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Wine Reviews - Riesling
2012, 2011, 2010 & 2009 vintages
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 12 Sep 2016

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.

[2015] [2014] [2013] [2012] [2010] [2009] [2008/2007] [2006/2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000 and older] [index]

2012 Vintage [top] [index]

Beach House Hawkes Bay Riesling 2012 (sc) Evocative perfume of jasmine, sherbet and citrus blossom, and refreshing lime curd, apple, honeysuckle and delicate spicy flavours. A sweeter style of Riesling with flinty acidity, creates harmony with a perception of dryness. Te Awanga region. 9.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Review. 10Sep2012.

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) The bouquet of this glossy gold wine is full and aromatic with wafts of kero that hints of a little age, then scents of lemon sherbet biscuits with a slight savoury edge. Concentrated and acid-driven – like a lemon and honey drink with more, this is fairly dry yet mouthfilling, textural, persistent and long with a lasting bright zesty zing. 11% alc. $17.99. 10Aug2016.

Domain Road Duffers Creek Central Otago Riesling 2012 (sc) Pale straw coloured and so fresh after the Chardonnays, there's rich apple on the nose and a little struck match flint, apples and mandarins in the palate. It's off dry to medium in sweetness level with a lusciousness as it traverses the palate leaving and a lingering taste of honeysuckle. Clean and nice. 11% alc. $22.99.
Lime and red apple on the nose. Full-bodied and rich in the palate. This mouthfilling style is zesty and zingy with some ginger-like heat adding to the spicy tingles. Seemingly fairly dry all the way through and at first a little puckery too with a flinty, earthy, apple-infused undercurrent then tropical fruit emerges on the quite seductive and slightly viscous finish - pineapple and even a suggestion of passionfruit comes to mind making it a delicious, want-to-have-another-glass-please wine. 11% alc. 19g/l rs. $25. 9Aug2014.

Domain Road The Water Race Central Otago Dry Riesling 2012 (sc) The bouquet is dried apple slices and nuts with the most subtle nuance of mandarin zest and honeysuckle, ginger, apple and lime are the key flavour descriptors in the palate with a mandarin juice infusion. It is crisp and fresh with a zesty, zingy, almost spritzy tingle and I like the ‘cool’ finish. The second mouthful is better than the first and the third sip has you hooked. Terrific aperitif / sitting-on-the-deck-in-the-summer wine with thirst quenching acidity. 12% alc. 5.6 g/l rs. 9Aug2014.

Ellero Central Otago Pisa Terrace Riesling 2012 (sc) It smells quite dry with its flinty, talc-like scent. Lemon pith also comes to mind then lemon and sweet citrus fill the palate of this seemingly very dry style as the flinty undercurrent is definitely there. An exciting zing of ginger tickles the tastebuds and it finishes with a twist of zesty lime with honeysuckle coming thru quite seductively on the deliciously long finish. Stated Medium dry on the label, this was tank fermented with a part aged in neutral French oak puncheons for 6 months.12% alc. 8 g/l rs. $40. 9Aug2014.

Felton Road Bannockburn Central Otago Riesling 2012 (sc) Shy on the bouquet with a delicate white flower and citrus blossom scent, but fresh and tangy in the palate with juicy citrus and apple and a freshness from the tickle of tropical fruit sherbert-like spritz. A low alcohol style, but absolutely overflowing with flavour. Wonderful aperitif, after dinner or drink anytime style. 8.5% alc. $29.99. 12Apr2013.
Light golden hued with a ravishing aroma toffee apple, honeysuckle and lime and a surprising fullness and roundness to the super juicy tropical fruit and citrus flavours that make this riesling so deliciously drinkable and appealing. There’s just a touch of kero to hint it has a little age and the crisp acidity pulsating through the finish makes the wine seem off-dry rather than medium-sweet as the 59 grams/litre of residual sugar would suggest. Loved it. 9% alc. $26.99. 6Apr2016.

Forrest The Doctors Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) The fragrance is ultra delicate but the taste is full of fresh, clean citrussy flavours with a hint of honey in the background, apple skin and a sherbet character too. The racy acidity imparts the impression of dryness but the 'Taste Profile' on the back label indicates 'off dry'. For those that follow this label, it's definitely not as sweet as it has been in the past. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 10Jul2013.
Pale straw with a hint of lime to the hue. Limes are the first impression on the nose and carry through to the wonderfully fresh and vibrant palate that has beautifully honed racy acidity. A fantastic example of lower alcohol Riesling, and while it seems dry a touch of apple sweetness ensures there are no screechy edges. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 5Feb2014.

Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) Perfumed with wild garden flowers and full of delicious, concentrated flavours of exotic tropical fruit and apples layered with honey and sweet citrus, this 'medium' style is powerfully long and aromatic with a very tasty finish. 10% alc. $14.99. 26Sep2012.
Straw gold coloured with vibrant aromatics and zingy fresh spritzy flavours of lime and honeysuckle, with a tickle of ginger and a long flavoursome finish almost akin to apple nectar. Medium sweetness level and on a summer afternoon, almost irresistible. 10% alc. Screwcap. $14.99.

Greenhough Apple Valley Nelson Riesling 2012 (sc) Medium sweet on the RTF scale. Earthy nuances to the scent, this low alcohol medium sweet style is full of honey, lemon and ginger with spicy apple nuance to the scent. Crammed with outstanding flavours of honey, ginger and citrus. 9% alc. Screwcap. NZIWS Gold Medal Review. 10Sep2012.
There's a spicy, apple skin nuance to the scent of this low alcohol, medium sweet style that's crammed full of honey, lemon and ginger with lingering honeysuckle and citrus blossom. Served chilled, it is a delicious, quenching summer drink. 9% alc. $20.99. 26Sep2012.

Highfield Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) Lemon gold in colour with a bright citrussy bouquet and lashings of tangy marmalade, bitter orange and lime-like citrus flavours in the fresh, juicy, just off dry palate with a touch of apricot, a tickle of ginger and a honeysuckle coating to the delightfully long finish. Champion Riesling at the 2013 Air NZ Wine Awards. 10% alc. $18.99. 25Jun2014.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) A concentrated, more full-bodied style of Riesling than the norm, inspired by those from Alsace, it smells crisp, tart, chalky and dry and while there is an immediate impression of dryness to the taste, there is also a welcome thread of sweetness running through. I get flavours of crisp heritage apples, like the first off the tree in the season, together with juicy lime and zingy spices like white pepper and ginger, and pretty accents of French tarragon on the lingering finish. 12% alc. $16.99. 4Feb2015.

Maude 'Mt Maude Vineyard' East Block Central Otago Riesling 2012 (sc) Tantalisingly perfumed, with honeysuckle, citrus blossom and rose petal. Low alcohol style that oozes freshness and harmony. A terrific wine that can be served chilled to the bone and still be a star. Very young, very fresh, very deliciously drinkable, the perfect aperitif. 35g/l rs. 9.5% alc. Screwcap. NZIWS Gold Medal Review. 10Sep2012.
A bouquet of limes, honeysuckle and rose petals introduces this steely young wine that's full of apples, limes and youthful freshness. At first it seems dry and crisp yet has a sweeter impression to the harmonious finish. From Wanaka. 35g/l rs. 9.5% alc. $22.99. 31Oct2012.
The very delicate, honeysuckle scent is beguiling, and the freshness and brightness of the pure citrus flavour is exciting. It's juicy and vibrant with enough weight to make it serious, and simply delicious drinking already. 9.5% alc. $25.99. 16Jan2013.

Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Central Otago Riesling 2012 (sc) An aromatic honeysuckle and juicy apple bouquet leads into a palate that for most is pleasingly off dry than bone dry to the taste. There's a touch of fizzy fruit sherbets - tropical fruit and mandarin come to mind, with a clean crisp crunchy apple finish and a scrummy honey-infused fruit taste that lingers in the mouth for ages. 13% alc. $20.99. 27Feb2013.

Mt Difficulty Target Central Otago Riesling 2012 (sc) The bouquet is reminiscent of potter's clay with a sugary apple pie nuance coming through. The sweetest wine of the three, but beautifully balanced with mouthwatering acidity that makes it seem drier than the 40 g/l residual sugar would have you believe. The fruit is juicy apple, lime and mandarin interlayered with nectar and there's a refreshing zing to the finish. 10% alc. $27.99
Straw gold in hue with kero, orange blossom, apple and flint on the nose. It smells dry and makes your tastebuds salivate but doesn’t taste as dry as expected because despite the flinty undercurrent it is juicy and zesty with an array of citrus and apple, and a honeysuckle coating to the crisp, clean finish. A scintillating wine throughout. This label always delivers. 10% alc. $24.99. 16Jul2014.

