005.

Dry River 'Craighall' Martinborough Riesling 2005 (c) Pale straw gold. Delicate scents of ripe apple and rose petals with a hint of talc, a contrast to the rich and weighty palate. It's slightly earthy with crisp apple and lime acidity balanced by a honeysuckle nectar sweetness, however the acid never loses its zesty focus making for a bright, clean, refreshing finish with delicate floral characters coming through to linger. A wine that is made to evolve and has the potential to do so beautifully. 11.5% alc. $33 mail order. 9Sep2007.

Escarpment Martinborough Riesling 2005 (c) Light yellow gold with strong citrus, green apple and honeysuckle aromas. The acidity of the fruit on the nose does not prepare for the upfront sweetness of the wine in the palate. It's juicy with a slightly nectar-like texture, lots of spiced apple, candied flowers and tangelo zest. A gorgeous sweeter style with excellent balance and length and a musky grapiness emerging. Love it. 10.9% alc. 55g/l rs. $25. 8Dec2005.

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Riesling 2005 (sc) A sweeter style with honeysuckle and line on the nose and steely acidity in the palate with a touch of honey - impeccable balance and an earthy, minerally, citrussy finish with a long juicy aftertaste. 10.2% alc. $19.95. 6Sep2005.

Felton Road Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) Floral, sweetish smelling. Bright, zesty and lightly spritzy with juicy orange, tangelo and apples flavours balancing the sweetness and an interesting combination of a graininess and an oiliness to the texture. Fresh and crisp with exquisite balance and a gorgeous delicacy to the powerful lingering finish, it's the medium wine in the Felton Road riesling range but with it's balance of acidity to sweetness, you could almost be convinced it is dry. 9% alc. 8Nov2005.

Felton Road Block 1 Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) Honeyish, a little earthy smelling with hints of citrus and ginger flowers. This is a more oily textured wine (compared to the Felton Road [medium] Riesling) with bright upfront acidity in the form of limes and green apples and a long, fresh, crisp, spice-infused finish. Lovely power and concentration and although low in alcohol, it is definitely heady. 8.5% alc. 74 g/l rs. 8Nov2005.

Five Flax East Coast Riesling 2005 (sc) Straw gold with earthy citrussy aromas and mandarin-citrus flavours. A nicely balanced, crisp, fresh wine with racy acidity and a touch of honeysuckle filling out the lingering finish, which is quite tart and bracing. 12% alc. 13g/l rs. $11.95. 8Dec2005.

Foxes Island Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Light lemon gold. Smells rich and ripe with hints of lime and tastes of honeysuckle and honeycomb with the slightest suggestion of a fusel character. It's rich in the palate, weighty and spicy with good length and concentration with sweetish lime adding zest to the lengthy finish. 13% alc. 7.7 g/l rs. $27.95. 4Feb2007.

Framingham Marlborough Classic Riesling 2005 (sc) Light lemon gold. Honeysuckle on the nose, subtle yet complex. A sweeter style with lovely acid balance keeping that sweetness in check and making it seem much drier than the residual sugar would suggest. A wine of purity and subtlety with mandarins and limes, a hint of salinity on the finish and subtle petrol notes too. A juicy, juicy wine and very smart indeed. 12% alc. 17 g/l rs. $19.95. 4Feb2007.

Framingham Marlborough Select Riesling 2005 (sc) Full-bodied, spicy, oily, zesty, a wine with some aged toasty characters starting to appear. Lots of juiciness but a tad of astringency too with cheesy, malic, apple joining in with the tangelos and limes. Some yin-yang going on. Powerful, rich and flavoursome with a spritzy freshness to the finish, despite the fleeting overlay of kero, and the aftertaste seems never ending. 9% alc. 69g/l rs. $30. 9Sep2007.

