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Wine of the Week for week ending 21 January 2001
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Vidals Riesling 2000

Label of Vidals Riesling 2000 When I tasted this wine last October, I thought it was bound to win a gold medal at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards judged in November. Well, a 'silver' was all it could muster on that occasion, but this light lemony wine is still a gold medal winner in my book and especially so in the late afternoon of a hot summer's day.

I bought a bottle of the wine and tried it again last weekend on a searingly hot day and it was indeed deliciously refreshing.

The aromas are intensely fragrant with scents of freshly zested lemons along with summer flowers like orange blossoms, making it easy to understand why Riesling is called an 'aromatic' wine.

The flavour is a citrus array of lemons, oranges and limes with fresh zingy and vibrant spices while there is richness in the texture with just a reminiscence of runny honey. Then after the wine is swallowed there's a rich flavour that reminds me of lemon honey marmalade that lingers for quite a while along with some aromatic spice.

And the wine is fairly dry, just 6.5 grams of residual sugar, which gives a kind of nutty limey character to the aftertaste as well.

It is a lovely light wine but really powerful and flavoursome at the same time and perfectly poised in its balance, oozing class from the first sniff to the long lingering finish.

Interestingly, this wine is a blend of Hawkes Bay and Marlborough fruit in the ratio 60:40.

I asked winemaker, Rob McDonald, what the difference in the regional characters of the wines components were.

"Hawkes Bay adds the fleshiness and weight to the texture and a nutty and mineral character to the flavour, while Marlborough adds a pungency and defined citrus, lime and floral character", he said.

At a recommended retail of $14.95, this is one New Zealand Riesling you just have to try during the rest of the summer months. Perfect on its own as a pre-dinner drink or to accompany the catch of the day - freshly caught, pan-fried, white-fleshed seafood served with a wedge of lemon.

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