Packspur Central Otago Riesling 2012 (sc) Aromatically vibrant lemon honey and honeysuckle fills the bouquet and the palate. Full of juicy apple, citrus and zest with ginger-like spices adding additional brightness. Just off dry, this aromatic wine has tantalising flavours and excellent Riesling expression. 12.4% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Review. 10Sep2012.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Riesling 2012 (sc) Light gold. A little earthy on the bouquet – wet potter's clay maybe, but so much sweeter than the first wine – although it is technically ‘off dry’ not ‘sweet’. The citrus is in the mandarin / lemonade spectrum and the florals are reminiscent of honeysuckle. Universally appealing and very drinkable just on its own. The perfect pre-dinner socialising wine. 11% alc. $17.99. 22May2013.

Pasquale '16' Waitaki Valley Riesling 2012 (sc) Now we are back on the riesling-mobile but this one is sweeter, juicier and zestier than the dry one before. Freshly squeezed grapefruit and tangelo provide a sweet sour symmetry and there's a touch of spritz to the texture. Lovely garden party or aperitif wine. 11% alc. $24.99. 4Sep2013.

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Waipara Riesling 2012 (sc) The freshly squeezed grapefruit aroma is so juicy and fresh, so summery, so bright and there's a tickle of ginger-like spritz when the wine hits the mouth. Lightly viscous with superb concentration and full of a myriad of zesty citrus and tropical fruit balanced by honey, it needs to be well chilled for maximum enjoyment in the summer heat. 14% alc. $30.99. 7Jan2015.

Rippon Mature Vine Lake Wanaka Central Otago Riesling 2012 (c) It’s like a bowl of freshly picked apples on the nose with beguiling honeysuckle and jasmine notes and nutty nuances too. And it seems quite toasty at first in the palate then zingy lemonades, ginger and white pepper give lift while honey and white nectarine impart a slightly fleshy feel. A fascinating Riesling with sweetness honed in by exciting racy acidity with apples and limes on the lingering finish. Wild yeast ferment. 12.5% alc. $32.50. 9Aug2014.

Riverby Eliza Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) The fragrant bouquet is all honeysuckle and tangelo zest and the flavour is so fresh and tasty with what seems to be a moderate sweetness, heading towards luscious but the juicy acidity keeps that sweetness in check. With tantalising mango, sweet citrus and flower nectar it is indeed deliciously luscious as the lasting flavours linger – not surprising with 63 grams/litre of residual sugar in the wine. 9.5% alc.$22.99. 29May2013.
Light gold coloured with honeysuckle, apple and freshly squeezed citrus on the nose carrying through to the deliciously juicy medium sweet palate. Baked apples with honey, a touch of apricot nectar, surely there is some botrytis in here, but the fresh bright citrus acidity imparts crispness to the very long finish and ensures it is in balance. If you like this style of wine and serve it very well chilled, it is simply yum. 9.5% alc. $22.99. 2Oct2013.
Glossy straw gold. Freshly squeezed citrus on the nose. Deliciously juicy and mouth-tingling fresh to the taste with mandarins, limes, a touch of ginger, a tickle of spritz and perfectly balanced honeysuckle sweetness in behind. Beautiful wine. Hard to resist. 9.5% alc. $22.99. 26Mar2014.
Delectable is the word for this delicious medium-sweet charmer that has fresh tangelo-like acidity cutting through the sweetness to provide impeccable balance. As good as many German Spatleses, this has honeysuckle, citrus, apricot and juicy tropical fruit combining in harmony. The kind of wine to serve very chilled on a hot day or as a pre-dinner titillator. 9.5% alc. $20.99. 27Aug2014.

Rockburn Tigermoth Central Otago Riesling 2012 (sc) Straw gold coloured. Classic citrus and honeysuckle aromas and rich luscious and utterly besotting flavours - it’s so gorgeous as I swirl it around my mouth I don’t want to spit it out. Juicy and luscious all the way through with tropical fruits like mango, sweet citrus, a touch of apricot and honey, the sweetness so in sync with the racy lime-like acidity - a truly beautiful wine. 11% alc. 41 g/l rs. 10.4 g/l TA. $33. 9Aug2014.

Saint Clair Pioneer Series Block 9 Big John Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) Concentrated in its citrus and lemony honey aromas and flavours, there a ton of sweetness in there but equally as much acidity that almost gives it an impression of dry – so juicy, fresh and refreshing, another very tantalising aperitif style wine. 8.5% alc. $22.99. 5Jun2013.

Sherwood Estate Stratum Waipara Riesling 2012 (sc) The delicate citrus blossom aroma of this light gold-coloured off dry Riesling carries through to the thirst quenching palate. It's all freshly squeezed lemon and lime beautifully balanced by honeysuckle sweetness and anise-like spices, building in richness on the finish but overall a lighter style of wine - perfect for an aperitif. 11% alc. $12.99. 16Apr2014.

Sherwood Signature Waipara Riesling 2012 (sc) Light lemon gold with an inviting bouquet of toasted lime and honeysuckle and a toasty richness to the lime and mandarin flavours. A weighty Riesling with a touch of honeyed lemon sweetness to take the dry edges away and bitter marmalade on the finish. Excellent value in an off dry style. 11.5% alc. $14.99. 8Jul2015.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Dry Riesling 2012 (sc) Delicate apple blossom, lime juice on flint on the nose and the taste is crisp lemons, lime and flint with a subtle suggestion of honey and ginger. Concentrated and intense with great verve and bite to the finish with the bittersweet mandarin zest that emerges just delightful. Mouthwateringly crisp and refreshing served chilled – this had two hours in the fridge and was just perfect. A blend of Awatere and Wairau Valley fruit. 12.5% alc. $21.99. 19Nov2014.

West Brook Marlborough Riesling 2012 (sc) Beautifully fragrant with a bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus. Very fresh, very youthful, with a hint of marmalade and the delicate florals almost reminiscent of rose petals. Lovely balance. Will be interesting to see how this baby evolves. NC: Honey and honey suckle nose. Orange marmalade in palate. 20 g/l rs. 10% alc. $19.50. 1Dec2012.

2011 Vintage [top] [index]

Anchorage Nelson Classic Riesling 2011 (sc) Lovely aromatics with a whisper of honeysuckle and citrus blossom. Crisp and lemony to the taste with a sweetness flashing through, like biting into a juicy apple with the skin on - just that little resistance to start. It's light and fresh, like drinking apple juice or cider, with lots of acid freshness. Hot summer's day fare. 20 g/l rs. 10% alc. $17.00. 4Jul2013.

Auburn Alexandra Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Made from 11-year-old vines grown in the most southerly subregion of Central Otago, this smells dry with lime and hints of honeysuckle. It's lightly spritzy in the palate and tastes fresh and bright with mandarin/lemon squash acidity. The racy freshness has an underlying richness and the wine increases in complexity in the mouth, reminding me of lemon cream biscuits (the ones with the salty wafer biscuit outside and tangy lemon cream filling). The fruit enriches as the wine sits in the glass, there's apple purity and loquats, and the sweetness becomes more apparent too. A delightful Riesling, comparable to a German Kabinett. 15 g/l rs. 9.5% alc. $28.00. 1Dec2012.

Auburn Bannockburn Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) This wine is made from 13 year old vines and in comparison to the Alexandra wine, this smells earthy - like wet clay being worked on a potter's wheel. The taste is fresh, bright and spritzy with limes and floral notes too with underlying sweet earthy notes and racy acidity, the light viscosity of the texture coats the tongue as the wine linger 47 g/l rs. 10.5% alc. $28.00. 1Dec2012.

Auburn Bendigo Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Made from 6-year-old vines, the bouquet of this wine is a clean and delicate with nuances of juicy crushed grapes, nectar and herb flowers. There's a startling clarity to the taste, characterised by a spritzy texture at first, but lightly viscous on the finish. It is easily the most forward and easy drinking so far - perhaps it is the higher sugar making the acidity seem so poised and harmonious. It has intensity, length and increasing weight and the lasting flavours is like apples coated with a floral honey. If I had just one word to describe this wine, it would be 'sensational'. 64 g/l rs. 10% alc. $28.00. 1Dec2012.

Auburn Lowburn Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Made from 18 year old vines with 25% botrytis infection, this has a slightly more golden hue. Honeysuckle florals emanate from the glass and the texture in the mouth is luxurious and unctuous. The taste is reminiscent of the smell of potter's clay with wild flower nectar, yellow fruits and honey, Botrytis enhances the palate fleshiness and there are hints of marmalade on the finish. A wine that is utterly dangerous because it is just so delicious to drink. 48 g/l rs. 11.5% alc. $28.00. 1Dec2012.

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Riesling 2011 (sc) Light gold. Tantalising aroma of citrus and honeyed apples, with a zesty brightness to the juicy refreshing taste, even a tangy spritzig-like zing. Lingering flavours of honeysuckle and zest. 11.6% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 10Sep2014.
Lemongrass, orange honey, an intriguing toasty richness even though the only oak the wine has seen is when the bottle sits on a wooden counter. A full-bodied, concentrated, weighty style of Riesling with vibrancy and zing, it hits the spot immediately. 11.6% alc. $17.99. 17Sep2014.
Tantalising aromatic tangy lime and honeysuckle aromas carry through to the vibrant, racy palate where there is just a suggestion of spritz and a touch of apple on the juicy zesty finish. A moderately weighty style of Riesling with a ‘licking a piece of slate’ texture, this would be a terrific match to whitebait. 11.6% alc. $16.99. 3Dec2014.