Gibbston Valley Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) Water pale. Beautifully floral on the nose. Lots of acidity, green apples and limes with a youthful wine with a yeasty component and a crisp fresh, weighty aftertaste. Should develop nicely. Mainly Bendigo fruit. 8.8g/TA, 11.6g rs, 13% alc. $25. 22Aug2005.
Sweet scented with lime blossoms and violets on the nose and a sherbet zestiness to the citrus and red apple fruit with a smooth, talcy, slippery texture, floral nuances to the apple and tropical fruit finish and a clean crisp and fresh aftertaste. Beautifully focussed with excellent balance of acidity to sweetness. 12.5% alc. 11.6 g/l RS. $27.95. 22Mar2006.

John Forrest Collection Marlborough Riesling 2005 - Wairau Valley (sc)
Pale straw in colour, it looks and smells youthful with honeysuckle blossom, pears and citrus on the nose - in fact it is very tight and closed for the style. Young and fresh to the taste with granny smith apples, almost-ripe mandarin and limes to the fore, sherbet (or ginger) that zizzes the mouth and sweeter stonefruit on the lingering finish. The sweet and sour gives an interesting effect and there's a touch of oiliness that contributes to the palate weight. A wine that should be cellared at this stage of its life. Is it worth $50? Well, cellar it and open it in 10 years time and you will probably wish you had bought more. 12% alc. 12 g/l rs. $49.95. 12Jul2006.
Straw gold coloured with concentrated lemon, lime and grapefruit scents, it's reasonably dry and brightly zesty with concentrated dried tropical fruit and hints of honey. Slightly pithy with a gravelly texture yet rich and racy with a powerful finish that goes on and on. Developing nicely, starting to drink well and a great cellar prospect too. 12% alc. $49.99. 13Feb2008.
This is made from the very best grapes. It is more like a 'dry' on the nose with a hint of kero - a character I did not pick up in the 2001 (tasted beside it). Juicy fruit in the palate has a talc overlay and again the hallmark crisp steely undercurrent. This wine gets better every time I taste it - it has a complex evolving flavour profile and is juicy and very long. Matched to a white fleshed seafood marinated in lime, chilli and coconut milk, this enhanced the wine's zestiness and coaxed out a touch of ginger too. 12% alc. 11.2 g/L rs. 8.4 g/L acidity. $46-$50. 1Sep2008.

Julicher Estate Martinborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Rich and weighty, almost bone dry, bright and zesty with a decent wallop of acidity that makes a striking impact on the palate. It's full of apples and zesty citrus flavours with a suggestion of stonefruit, a warmth to the talcy texture, a honeyed richness to the finish and a zing of spice on the lingering lime-rich aftertaste. 6.3g/l rs. 13.5% alc. $19.95. 10Mar2007.

Kaimira Brightwater Riesling 2005 (sc) Lovely fresh and tangy, similar style to the 2004 - full of juicy, tart citrus with fabulous balance from the tropical fruit. Delish. 3g/lrs 11% alc. 9Oct2006.

Lawsons Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Dry, earthy, talcy and slightly floral aromas. Lovely dry style, tangy mandarins and lime, crisp, fresh and lively the acidity of the wine flourishes through the palate culminating in a bright explosion of flavours to the finish. hints of ginger-like spice and a touch of honey to enrich the mid palate. Fresh and exciting. 6.2 g/l rs. 12.8% alc. 18Jun2007.

Maimai Creek Hawke's Bay Riesling 2005 (sc) This smells dry with hints of lime and kero, but tastes off dry with its sweet fruit balanced by a crisp, limey freshness and a talcy backbone. There's a touch of lemon honey and reasonably weighty citrussy finish - the citrus acidity balancing the sweetness beautifully to make it quite a salivating drop. 17g/l rs. 11.5% alc. $14.95. 8Oct2006.