Distant Land Marlborough Riesling 2011 (sc) Straw gold. Delicate perfume of citrus and apple, lively and zesty in the palate with racy acidity imparting thirst-quenching satisfaction with hints of juicy ripe apple in behind. Very bright and refreshingly tangy with lingering flavour of lime. 11.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Tasting. 10Sep2014.

Felton Road Bannockburn Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Pale straw with a hint of rose petal to the perfume, the aroma doesn't hint at all of the juicy sweetness within. There's a rose petal (musky) nuance to the honeysuckle and freshly squeezed lime and tangelo flavours that taste like fizzy fruit sherbet lollies as it deliciously lingers. 9.5% alc. $33.99. 30Nov2011.

Felton Road Dry Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Pale straw coloured with a full bouquet of apple and lemon honey, the palate is imbued with crisp dry acidity and lots of zest and pith. Yet it has impeccable fruit balance and a subtle oiliness when served well chilled so it's not at all sharp. A super choice for lovers of dry Riesling because this is a brilliant example. 12.5% alc. $33.99. 11Jan2012.

Fifth Bridge Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) (sc) Light lemon gold with a concentrated bouquet of lime, talc, honeysuckle and hints of marmalade. Rich and powerful in an off dry style, fruit that’s reminiscent of baked apple with honey and date, an intriguing earthy underlay with nuances of sewing machine oil / kero, and just a touch of sweetness to foil the crisp acidity on the lingering finish. With its layers of richness and complexity it’s enjoyable now but will continue to evolve in the cellar. Made by the Diceys who also produce the Ceres label. 13% alc. $12.99. 3Jun2015.
Made by Ceres, the bouquet is lime and honeysuckle with a whisper of wine biscuits and kero. Bright, fresh, aromatic and zesty in the off-dry palate with juicy lemon, lime and apple flavours balanced by a touch of manuka honey with a flinty, slightly earthy undercurrent. Seems tonight on the cusp of off dry. 13% alc. $15.99. 31Aug2016.

Forrest The Doctors' Marlborough Riesling 2011 (sc) A delicate bouquet of honeysuckle and lime and a crisp, fresh taste with racy acidity to balance the honeyed sweetness. A lovely light refreshing style with florals, spice, zest, juicy lemonade and lime and a bright, tangy finish - perfect for an aperitif. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 21Mar2012.

Hawkshead Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Soft, floral aroma with pear, citrus and bath salts. Floral and musky in the palate with tingly sherbet-like acidity, a sweet lime inflection, fleshy fruit like green passionfruit and tangelo and a fizzy fruit sherbet lollies.. A young ‘delicate’ Riesling that's just a bit tight right now, it will blossom with time. 9.9 g/l rs. 12.5% alc. $20.00. 20Mar2012.

Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2011 (sc) A lovely pure expression of citrussy Riesling grapes with a hint of rose petal to the bouquet and red apple, citrus and the classic earthiness of Riesling coming through in the palate with a long juicy finish and lovely acid balance to moderate the (40 g/l rs) sweetness. 10.5% alc. $14.99. 22Feb2012.

Greenhough Apple Valley Nelson Riesling 2011 (sc) Pale coloured, with a whiff of potter's clay joining the apple skin bouquet, and a dry, 'sucking on stone' youthful freshness to the palate, yet this wine is a sweeter wine in the low alcohol Germanic mould with freshness of apple and a juicy squeeze of lemon balancing the sweetness to perfection, and a flinty character as the aftertaste lingers. 9% alc. $20.99. 30Jan2013.

Kahurangi Mt Arthur Reserve Nelson Riesling 2011 (sc) Straw lemon coloured with a honeysuckle and citrus aroma, this zingy fresh wine is packed full of tangy citrus and ginger with a thick honeyed richness to the off dry finish. 13% alc. $13.99. 8May2013.
Straw gold with a tropical fruit bouquet infused with subtle hints of coconut and lime – it smells like Riesling with a little bit of age but when you taste it there's a fresh zingy character there too. Quite citrussy, tangy in the full bodied palate with a mellow lemon honey layer and while there's a suggestion of sweetness, there a 'sucking a river pebble' dryness too. 13% alc. $14.99. 26Jun2013.
Lemon gold coloured with honeysuckle and lime on the nose and a taut, dry palate, this crisp young Riesling is slightly earthy with a 'sucking on a river stone' feel. It's zesty, almost spritzy with zingy flavours reminiscent of green apples and limes. 13% alc. $14.99. 28Aug2013.
Distinctly Riesling on the nose with its fresh citrus and honeysuckle tones and in the palate subtle coconut notes with hints of tropical fruit and lashings of lime – a tropical island fish marinating wine. It's moderately dry (5 grams of residual sugar) and thirst-quenching; the kind of Riesling that will evolve in the cellar for years but also summery refreshing. 13% alc. $14.99. 29Jan2014

Kaimira Estate Iti Selection Brightwater Riesling 2011 (sc) Pale in colour with a delicate honeysuckle scent, perfectly balanced acidity hones this medium sweet wine to perfection. It's a juicy, lower alcohol style with zesty apple to the fore, hints of citrus and honeysuckle and a long, refreshing and lingering finish. 'Iti' is Maori for small, in reference to the alcohol. 10% alc. $19.99. 7Sep2011.
The bouquet is quite delicate with lime sherbet and a suggestion of apple blossom that is reinforced by the spritzy apple juice flavours - the fruit is sweet yet the wine is crisp and finishes dry with plenty of acidity to balance the 27grams a litre of residual sugar. 10% alc. $19.99. 30May2012.

Main Divide Waipara Valley Riesling 2011 (sc) A light to medium golden colour with blossoms and orange honey on the nose and luscious flavours, the sweetness balanced by juicy citrus acidity, ripe apple and a zing of ginger. Some people thought marmalade too. Not as spritzy as we usually expect from Main Divide, but the quality that we do. 12.5% alc. $16.99. 28Aug2013.

Misha's Vineyard Limelight Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Served moderately chilled, this baby Riesling is quite earthy and flinty and seems very tight but shows so much potential with lovely, though subtle, flavours coming through. Delicate florals, a touch of spice, a suggestion of honey, lime and passionfruit with a delectable lingering nuance of tarragon, and an expansive finish is crisp, clean and bright. 11.5% alc. $27.99. 2May2012.
Despite the fact that Riesling is meant to be distinctively aromatic, the bouquet of the Limelight, although undeniably floral, seems shy. But everything is there in the palate of this off dry to medium style where fresh lime acidity is in harmony to the honeysuckle sweetness with a hint of tarragon and a flinty backbone that makes the finish seem a little dry. 11.5% alc. $24.99. 12Apr2013.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Riesling 2011 (sc) It's a light golden colour with a honeysuckle and lime scent and tastes crisp, fresh and dry with tones of grapefruit coming through, a flinty, 'sucking on a river stone' texture, and plenty of acidity to carry the length - the kind of wine to have as the aperitif to get the taste buds salivating. Concentrated and powerful for Riesling, it would go well with salty food. Excellent wine. 13% alc. Screwcap.$17.99. 22Aug2012.
There's concentration to the bouquet and power to the flavour of this richer–styled Riesling. It's light gold coloured with underlying honey and apricot sweetness that suggests some botrytis. Beautifully balanced and juicy with a silky smooth mouthfeel, there's an exciting burst of orange zest freshness and the finish leaves an impression that the wine is dry. 13% alc. $23.99. 30Jan2013.

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Waipara Dry Riesling 2011 (sc) Light golden yellow. Enticingly aromatic citrus blossom and nectar-like scents then in the palate grapefruit and honey combine beautifully, the acidity and sweetness in impeccable harmony. Concentrated and mouthcoating with tingly spices, this is a full-bodied, weighty style and although it is labelled 'dry', many of us would consider this ‘off dry’. Another outstanding offering from one of the country’s best Riesling producers. 14% alc. $29.99. 25Jun2014.

Rockburn Tigermoth Central Otago Riesling 2011 (sc) Pale in colour, this delicate wine is textural with a light viscosity and while there are toasty nuances already, the apple/lime/lemon is penetrating and assertive. Off dry with a crisp undercurrent to balance the juicy sweetness (41 g/l rs), and a hint of marmalade on the finish. A lovely wine to drink and enjoy immediately, yet also promises increasing complexity with time in the bottle. 41.1 g/l rs. 9% alc. $33.00. 1Dec2012.

Saint Clair Pioneer Series Block 9 Big John Marlborough Riesling 2011 (sc) Gorgeously aromatic with a honey-scented citrus blossom bouquet, this bright, fresh Riesling has low alcohol and a touch of sweetness that just makes it so enjoyable to drink. Quenching, refreshing, deliciously long with lasting flavours of tangelo and lime. Yummy wine. 9% alc. $22.99. 22Feb2012.
Pale straw coloured and smelling and tasting like a homemade lemon and honey drink, it's low alcohol with natural residual sweetness but racy acidity cuts neatly through the sugar and there's an apple skin character lingering on the end. 9% alc. $24.99. 22Aug2012.

Te Whare Ra Marlborough Riesling D 2011 (sc) Distinctly more lemon and lime on the nose, a little earthy and very dry, linear and focussed with haunting purity of juicy citrus fruit and zest. Lithe and long with beautiful balance that adds a textural intensity and a hint of honey to the end. A stunning dry style. My favourite on the night. 12.5% alc. $25.99. 22Feb2012.

Terrace Edge 'Classic' Waipara Valley Riesling 2011 (sc) There’s hints of gold to the hue, yet it tastes so fresh, a terrifically aromatic, zesty, spicy wine, full of sherbet and grapefruit and lime, on the medium side of dry, that is ‘off dry’ in style. Savoury nuance from wild yeast ferment. 13% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Review. 10Sep2012.

Toi Toi Reserve Marlborough Riesling 2011 (sc) At first this pale straw coloured wine seems very dry and steely, yet there's a hint of sweetness to make it just off dry. It is so incredibly juicy, tangy and fresh with green grape, lemonade and Granny Smith fruit over a flinty backbone. 12% alc. $18.99. 17Oct2012.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011 (sc) Ripe and juicy smelling with classic citrus and honeysuckle, this dry zingy, pale coloured Riesling is delicately zesty with apple and lime fruit nicely balanced by the merest suggestion of sweetness with a bright finish and a lasting tingle of freshness. Fabulous value. 12% alc. $13.99. 22Feb2012.

West Brook Marlborough Riesling 2011 (sc) This has already developed into something rich and exotically spicy with lovely concentration of tropical fruit sweetness and marmalade bitterness. Exciting and tantalising with great vibrancy and length. I just so want to accompany this with the Xmas ham! And barring accidents, it will happen! Despite the 14 g/l rs, it has high acidity and seems reasonably dry. 11.6% alc. $19.50. 1Dec2012.

2010 Vintage [top] [index]

Auburn Alexandra Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) A more delicate Riesling, pale in colour, hauntingly floral and lifted flavours of apple and tarragon. Ah the anise comes through and I love it already. There's impeccable balance, the acidity and honeydew sweetness is in harmony, it's a beautiful expression of delicacy and finesse. 45 g/l rs. 10.5% alc. $28.00. 9Jul2011.

Auburn Aura Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) Lemon gold. A clean pure expression of Riesling on the nose – lemon citrus and candied pineapple carry the acidity perfectly. But in the palate I'm not so sure – does it need to be chilled to tone down the sweetness and let the acidity come through. Yes and no. It's okay at winter room temperature too. The pineapple is the governing taste profile here with candied mango coming through – the tropical fruit is delicious, delectable – and a nice touch of mandarin and honeysuckle on the finish. The mouth feel is like light nectar and finish has an earthy depth. 104 g/l rs. 8.5% alc. $28.00. 9Jul2011.

Auburn Lowburn Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) Immediately sweet and redolent with citrus blossoms and honeysuckle scents, it's sweet to the taste, but a succulent juicy sweetness rather than a honeyed sweetness, with racy acidity giving it impeccable balance. A gorgeous Spatlese style from Central Otago's new specialist Riesling star, Auburn is a label to watch. 64 g/l rs. 10.5% alc. $32.99. 16Feb2011.

Bird Old Schoolhouse Marlborough Vineyard Riesling 2010 (sc) Straw in colour with a delicate sense of sweetness to the floral bouquet. Clean, crisp and refreshing with terrific acid tension to balance the delicious juicy fruit sweetness with an undercurrent of honeysuckle and ginger. A lovely summer wine that's just off dry in style. 12% alc. $19.99. 13Oct2010.
Straw in colour with a rich, citrussy, almost lime marmalade bouquet. Off dry to the taste with zippy acidity underpinning the fruity sweetness and a hint of spearmint. Quite a powerful Riesling that stands up well to cheese. 12% alc. $16.99. 6Apr2011.

Bouldevines Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) This seems quite a quiet Riesling, in that the aromas don't really jump out of the glass at you but it's a different story in the palate. Delicate citrus blossom, honeysuckle and tingles of lime on the nose and racy lemon / lime flavours, the bright fresh acidity enlivening the taste with a tantaslising touch of mandarin zest and a crisp apple finish. Well balanced in a classic, just 'off dry' style. $19.95. 12.5% alc. 1Mar2011.

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) There's a yellow glow to the hue of this vibrantly aromatic, incredibly refreshing, weighty, persistent, just off-dry style. There's honeysuckle on the nose and a slight suggestion of kero in the palate with tangy lime and tangelo acidity balanced by a honeysuckle-like sweetness. 12 grams/litre residual sugar with high acidity (9 grams/litre) brings it all into balance. 11.5% alc. $16.99. 12Feb2014.

Dry River Martinborough Amaranth Late Harvest Riesling 2010 (c) Light gold in colour with a showy bouquet of lime blossom and honeysuckle with a suggestion of nectar. A concentrated, sweet, honeyed riesling with blossoms, honeysuckle, apples and lime combining in harmony with the breathtaking apple and lemon acidity so fresh and arousing. Concentrated and powerful – full-bodied for Riesling – and the finish is long with a brulee sugar sweetness. Does this and the golden colour indicate a touch of botrytis? A wine with a long life ahead of it, 60 g/l rs. 9.5% alc. $59.00. 9Jul2011.

Fallen Angel Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Sweet apple scents lead into a medium dry palate with racy acidity and a slaty texture. Loads of lemon and lime with honeysuckle bringing it all into balance. Some flint and green apple notes provide austerity, so despite the juicy sweetness, it finishes exceedingly dry. What I like about this wine is the way it evolves in the palate and the honeysuckle / citrus flavours linger for ages. 11.5% alc. $19.99. 23Feb2011.

Felton Road Bannockburn Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) This tantalisingly aromatic Riesling is pale straw gold with scents that are reminiscent of fruit salad and quince. When first tasted it is surprisingly sweet with delicious flavours of passionfruit and mandarin but flinty phenolics add an earthy edge, there's a very subtle suggestion of spritz and zingy acidity keeps everything in balance. Riesling aficionados will love this and it can be super chilled too. 9% alc. $33.99. 2Feb2011.

Felton Road Dry Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) This straw lemon coloured wine is delicately scented in the Spiegelau glass and tastes dry, almost bone dry, with great acid tension. It has a mouth-filling richness with concentrated lime and mandarin, and a hint of pineapple coming through too. It's bright and refreshing, the fresh citrussy flavour lasts and lasts and the wine in the bottle will too. 12.5% alc. $33.99. 20Jul2011.
This gorgeous dry Riesling seems to have added complexity just because it is dry. It has body richness and power with bright fresh acidity yet nicely rounded edges. Lime flavours ripple through the wine with suggestions of grapefruit zest and dried hay. 12.5% alc. $33.99. 4Sep2013.

Forrest The Doctors' Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Tangy and bright with lashings of fresh juicy citrus acidity and tropical fruit this straw-coloured Riesling seems off-dry in style with a mouthwatering long finish that's underpinned by a taut flinty character that brings the fruit sweetness into balance. A quenching, summer days wine and note the alcohol – just what the doctor ordered! 8.5% alc. $19.99. 24Nov2010.
A medium style, clean and pure, fresh and bright, classic in its expression with sweet citrus and honeysuckle and a long quenching finish. A permanent favourite at First Glass and one of the best low alcohol Rieslings around. 9.5% alc. $19.99. 23Feb2011.
Pale lemon with a slight lemonade scent, there's racy acidity and moderate sweetness to the taste. Ultra-juicy, a touch flinty – served chilled it seems so much richer that the 8.5% alcohol hints. Powerful and exciting with apple blossoms, tropical fruit and excellent length. The Doctors' is earning a reputation as one of NZ's top Rieslings. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 6Jul2011.

Forrest The Valleys Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) The colour is golden making you think this gloriously aromatic, honey-scented Riesling has a little age and indeed it does. And the taste is mouthfilling and ravishing with honeysuckle, toasted lime and orange ginger marmalade filling the palate that's bright from the zesty acidity and has a long, juicy aftertaste where the honey layers are rounded and make it seem off dry. A fantastic aperitif wine that makes a fantastic start to an evening. Gold Medal NZIWS 2015. 11% alc. $18.99. 3Feb2016.

Forrest Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Crisp apple aroma. Juicy on entry to palate. Very fresh, very crisp, very tangy, very dry with loads of citrus and apple acidity, a touch of honeysuckle in the background and a toasty richness to the beautifully balanced, lingering and concentrated finish. Medium dry in style. Lovely Riesling. 12% alc. $22.00. 20Mar2012.