Main Divide Riesling 2005 (sc) Really intense grapefruit aromas and crisp, grapefruit flavours with a rich, luscious texture and impeccable balance as always with a wonderful earthy intensity and a long, pure finish. 10% alc. 25g/l rs. $16.95. 19Sep2005.
Very pale coloured. Vibrant lemon and lime zest aromas that are very clean and pure. Juicy and luscious in the palate with a spritzy texture, a suggestion of grapefruit marmalade and the verve of freshly squeezed lemon mixed with a little honey on the vibrantly fresh finish. Made from a blend of Marlborough, Nelson and Canterbury grapes, this is gorgeous straight from the fridge on a hot day - makes me quiver in delight. 10% alc. $19.95.
Bright light gold with lime glints; fresh, crisp citrus aromas with a hint of powdered sherbet and a sweetish flavour with a lightly honeyed texture, a ton of crisp marmalade and apple, and a mandarin peel zestiness to the fresh, clean finish. With excellent acidity balancing the 46 grams of residual sugar, the aftertaste is reminiscent of freshly squeezed, juicy sweet oranges. 10% alc. $16.95. 26Jul2006.

Matua Valley Shingle Peak Riesling 2005 (sc) Water pale. Delicately floral, pollen-infused scents lead into a delicately textured crisp, dry palate the floral, blossomy notes on the nose coming forth in the taste. There's lots of sweet lemon with well-balanced sugar to acid and a long lemony finish with some honeyed toastiness starting to come through on the dry finish. Fresh, crisp and clean. 12% alc. 5.5g/l rs. $18.95.

Melness Canterbury Riesling 2005 (sc) Made from a blend of Canterbury and Waipara fruit, there's a hint of kero on the nose and it tastes richer and fuller than the typically low alcohol styles that Melness Riesling has been made in, in the past. Flavours of grapefruit and lime fill with fleshy stone fruit mid palate with a touch of honey while a minerally undercurrent adds focus to the finish. 11.5% alc. NZIWS gold medal tasting. 20Sep2006.
Like sticking your nose into a bowl of old fashioned rose petals, it so floral I'm convinced it's Gewurztraminer, but it is so citrussy toned to the taste, it just canít be. There's Moroccan spice market scents, spiced orange water and lemon honey on an unctuous, oily texture. Sweet but not overly sweet because it has fantastic balance. An unusual Riesling, but just yum. Made at Pegasus Bay. 11.5% alc. $19.99. 10Jan2007.
Light lemon gold, aromatic and spicy with pungent citrus scents and crisp spritzy acidity in the palate with spiced oranges, fragrant oil and a generous sweetish, honeyed palate. Totally flavoursome, it was gorgeous six months ago when it won a gold medal at the New Zealand International Wine Show but it seems even more gorgeous now. 23g/l rs. 11.5% alc. $22.99. 18Apr2007.

Moutere Hills Nelson Riesling 2005 Watery pale in colour with honeysuckle aromas and tangy, citrussy flavours with a rich, oily backbone and apples and toasty lime to the fore on the finish. The flavour lasts in the mouth for ages and a musky sweetness emerges as it lingers. 11.5% alc. $23.95. 8Mar2006.
A rich, full-bodied weighty style of Riesling, it is quite dry and picking up hints of Ďkeroí, which makes it smell a little Aussie-like. Developing nicely and picking up some older Riesling intricacies, yet still fresh and zesty with a light spritzy tingle and concentrated oily lime flavours. 11.5% alc. $20.99. Cork. 6Feb2008.

Mount Riley Riesling 2005 - Nelson/Marlborough (sc) With fresh tangy aromas and bright, crisp, zesty flavours with lime sherbet to the fore, it's off-dry and juicy with a tropical fruit finish. Served chilled, at this time of the year itís a refreshing start to the evening. 12.5% alc. $13.95. 5Jul2006.

Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling 2005 - Central Otago (sc) Smelling of tart green apples, the flavours are much sweeter than the nose suggests. Honeysuckle, apples, limes, tropical fruit and zesty spice with an oily, slightly viscous, delicate texture, this is a yummy wine that you can indulge in now or confidently cellar for several years. 11% alc. 30g/l rs. $25.95. 12Oct2005.

Muddy Water James Hardwick Waipara Riesling 2005 (sc) Pale straw gold. Tart lemon sherbet aromas and tart lemon and apple balancing ripe tangy fruit. Crisp, dryish, grainy with honeysuckle balancing the lingering, salivating finish. 12.5% alc. 15g/l rs. $19.95. 8Dec2005.