Georges Road Block Three Waipara Riesling 2010 (D) Off dry with a delicate honeysuckle aroma, this is a juicy wine with well-balanced acidity to the natural sweetness, becoming richer and richer as it traverses the palate. Chilling enhances the citrus aromatics while the acidity is brighter and fresher in the palate. Fruit is complex – perhaps a hint of apricot and the merest suggestion of tropical fruit, but of course classic flavours of red apple, lemon and lime with a tickle of zesty spice and a touch of mandarin on the finish. And all the while a flinty, almost earthy undercurrent, so inherent to the Mosel styles. 30 g/l rs. 11% alc. $23.50 15May2011.

Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) This pale straw coloured wine smells a little more tart and definitely more malic with its fresh cut lemon scent, yet the taste surprises with an impeccable touch of honeyed sweetness to balance the racy apple acidity. There's a definite earthy character to the wine that sits in nicely with the style. Tasty and refreshing. Nice contrast of style as well as price. 10.5% alc. $14.99. 20Jun2012.

Gladstone Vineyard Wairarapa Riesling 2010 (sc) The citrus aromas is delicate but there is lots of zest and richness to the palate of this moderately weighty dry Riesling. It has a sherbet-like tingle, a hard flinty backbone and a touch of tarragon leaving a lingering flavour of orange zest and anise. 1.5 g/l rs. 12.3% alc. $24.00. 1Jul2011.

Hawkshead Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) Quite deep in colour, perhaps from a touch of botrytis. There's zesty citrus with a touch of honey to the scent of this sweeter, concentrated style. A lovely bright expression of with fresh yet tight acidity, hints of orange zest and five spice. Has fabulous length and shows potential to age. 9.4 g/l rs. 12.4% alc. $22.00. 1Jul2011.

Hunters Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Tight, pithy aroma. A little spritzy in palate. Juicy, thirst quenching and very drinkable. Tangy acidity is well-balanced and the wine finishes dry, coating the mouth and leaving behind a burst of lemon and lime. 13% alc. $18.99. 23Feb2011.

Kairos Wild Ferment Waipara Dry Riesling 2010 (sc) On the nose you would think this was Australian. A beguiling wine with pure Riesling expression, left to ferment with natural yeasts, it’s savoury, spicy and citrussy with a full body, hints of marmalade and wild flowers lingering. Excellent length. Aromas of lime and honeysuckle. Perfectly balanced. Excellent. 13.5% alc. NZIWS Gold Medal Review. 10Sep2012.

Kahurangi Estate Nelson Riesling 2010 (sc) There's an intriguing smoky nuance to the citrus and tropical fruit scent of this rich, textural, off dry Riesling that has abundant apricot, yellow peach and tropical fruit flavours, a mellow undercurrent and refreshing citrus zest at the end. Long lasting, flavoursome and fulfilling - a great start to the tasting year. 13% alc. $9.99. 9Jan2013.

Martinborough Vineyard Manu Riesling 2010 (sc) The floral bouquet of this medium to medium dry Riesling is quite delicate but the flavours are bright, mouthwatering and delicious. Filled with juicy apple and honey with a tarragon infusion and a lovely touch of mandarin zest, it has exquisite balance and harmony. 11.5% alc. $24.99. 23Feb2011.
Aromatic and delicately scented with a suggestion of lime juice, yet a surprisingly weighty palate with great intensity of flavour. Crisp and clean with lime and apple, an aura of liquid honey and a pineapple tropical fruit sweetness to the lingering finish, the key to the excellence of this wine is the balance of acidity to sweetness. M was for Martinborough & Manu. 11.5% alc. $24.99. 13Jul2011.
A fragrant, straw coloured wine that initially gives the impression of being dry but it's the vibrant and intense lemon-like acidity that masks the honeyed richness (from a small percentage of botrytised grapes) and baked apple sweetness. A penetrating wine with a phenomenally juicy finish. 11.5% alc. 20 g/l residual sugar. $24.99. 2May2012.

Misha's Vineyard Limelight Riesling 2010 – Bannockburn, Central Otago (sc) This water pale, medium-dry Riesling has a beguilingly aromatic citrus blossom and honeysuckle perfume and tastes mouth-wateringly juicy with edgy acidity to balance the grapey, red apple sweetness, an infusion of spice, and a seamless, silky texture. It's just delicious! 11.5% alc. $26.99. 4May2011.

Olssens 'Annieburn' Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) Pale straw with a 'white diamond' edge - ever so slightly oily in appearance. Taut acidity tempers the sweetness, which makes it seem of the dry side of medium in style. Served chilled it is hugely refreshing with flavours of heritage apples, a slither of lime and a long tangy finish. 9.5% alc. $32.99. 19Jan2011.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Riesling 2010 (sc) The fresh citrussy aroma is tantalising and inviting and the flavours are juicy with tropical fruit to the fore and citrus that tends towards grapefruit. It has beautifully balanced sweetness to acidity with the perceived sweetness on the dry side of medium. A scintillating match to seafood. 7.6 g/l rs. 12.5% alc. $21.87 1Jul2011.

Pasquale Waitaki Valley Riesling 2010 (sc) There's a fine seam of lemon and hints of lemon-scented thyme and something that's almost like pepper on the nose of this powerful rendition of Riesling that can even stand up to a pre dinner nibble of tomatoes and blue cheese on crackers. The bouquet evolves beautifully and the palate is rich and weighty with ripe citrus flavours packing a punch and the thirst-quenching finish has balance and roundness. It's seems very dry but there are some lovely floral intonations coming through and it leaves behind a sliver of sweetness - despite the low pH and excruciatingly high TA that on the Riesling scale would be considered dry. 12% alc. $30.00.1Mar2011.

Pasquale Waitaki Riesling 16 2010 (sc) Straw gold with a tarragon infused citrussy scent, this fresh, racy Riesling is juicy and thirst quenching with a long lingering finish. Shows exquisite balance of acidity to the delicate sweetness, which doesn't seem as sweet as the 16 grams on the label would suggest. 11% alc. $27.99. 14Dec2011.

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Waipara Dry Riesling 2010 (sc) This concentrated, full-bodied, heady wine is one of the richest NZ Rieslings I've tasted. It's quite yellow in colour; the bouquet emanates spice, preserved lemon peel and nectar-filled blossoms, and there is a lively citrus theme running through the palate. Typical of the Pegasus Bay Rieslings, there is also a touch of spritz from a small amount of retained CO2. A lovely, rich, intense wine with an infusion of anise-like herbs and a clean marmalade finish. Lots of intriguing sweet/sour effects. 14% alc. $31.95. 1Dec2012.

Peregrine Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) Light bright gold with a fragrant aroma of citrus zest, talc and honeysuckle, this is a unusually dry styled riesling that has succulence and concentration with exciting toasty, bottle age characters and a lime marmalade tang. Mouthfilling with terrific length, it’s great to see a more mature style on the table. 13% alc. $19.99. 4Mar2015.

Peregrine Rastasburn Central Otago Riesling 2010 (sc) Light yellow gold. Enticingly aromatic with aromas and flavours of beeswax, botrytis, flower nectar and pollen-like honeyed notes. A luscious style but not overly sweet with a flinty, slippery / slatey feel to the texture and bright acidity piquing the long juicy finish that’s filled with citrus and flower nectar with a sherbet-like zing. Bottle age adds richness, intensity and complexity. 12% alc. $21.99. 7Oct2015.

Richmond Plains Nelson Riesling 2010 (sc) Delicate aromas of honeysuckle, tropical fruit to start but opens up to emit lots of zest. Off dry with plenty of freshness, like biting into a juicy apple with freshly squeezed mandarin, a subtle hint of spice. Juicy, nice, and finishes dry with a silky impression. 12 g/l rs. 12% alc. $19.99. 1Jul2011.

Saint Clair Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Zesty citrus aromas lead into a crisp racy palate that's like green apples at first then melon joins in with an underpinning of mandarin and lemon, tropical fruit and hints of apricot with tarragon joining the finish. High acid style. 10.6 g/l rs. 12% alc. $21.50 1Jul2011.

Seresin Memento Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Pale. Barley sugar sweetness to the scent. Racy acidity in the palate to keep the sweetness in check, but the fruit wins through in the end. Like a freshly made apple juice with orange and lemon and a tickle of ginger adding extra zest with some honey in there for richness. Waves of sweet and sour with lovely purity and length. Only criticism is that at first the acidity seems a little astringent. OK. 32 g/l rs. 11% alc. $28.00. 9Jul2011.

Sherwood Stratum Waipara Riesling 2010 (sc) This pale lemon coloured, delicately floral wine has nutty nuances to the bouquet and light pear and apple flavours with a touch of lime, a suggestion of ginger-like spritz and a steely freshness to the zingy finish. Brilliant value for everyday drinking. 12.5% alc. $9.99. 24Oct2012.