Muddy Water Waipara Riesling 2005 (sc) Floral, with honeysuckle and tropical fruit aromas, this delicately textured wine fills out beautifully in the palate with citrus blossoms lingering on the slightly spicy, earthy grained, mellow finish. 13% alc. 25g/l rs. $25. 19Sep2005.
Straw gold. Earthy, lime citrus aromas lead into a rich, weighty, slightly spritzy palate with concentrated citrus, tropical fruit and apricot honey lingering on the citrussy finish. A very drinkable wine that is mouthfilling, lively and long. 13% alc. 25g/l rs. $25. 8Dec2005.

Neudorf Brightwater Riesling 2005 - Nelson (sc) Straw gold. Perfumed, slightly talcy aroma and crisp, fruity, fresh, racy flavours with stone and tropical fruit and a long, quenching citrussy finish. A dry, exhilarating style. 6.9g/l residual sugar. 12.5% alc. $23.95. 8Mar2006.
Straw gold coloured. Lemon and limes abound on the nose with a subtle toastiness behind them then in the palate it's dry, oily and weighty with a green apple earthy, steely, austerity and a touch of stone fruit sweetness on the finish. "Young, pure and fresh," says Sam but it came over just a little aggressive straight after a pungent, new vintage, sauvignon blanc. 12.5% alc. $23.99. 9Aug2006.

Neudorf Moutere Riesling 2005 - Nelson (sc) Heavenly scented Germanic style riesling with a little bit of age to take the edge off the racy acidity. Spicy, zesty and voluminous for the style - clean and viscous with perhaps just a hint of botrytis adding to the complexity together with baked apple, honey, lemon and lime. Fusel-like Germanic notes are to the fore and a typically slippery, wet potter's clay earthiness adds complexity throughout. Words other than delicious, amazing and spectacular simply escape me. It is absolute Riesling-heaven. 30g/l rs. 8.9g/l TA. 11% alc. $35.99. 18Jun2008.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Straw gold. A touch of sulphur on the nose at first and tart citrus and lime peel flavours in the palate. Very crisp and very bracing with a honeyed sweetness coming through on the lemon drop finish. Just off-dry. 12% alc. $18. 8Dec2005.
A fresh, young, fairly dry Riesling with lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice, bracing apple acidity and just a touch of earthy honey, the finish is long and lingering. A wine that will develop well in the bottle. 12% alc. 17.95. 28Dec2005.

Pegasus Bay Riesling 2005 - Waipara (sc) A dance of lemon and lime with some viscosity to the texture and marmalade flavours coming through on the spicy, slightly honeyed finish with a crisp, fresh aftertaste. Delicate, but with underlying power. 11% alc. 25g/l rs. $23.95. 19Sep2005.
Fragrant and fresh with lime blossom aromas and a fresh, light, spritzy palate with apples, citrus, honey and lime marmalade on the finish - quite sweet but lots of crisp acidity to balance it. 11% alc. $21.95. 5Oct2005.

Pyramid Valley Growers Collection Lebecca Riesling 2005 - Marlborough (sc) Bright gold with a sunshine lustre. Aromatic and bright with lemon oil, green apple and potter's clay on the nose, the taste is sweet and ripe but the upfront sweetness is perfectly balanced by a taut, crisp limey acidity with a hint of marmalade creeping in. Just a little grainy in texture, it is low alcohol and oh so dangerously drinkable. 8.5% alc. $35.99. 14May2008.

Richardson Waipara Riesling 2005 (sc) Spicy and aromatic with apple, lime and sweet orange aromas and fresh, crisp flavours packed with deliciously proportioned, high acid, citrus and tropical fruit with a talc-like texture and a lingering, citrus and spice finish. A fairly dry style with just 4.5g/l residual sugar. 13% alc. $25.95. 30Nov2005.
There's a similar character to the 2006 with its floral, spicy aromatics and purity of fruit, but with its lower sugar the fruit is more in the lemon/lime spectrum. Crisp and steely with a spritzy graininess to the texture and a long, fine, delicately spicy, winey finish, this is developing beautifully. 4.5g/l rs. 13% alc. $25. 15Aug2006.