Spy Valley Envoy Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) There's a lime-coloured tinge to the light gold hue and while it seems dry in comparison to the Fromm it is actually medium in style. There's a suggestion of kero on the nose and hints that it will develop more kero with time while a toastiness is starting to permeate the juicy citrus, toffee apple and exotic tropical fruit flavour profile. A refined and silky textured wine with exceptional length and drinking beautifully now. 10% alc. $30.99. 26Feb2014.

Spy Valley Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Floral and fruity with aromas of citrus and toast – it seems like there could be some bottle development there, but it’s only a year. A seemingly dryish style with talc and lime and lots of orange marmalade and zest. Seems quite spicy at the end. Is this a departure from the Spy Valley style? RTP scale on the back label says ‘medium dry’. Worked a treat with slow cooked pork cooked with soy and anise. 10.5 g/l rs. 13% alc. $20.30 16Dec2011.

Te Mania Nelson Riesling 2010 (sc) Inviting zesty citrus aromas and a fresh juicy flavours of limes and tropical fruit with wonderful balance of acidity to the off dry sweetness. Fresh and harmonious with focus to the long juicy finish. A class act. 13% alc. $18.99. 1Jul2011.

Tohu Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Very pale in colour with aromas of apple and pear while apple, citrus and honeysuckle fill the palate. A youthful wine, just off dry in style, with refreshing acidity to balance the juicy fruit sweetness and tropical fruit, with hints of passionfruit lingering on the bright, clean finish. 12.5% alc. $16.99 10Nov2010.
Floral with apple skin scents, it's citrussy and juicy to the taste with lemon and apple reigning supreme and honeysuckle nuances on finish. Evolves to become moderately weighty and the racy acidity is bracing. 12.5% alc. $16.99. 23Feb2011.
A slightly earthy smelling wine with a hint of honey and day old orange skin to the fore. This is vibrant and tangy with richness and intensity, juicy citrus and well balanced acidity with a layer of honey at the end, A wine that has improved terrifically in the bottle, and will improve even more in the cellar. 12.5% alc. $NA.! 30May2012.

Two Rivers 'Juliet' Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Fresh and juicy and noticeably sweeter with an inviting bouquet of honeysuckle and sweet citrus and exciting tangy flavours with hints of ginger joining honey, tangelo and lime. 12% alc. $20.99. 29Sep2010.

Villa Maria Private Bin Dry Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Bright and tangy with a rich, almost oily texture and scintillating juicy fresh citrus that cuts through any fat and tropical fruit bursting through on the long, dry and very tasty finish. 12.5% alc. $12.99. 25Nov2010.
Vanilla biscuit and citrus aromas and a zesty undercurrent to the apple and tropical fruit flavours. Fresh when chilled to the bone, like it was when tasted, with a touch of lemon pith and a lingering crisp dry finish. 12.5% alc. $12.999 4May2011.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010 (sc) A hint of grapefruit blossom on the nose carries through to the vibrantly citric palate where lemon, lime, mandarin peel, grapefruit infused with exhilarating zest add brightness to the mouthfeel with a beautifully balanced finish bringing it just off the cusp of bone dry. 12% alc. $23.99. 22Feb2012.
Fresh scent of lime and flint and quiveringly racy in the palate, although it is noted it was chilled for two hours before tasting. Full-bodied, earthy and dry with green apple and lime, and a smidgen of honey to soften the edges. 12% alc. $23.99. 5Sep2012.

West Brook Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) A more earthy, malic style with floral and citrus aromatics, it's medium dry in style with mid palate fruit sweetness and good acid balance. At first it seems a little shy but it bursts out of its shell and builds in power with a weighty richness and flavours of quince and lime. A very good wine to age. 11.5% alc. $18.99. 23Feb2011.
Pale coloured, with a fresh-cut lemon aroma, and lemony flavours, like fresh lemons just picked off the tree. With a weighty mid palate and a crisp dry finish, it's reminiscent of a memories-of-childhood lemon and honey drink and the flavours linger for ages. 11.5% alc. $18.99. 10Aug2011.
Delicate nose of honeysuckle florals with a hint of apple butter. Quite toasty and fleshy with clean cutting vibrant acidity, it's mouthfilling with concentrated fruit heading towards tropical. Exciting bittersweet ying and yang and the top wines of the West Brook vertical tasting. 18 g/l rs.10.5% alc. $19.50. 1Dec2012.

2009 Vintage [top] [index]

Abbey Cellars Hawkes Bay Riesling 2009 (sc) Sewing machine oil on nose. More in palate. Really Germanic in style. Makes me think low alcohol with an oily texture yet it is also quite zesty and spicy with the heat of ginger behind it and a delicate nuance of flower musk. Really liked this. No discernible fruit but heaps of Riesling character. 11.5 % alc. $17.95. 4Nov2010.

Amisfield Central Otago Dry Riesling 2009 (sc) Fragrant pretty floral aromatics with some gris-like pear and zesty lime adding brightness and freshness, and a well-balanced palate where orange and limes play in harmony. Just a touch of sweetness with residual sugar that would make you think off dry, but the finish is dry, crisp and racy with a tsip-tsip-tsip finish (do you know what I mean). 12.2% alc. 7.7g/l rs. $30. 9Oct2009.

Astrolabe Experience 'Astrolabe Farm' Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Straw lemon. Mandarin and honeysuckle scents. Light, fresh, juicy and refreshing, lightly honeyed with lots of tangy lemon flavours and zest. Light in texture and light in alcohol, this moderately sweet wine is like a lemon and honey drink and must be chilled to enhance that balancing backbone of acidity. 9% alc. $17.50. 27Nov2009.
Light lemon gold, with a hint of lime curd and green apple on the nose, this an earthy, flinty style of Riesling with concentrated citrus heading towards marmalade or melon and apricot jam. The sweetness is honeyed with a touch of crème brulee toffee, yet it retains good acid balance. It has a powerful presence in the mouth and a lasting finish. 50 g/l rs. 9% alc. $24.99. 9Jul2011.

Bouldevines Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Aromatic with perhaps a hint of toastiness, grapefruit is the immediate fruit impression. It's dry but not bracing with a talc-like slipperiness to the texture and lime peel characters coming through. An excellent example of a dry Marlborough Riesling. Try this with Greek Salad made with white Balsamic. 12.5% alc. $20. 8Jan2010.
Now this is definitely dry, tight, linear and bracing with lime and green apple flavour building in the palate that has mid palate richness and texture. Natural fruit sweetness nicely balances the acidity. 12.5% alc. $15.99. 24Feb2010.

Chard Farm Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) A light gold coloured, textural looking wine. The bouquet is perfumed and floral and the taste is intriguing with some fruity exoticness – yet it tastes like it has some age. Beautifully harmonious and rich with a delicate honeysuckle nuance to the pure citrus flavours, and an underlying flintiness coming through, it finishes with a touch of sweetness to indicate to me it's off dry. 16 g/l rs. 12.5% alc. $24.00. 2Nov2011.

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Riesling 2010 (sc) Lemon gold with a wonderful aromatic presence, the toasty lime and hints of kero suggest a little age while adding complexity to the juicy red apple and citrus flavours. It has 12 grams/litre residual sweetness but with its flinty undercurrent, seems to finish reasonably dry. 11.5% alc. $16.99. 25Sep2013.

Clos St William Waipara Riesling 2009 (sc) This light gold-coloured wine has lovely richness and roundness with honey, tangelo juice, tangelo zest and even a hint of rose petal. At the ripest end of the Riesling spectrum, when served chilled it has well-balanced soft acidity, a lovely slippery texture and flavours of red apple coming through. A Riesling for Pinot Gris drinkers. 12.5% alc. $22.99. 1Dec2010.

Coopers Creek Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Straw gold with a citrussy tang to the pohutukawa honey aroma, it has racy acidity yet tastes like it is on the edge of medium dry. Clean juicy fruit is in the sweet citrus spectrum with a touch of honeysuckle on the clean, juicy finish. With a little spritz to the texture, it's a lighter styled, summery, daytime wine. 12% alc. $16.00. 9Dec2011.

Domain Road Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) Aromatic, fragrant, floral scents introduce this crisp, dry, juicy style with lemon curd, tropical fruit and lavender nuances and a touch of honey on the finish. Really suits being chilled. Technically an 'off dry' style. 13% alc. $19.99. 24Feb2010.

Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) An off dry style with floral aromas and juicy flavours with lots of freshly squeezed mandarin and oranges with a touch of ginger, bright tangy zest and a memory of Granny Smith apples. 12% alc. $16.99. 25Nov2009.

Felton Road Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) A medium sweet Riesling that's so reminiscent of a manuka honey and freshly squeezed lemon drink with just a hint of ginger. Shows lovely fresh acid-driven purity to balance the honey-like sweetness with an earthy bee pollen character running through it and zingy finish. Best served well chilled to further pronounce the nervy acidity. 10%alc. $NA. 4Aug2010.

Forrest The Doctors Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Very pale in colour with perfumed, floral, sweet citrus scents, this tastes sweetish too with lots of tropical juiciness, spiced apple, limes and a light viscosity to the texture. There's a tug of acidity behind the moderately sweet veneer and the quenching flavours persist for ages. 40 grams per litres of residual sugar. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 18Nov2009.
Quite honeyish and medium sweet with a lovely tug of sweet citrus acidity, juicy tropical fruit and honeysuckle. A delicate style of Riesling - light bodied with light alcohol, yet persistent, and long. 40 grams per litres of residual sugar. 8.5% alc. $19.99. 24Feb2010.

Forrest The Valleys Brancott Riesling 2009 – Marlborough (sc) Light gold, clear and bright. Gorgeous aroma of honeysuckle and citrus with a salted lime tang. Juicy, almost luscious in the palate with succulent fruit, a talcy, spicy, honeyed overlay and a crisp, tangy, dry, racy finish with a fresh, zesty character that is so bright it is almost peppery. Incredibly quenching. 13.5% alc. $18.99. 7Oct2015.

Goldridge Estate Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Earthy aroma. Steely, a little spritzy, apple and ginger with a fat honeyed richness behind it and then a zing of marmalade - good tug of sweetness and acidity. Interesting, intriguing. 13 % alc. $15.95. 4Nov2010.

Greenhough Apple Valley Riesling 2009 (sc) A delicious Nelson Riesling - light, bright, fresh and zesty - like freshly squeezed orange, mandarins and limes with a touch of ginger and honeysuckle sweetness. Most of all the exciting tanginess to the finish and old-fashioned yellow skinned apple the lasting memory. 10% alc. 32 g/l rs. $19.00. 24Oct2009.

Growers Mark Bone Dry Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) There's a slight toasty kero nuance to the bouquet and the taste, as the label says, is dry. Edgy and crisp, it is full of flavours of limes – reminiscent of Roses lime juice in fact but of course with more body and weight – and the finish is fresh and racy with loads of flint. 12.6% alc. $14.99. 27Feb2013.

Hawkshead Central Otago Bendigo Riesling 2009 (sc) Earthy on the nose but so fruity and juicy to the taste - this piercing style of Riesling has loads of green and red apple flavours with a tickle of ginger. The well-balanced fruit sweetness that tames the quivering acidity and leaves a gentle impression in the mouth. 9.5g/l rs. 13% alc. $22. 16Feb2010.

Main Divide Waipara Riesling 2009 (sc) Light gold in colour, the perfume is musky - a little reminiscent of Cecile Brunner rose initially, then mandarin aromas cone to the fore. Fresh and fruity with a zesty impression, a tingle of spritz adding to this effect, it's full of juicy apple, citrus and lime sherbet flavours with a touch of sweetness adding to its allure. 11.5% alc. Screwcap. $17.99. 7Jul2010.
A gorgeous floral bouquet full of honeysuckle and citrus blossoms - beautiful. Great seam of citrus-like acidity - tantalising sweet citrus -balances the off dry sweetness. There's a depth to this wine and an amazingly long finish. Delicious. Perfection. 11.5 % alc. $19.95. 4Nov2010.

Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Riesling 2009 (sc) Lemon gold. Delicate citrus zest and honey suckle aromas lead into an off dry mouthful of spicy, zesty, tangy flavours with a honeysuckle sweetness coming through to balance the citrussy tartness. There's a talc-like smoothness to the texture and juicy the finish is long and balanced. 13% alc. $17.95. 15Dec2009.

Misha's Limelight Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) The scent hints of moderate sweetness and the flavours exude apple, lime and honeysuckle with hints of tropical fruit and just a touch of oiliness to the texture. A concentrated style with a weighty finish and later, when the wine has warmed up, there's a strong sense of grapefruit. I think this is going to develop beautifully like the 2008 has with that extra year of age. 26g/l rs. 11.9% alc. $26. 18Nov2009.
Light lemon gold in colour the aromas radiate sweet ripe tropical fruit and the flavours brim with honey tinged with apricot, tangelo and lime. Moderately viscous in texture with musk and honeysuckle lingering, this is a medium sweet style that can be very well chilled. 11.9% alc. $25.99. 30Jun2010.

Mt Beautiful Cheviot Hills Riesling 2009 (sc) Tangy citrus aroma and bright juicy flavours. A lovely fresh tasting wine that’s not too sweet, nor too dry, with harmonious flavours of citrus and flower nectar and a hit of tropical fruit on the long lingering finish. Age becomes this wine that's drinking beautifully now. It is shedding it’s down and becoming a swan. 13.5 g/l rs. 12.5% alc. $23.95. 20Mar2012.

Mt Difficulty Target Gully Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) Gorgeous tropical fruit aromas hinting of passionfruit with a tantalising aura of lime. A medium sweet style (35 to 40 grams per litre of residual sugar) with racy acidity to balance the sweetness, a light viscosity to the texture and an overlay of nectar. With its pineapple FruJu iceblock flavours it's easy to imagine this being frozen into iceblocks - imagine sucking on the Target Gully iceblocks to quench the thirst on a hot, humid February day. Absolutely yum. My rating 5 stars. 9.5% alc. $26.99. 24Feb2010.
Pale lemon with enticing floral, mandarin and tropical fruit scents and juicy, lightly sweetish, apple and citrus with an enchanting hint of flower musk and just a tickle of spritz on the finish. Medium sweet with just the right amount of acidity to add a racy edge. 11% alc. $26.99. 19May2010.

Muddy Water Estate Dry Waipara Riesling 2009 (sc) Light gold with a pleasing lustre to the hue. Lime and other citrus abounds on the nose with a toasty nuance and perhaps a hint of honeysuckle. Loads of citrus in the palate together with crisp apple acidity and a touch of honeyed sweetness to bring it all into balance. There's a delicate, creamy, lime curd kind of character, hints of lemon grass and Royal Gala apples adding crispness to the lingering finish which becomes quite rounded. 12% alc. $29.00. 26Jan2010.

Muddy Water James Hardwick Riesling 2009 (sc) This gorgeous, refreshing, juicy Riesling is the perfect aperitif or pre-taster. It's lemon citrine in colour, smelling fresh and floral and tasting so tantalising fresh and juicy with lime sherbet and zesty tangelo brightness with perfectly balanced acidity to balance the medium sweetness and if you want, just a smidgen of kero creeping in. 13% alc. $12.99. 9May2012.

Muddy Water Unplugged Waipara Riesling 2009 (sc) Light to medium gold, the colour indicates botrytis and the aroma confirm this. The heady seductive scent is everything you expect from great late harvest styles. Apricot, honeysuckle, an infusion of lime ginger marmalade. The texture is viscous, like thick nectar, with tantalising orange honey and oriental spice. Then this hit of acidity with zesty ginger and apricot and to balance it there's an intriguing oily character and then iced peach. As it lingers, gingerbread men say hello. Outstanding. Can't say anything more except yum, yum, yum. Botrytis is perfect. 77 g/l rs. 13.5% alc. $29.00. 9Jul2011.
Rich gold, like a Chardonnay in appearance, this rich tasting wines has tantalising honey / toffee aromas and so much more in the palate. Decadently sweet, late harvest undoubtedly, luscious, juicy, seductive in every way. Even though two years older than the previous two, it still has fresh acidity and a delicious infusion of tangy zest. 13.5% alc. $16.99. 2May2012.

Olssen's Annieburn Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) A rich, concentrated style of Riesling with lime and juicy apple to the fore, it has lowish alcohol with enough residual sugar to put it in the medium sweet category, but high acidity gives an impression of dryness. Young and tight at this stage of its life, it is destined to develop beautifully with a little more time. 10.5% alc. $27.99. 14Apr2010.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Pale lemon in colour, this fresh, young Riesling has honeysuckle, lime and apple aromas and a tickle of spritz on the palate. A weighty wine with a delicate touch, it has tangy citrus and a hint of tropical fruit. A versatile Riesling that's just off dry in style. 13% alc. $13.99. 5May2010.

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2009 – Waipara (sc) Yellow gold coloured with a vibrancy to the floral perfume that's infused with candied grapefruit peel. Slightly oily in texture with kumquat, aromatic spices and some spritzy notes coming through. Refreshing and crisp, and although labelled 'dry', there's some botrytis influence that adds an extra dimension of honeyed sweetness. A complex, full-bodied Riesling with a lasting finish. 14% alc. $30.99. 13Oct2010.
In natural light it's a creamy yellow gold colour with hints of lime curd and marmalade joining flowers and pollen on the bouquet, there's a suggestion of spritz to the texture and the flavours are bright and zesty with honeysuckle, beeswax, grapefruit and pineapple. It's rich, oily, full-bodied and weighty without ever losing delicacy and finesse. And although the label says 'Dry', there's a portion of botrytis in this wine and the tropical fruit finish is juicy and sweet. The back label says it is fermented with indigenous yeasts. 18.5/20. $31.95 S 14% alc. 13Dec2010.