Rippon Lake Wanaka Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) Light lemon gold. Lemon honey on the nose with a hint of honey comb, it smells sweetish but has a citrussy tartness in the palate with some fusel/kero notes and marmalade on the finish where strong orange zest flavours linger. The aftertaste is long and concentrated and kicks in with gusto a few seconds after the wine has been swallowed. Great aging potential. 12.5% alc. 10-11 g/l rs. $28.50. 4Feb2007.

Riveryby Estate Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Light lemon gold. It smells dry and just a little earthy with some floral nuances and a hint of rose petal muskiness. The fruit is sweet but well balanced by the crisp acidity, the texture is lightly honeyed and there's a delicate nuance of orange honey on the finish which is long and focussed. Good now but will be even better with age, if past vintages are anything to go by. 12.5% alc. 4.5 g/l rs. $19.00. 4Feb2007.
Rich and powerful with lime and tangelo fruit, hints of kero and a juicy backbone. There are shades of the Clare Valley in this wine, but it is definitely Marlborough. One for followers of the rich, dry, weighty and slightly oily textured style and while it is approachable already, it is one for those who like to cellar their Rieslings for a while. 12.5% alc. 4.5g/L rs. $19.50. 24May2007.

Saint Clair Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Hints of tangelo peel on the nose and full of juicy tropical fruit, apricot and tangelo flavours with a touch of feijoa on the lingering aftertaste It's medium in sweetness with a touch of honey but well balanced and lively with bright acidity and a juicy finish. 12 g/l rs. 13% alc. $19.95. 27May2007.

Seifried Nelson Riesling 2005 (sc) Perfumed and aromatic with apples, citrus and honeysuckle on the nose and just a touch of petrol too, it seems a little dry at first with talcy notes to the fore but it's actually off-dry. There's a soft backbone to the zingy lime and mandarin fruit while a touch of pineapple adds tropical fruit sweetness. Fresh, lively and full of tasty flavours. 13.5% alc. $17.99. 13Sep2006.
Honeyed apple aromas with a hint of lime become much more expressive and floral as the lightly chilled wine warms up. It's a toasty style of riesling, concentrated in its sweet citrus and honey flavours with a touch of marmalade starting to emerge, an edge of viscosity and sweetness on the lingering finish kept in check by the high acidity (9.35 grams per litre). I would call it 'off dry' in style. Well balanced. Nice wine. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 24Jan2007.

Soljans Estate Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Quite dry, steely smelling and delicately textured with a lovely backbone of lime, apple and mandarin with a long, crisp finish and just enough sweetness to keep the tartness in check. 12.5%. $19. 9Nov2005.
Pale straw gold with slightly earthy, slightly yeasty, lemon and apple aromas. It has that earthy character in the palate too but it is delicate and never bitter as it combines with the floral tastes of orange blossom and honeysuckle nectar with tangelo zest and red apples. There's a nervy, acid-tinged sweetness to the finish which becomes rich and mouthfilling. 12.5% alc. 7g/l rs. $18.95.

Soma Nelson Riesling 2005 (sc) Pale straw. Earthy, apple and slightly musty aromas, even though it has a screwcap and dull apple flavours. It is like it has become oxidised somewhere along the process. Citrus comes forth on the finish. Next day it is richer and more powerful with a weighty palate, earthy citrus, juicy apples and a floral note to the finish. On the sweet edge of dry. 12% alc. $17. 8Dec2005.

Spy Valley Envoy Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) A tight, dryish, austere style with a grainy, steely texture and bright lemon and lime flavours with a crisp, zesty, spiciness and lemonhoney emerging on the long, dry finish. Good aging potential. 12% alc. 16 g/L rs, 8.77 g/L TA. $33. 7May2007.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Bright light gold, bright, some oiliness to the appearance, perfumed, floral, fruity, honeyed and lightly sweetish with some viscosity to the texture, hints of apricot and flower musk emerge on the crisp, well-balanced lingering finish. Very appealing for everyday drinking. 13% alc. $11.99. 18Apr2007.

Te Kairanga Martinborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Pale straw gold. Lemon honey aromas and crisp lemon and apple flavours on a slightly viscous, grainy texture. Just off-dry style with lots of apple and lemon with a crisp, fresh finish and honey coming through as it lingers. Tons of acidity - some people would quite likely call this minerally. 12% alc. 8.5g/l rs. $22. 8Dec2005.

Timara Winemaker Selection Riesling 2005 (sc) Floral, fruit, orange blossom aroma. Dry, clean, lean with spice, zesty acidy and a slightly oily texture hinting of age. Very pretty with a toastiness emerging and a balanced sweetness to the finish. "Fruit is harvested from selected New Zealand vineyards". Excellent value for the price. 12.5% alc. $10.95 19Aug2007.

The Crater Rim Marlborough/Akaroa Riesling 2005 (sc) Pale lemon gold with an earthy, apple skin and talcum powder aroma and apple and pink jelly bean flavours with flower musk, limes, tangerines and an exotic fruit intrigue. It is slightly spritzy in texture, with a pithy, earthy depth, nuances of honey and a clean and crisp finish. Very reminiscent of a Mosel Riesling but actually a blend of Marlborough and Akaroa fruit with some botrytis in the latter which has added the honey and nicely balanced the zesty flavours. A low alcohol, off dry style and very appealing. 8% alc. $24.99. 4Jul2007.
A little oily and petrolly on the nose at first with rich lime and toasted raisin bread aromas joining in, this smooth, slick concentrated, light gold coloured riesling is powerful and concentrated with a touch of viscosity adding richness to the mouthfeel. A sweeter 'Germanic' style with a steely, stony backbone to the sweet citrus and stone fruit that's accentuated with wild flower honey and lemon biscuits, tangelo peel and marmalade on the ultra long finish, even though a year older than it's sibling, it's still very fresh. 8% alc. $24.99. 12Dec2007.

Vidal Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Aromatic and floral with tropical fruit, this is a lightly textured fruity wine with a citrussy zing to the off-dry finish. $17.95. 6Sep2005.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Zingy, rich and mouthfilling with limes galore, an almost creamy texture and a steely-influenced, fruity finish. Dry to the taste. Very smart, bright and delish. 10.5% alc. $21.95. 6Sep2005.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Straw gold, tropical fruit and citrus aromas, nicely balanced with a lightly textured palate, tropical fruit and mandarin fruit and youthful estery flavours lingering on the finish. 13% alc. $16.95. 6Sep2005.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Lower alcohol style, almost Germanic with sweet fruit - orange and limes - and a hint of honey. Beautifully balanced with a long citrussy finish - just a touch of spritz - perfumed - delish. 9% alc. 30g/l rs. $24.95. 6Sep2005.
Crisp and refreshing with apples now joining the oranges and limes, a musky, sweet finish and strong citrussy notes balancing the sweetness. 31Oct2005.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylor's Pass Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Honeyed, sweetish with perfect balancing vibrant acidity, a river stone chalkiness, lime sherbet, honeysuckle and a long, stony, earthy finish with citrus honey coating the front of the mouth. Very crisp and fresh but also runny honey smooth and sweet. 8.5% alc. 17g/l rs. $29.95. 6Sep2005.
A limey style of Riesling, juicy with lots of fruit salad - pineapple - kiwi -peach - passionfruit with a citrus juice and honey dressing, beautiful weight and length. Someone said mouthwatering, and it is. There's a hint of musk lollies too. Cool and refreshing with the fruit providing a scintillating finish. It seems quite dry, but in fact it has 43 grams per litre of residual sugar, which makes it medium sweet. The high acid balances the sweetness beautifully and makes it seem drier than it really is. A gorgeous summer drink. 8.5% alc. $31.99. 31Jan2007.

Vynfields Classic Riesling 2005 (sc) There's a hint of Botrytis that adds a lovely rich texture and mouthfeel to this fragrant semi-sweet wine. With its fresh seam of acidity, flavours of marmalade and apricots and lasting finish it would be an excellent aperitif or end to a meal. 13% alc. 17g/l rs. 7.4g/l TA. $29. 10Oct2006.

Waimea Dry Nelson Riesling 2005 (sc) Lemon gold. Showing a hint of development on the beautifully fragrant nose with toasty lime, citrus blossom and tropical fruit, - even a hint of coconut, this has lovely bright racy acidity in the palate with pineapple and citrus to the fore. It seems very dry, almost overly dry and astringent straight from the fridge, and there's an earthy richness to the lingering zingy finish. A concentrated expression of dry Riesling with a hint of marmalade. 17.5/20. 13% alc. 7.2g/l rs. 19Apr2009.

Waipara Springs Premo Riesling 2005 - Waipara (sc) Citrus zest, ginger flower and lemon scents - very clean, fresh and appealing. Bright, lively and juicy in the plate with ginger, honeysuckle, citrus peel and a bright lifted finish. Very long, lively and tasty with wonderfully refreshing acidity. A lower alcohol style that can take serious chilling which makes it perfect to be served chilled, straight from the fridge. 10.5% alc. 35g/l rs. $23.
Light, fresh and clean with flavours of juicy apples and hints of lemon that fill out in the palate to a fatter, lemon cheese finish with just a touch of honey and some fusel notes emerging. A sweetish, lower alcohol, Germanic-style that can take serious chilling and very appealing for summer. 25g/l rs. 10.5% alc. $21.99. 27Dec2006.

Wairau River Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Straw gold. Apple, earthy, potters' clay-like aromas and tart lemon and oily apple flavours with a smoky, sulphury note to the earthy, bitter lemon finish with a long crisp, aftertaste. Shudderingly bracing. Much better when the sulphur dissipates. 13% alc. 8g/l rs. $19.95. 8Dec2005.

West Brook Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Starting to develop some fusel notes. It's an off dry style with granny smith and lemon flavours and a touch of earthy honey. Served chilled it's a refreshing, zing, zesty drink. 12.5% alc. $17.95. 7Jan2007.

Wild Earth Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) Emitting an exotic floral perfume, this medium sweet wine has delicate citrus and rose petal flavours and fantastic acidity to balance the sweetness beautifully. Pure and focussed to start but as the wine travels across the palate, lemon, lime, bee pollen and orange emerge and linger powerfully on the naturally fruity finish. A must for Riesling fanatics that like these sweeter, high acid styles. 27 g/l residual sugar. 9g/l total acidity. 11% alc. $25.95. 8Mar2006.
A medium sweet wine with an exotic floral perfume, delicate citrus and rose petal flavours and fantastic acidity to balance the sweetness beautifully. Pure and focussed to start, but as the wine travels across the palate, lemon, lime, bee pollen and orange emerge and linger powerfully on the naturally fruity finish. 27g/L rs. 11% alc. $25. 12Mar2006.

Wild South Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Pale straw. Perfumed, honeysuckle and delicate rose petal aromas and slightly spicy, orange water flavours. This is Riesling at the very ripe, very gewurz end of the spectrum but with far too much limey acidity for gewurz. Delicately textured with a clean, lingering finish. Very, very good. 13% alc. 11g/l rs. $16.95. 8Dec2005.

William Hill Central Otago Riesling 2005 (sc) With hints of apricot on the nose and a touch of viscosity to the light delicate, dancing texture, it seems there could be a touch of botrytis in this very pretty wine. Apricots, citrus, a touch of pineapple and tropical fruit with a touch of orange water and musk, there's a lovely brightness and juicy fruit freshness to the wine with the crisp aftertaste of crunchy apples as it lingers. Delicious. 13% alc. 25g/lrs. $19. 9Sep2007.

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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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