Pegasus Bay Aria Late Picked Waipara Riesling 2009 (sc) Light yellow gold with honeysuckle and citrus blossoms filling the bouquet and the taste is fresh, light, bright, zingy and tangy with candied oranges, tropical fruit and honey syrup. There's a luscious sweetness that's beautifully harmonised by the acidity and then on the finish, grapefruit, and the slightest suggestion of spritz. This outstanding wine comes in a full 750ml bottle. 11% alc. $35.99. 26Jun2013.

Lone Goat Canterbury Winemakers Collection Riesling 2009 (sc) This super Riesling that’s been cellared so you don’t have to is sunshine yellow in the glass with a bouquet of toasted lime, coconut and a papaya-like sweetness– close your eyes and it’s like being on a tropical island. Rounded and almost creamy in the mouth with bright sweet orange marmalade acidity that totally balances the nectar-like sweetness and leaves behind a crisp clean finish. Hints of peach also come to mind. Intensely flavoured and long. 11% alc. $20.99. 8Jul2015.

Mondillo Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) Straw gold coloured, hinting of citrus blossom and honeysuckle on the nose. Served chilled it tastes, young, fresh, crisp and zesty with a dry steely undercurrent and fruit in the lime, lemon and apple spectrum. There's a succulent factor to the lasting finish. Has excellent potential to age. 12.5% alc. $25.99. 9Nov2011.

Neudorf Brightwater Riesling 2009 - Nelson (sc) Light lemon gold. Earthy, pithy aroma. Young, tight, austere kind of Riesling. Plenty of acidity with a fruit sweetness coming through to make the finish more rounded and pleasing than the start. A little plasticine and bubble gum in here too. Fails to excite when first opened, better a couple of days later. 16/20. $22.00 12.5% alc. 8.4 g/l rs. 8.4 g/l TA. 26Jan2010.

Richmond Plains Nelson Riesling 2009 (sc) Light gold. Floral aromatics with hints of citrus, definitely Riesling though not screaming it out. There's a nice kind of savouriness to the wines, a savouriness balancing the acidity, perhaps a herb flower scent? Which herb? Lovely balance in this wine - it floats across the palate with its silky texture and there's a touch of a honeyed richness coming through while the fruit is reminiscent of orange and tangelo with hints of stonefruit. Has a delicacy, a restraint, but everything is there and waiting to evolve. Good long finish with zesty acidity balancing the tangelo sweetness. Lovely to drink. 18/20.12.5% alc. $19.99. 26Jan2010.

Rimu Grove Nelson Riesling 2009 (sc) Dry earthy, a hint of plasticine to scent so it is surprising to find it off-dry and delicately honeyed in palate - yet the acid creeps up and hits you in the face on the finish. Love the purity of this wine. Lime, mandarin, florals and sweet apple with a smidgen of honey. Very true to type and easy to drink. Chilling adds concentration. 12 % alc. $29.00. 4Nov2010.

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Earthy nose, but a very subdued aroma when chilled. Seems quite dry with a kick of lemon coming through yet juicy and refreshing. Chilling brings out a spritziness but also a little astringency. 12 % alc. $20.95. 4Nov2010.

Seresin Estate Marlborough Memento Riesling 2009 (sc) Pale coloured, spritzy lime on nose with melon jam and citrus, a hint of kero too. Just off dry, lovely richness and power, lovely smooth texture, honeysuckle, sweet citrus, tropical fruit and a little honey coming through on the finish. Some toasty notes creeping in. Not too aggressive. Served lightly chilled it's delicious. 10 % alc. $27.50. 4Nov2010.

Sherwood Estate Waipara Riesling 2009 (sc) This deliciously refreshing aperitif style is coloured citrine and crammed with tropical fruit and honeysuckle with scintillating lime-like acidity bringing the sweetness into balance. For those who loved the 2008 tasted recently, this is quite a different style. Be sure to served chilled for utmost enjoyment this summer. 13.5% alc. $9.99. 21Dec2011.
Rich gold coloured with tantalising aromatics of honeysuckle and mandarin and honeyed and sweet to the taste with juicy sweet citrus and a nice touch of viscosity – it's clean, fresh, zingy and zesty despite the 'medium' sweetness. A touch of Botrytis adds lusciousness. Chill to the bones for the utmost enjoyment. I enjoyed it more this time than the last. 13.5% alc. $9.99. 25Jan2012.
Like sunshine in the glass, the honey and apricot aromas and flavours radiate sunshine too. A rich, medium sweet and quite luscious style with beeswax adding a savoury layer and the fresh tang of grapefruit at the end - it makes you think sunshine on a rainy, wintry day. Perfect with dried fruit and creamy blue cheese. 13.5% alc. $9.99. 16May2012.

Sileni The Don Hawkes Bay Riesling 2009 (sc) Buttery gold in colour and a buttery nuance to the floral, blossomy scent. It smells tantalising and tastes of bottle developed deliciousness with plenty of underlying zingy acidity yet with the complexities and toastiness of age. The orange curd-like creaminess and acidity are in harmony and the finish is well balanced, penetrating and clean. 6.3 g/l rs. 11.5% alc. $19.99. 9Dec2011.

Te Mania Nelson Riesling 2009 (sc) Lemon gold. Floral, citrussy aroma with a hint of bubble gum. A sweeter style, but not sure if sweetness makes the wine better. The bubble gum esters come through in palate indicating this wine is very young. Sweet citrus - tangelo / mandarin, a touch of honey, a little spice, underlying earthiness. Quite drinkable in a light, refreshing, zesty style. Good long finish. I think it will age well. Needs another year. 16/20. 12% alc. $18.99. 26Jan2010.

Toi Toi Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Light lemon in colour with sweet juicy aromatics, this medium weight Riesling smells off dry but is actually quite dry to the taste with flavours of lemon, green apple and lime with a touch of honeysuckle adding a hint of sweetness to the long dry finish. 13% alc. $19.99. 23Sep2009.
Zesty aromatics radiate juicy citrus and honeysuckle and the concentrated flavours deliver orange peel, lime and hints of tropical fruit. A medium dry Riesling with just enough sweetness to make it a deliciously juicy quaffer. 13% alc. Screwcap. $17.99. 18Aug2010.
A dry smelling Riesling, it tastes dry too- very dry with talc and lime and an underpinning of ginger. Lovely texture and some nuances that make me think Australian. 12 % alc. $19.99. 4Nov2010.

Vidal Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Very pale gold. A fresh, fruity Riesling with a sweet citrus and spring flower fragrance and juicy lemon and mandarin flavours with youthful acidity balanced perfectly by a juicy, tropical fruit sweetness. 13% alc. $15.99. 16Sep2009.

Villa Maria Dry Reserve Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) Concentrated scents of oyster shell, honeysuckle, lime. Racy acidity infiltrates the palate. There’s a salty minerality, and a palate-awakening crispness from the 9 grams of acidity (this is high) and even though it has 8 grams of residual sugar, on the International Riesling Scale it is considered dry. Made to be a serious wine, zingy lemon flavours linger. 11% alc. $23.99. 8Jun2011.
With a bouquet of citrus, talc and honeysuckle, this pale straw Riesling looks and tastes youthful too. It is dry, tangy, steely and racy yet has juicy fruit sweetness from the array of citrus flavours with a hint of tarragon on the crisp, fresh and very long-lasting finish. 11% alc. $21.99. 16May2012.

Waimea Nelson Classic Riesling 2009 (sc) Aromatic, citrus scents lead into a concentrated, weighty palate that, when chilled, is reminiscent of lemon and honey with a lovely orange zest brightness. Off dry in style with mouthwatering acidity to keep everything in balance. 12% alc. $17.99. 29Sep2010.
With honeysuckle, lime and apple-skin aromas, this juicy, mouth-watering Riesling is packed with an array of apple and citrus flavours with a touch of ginger and honey. It's just off dry with the sweetness beautifully balancing the nervy acidity and the finish is fresh and long. 12% alc. $17.99. 17Nov2010.

Westbrook Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) A refreshing, pale coloured Riesling with sweet citrussy scents, like late season mandarins, with a hint of ginger and lime sherbet. It's moderately dry but has a touch of touch of sweetness, a tickle of spritz from the ginger and lime and a juicy tropical fruit finish. 12% alc. $15.99. 25Nov2009.
Laced with citrus and honey, this just loves being chilled, the chilling adding verve to the delicious juicy mandarin and tropical fruit flavours. Off dry in style, it seems a little sweet on first tasting but the high acidity quickly brings that notion into check. Has developed beautifully since it was last tasted. 12% alc. $15.99. 24Feb2010.
The bouquet of this wine is a little 'cheesy'. Earthy (potter's clay) at first, becoming quite bold and toasty with vibrant mandarin acidity, just delightful with its density and concentration. With racy acidity to balance the sweetness it presents as medium dry and is drinking nicely now. 14 g/l rs. 12.2% alc. $19.50. 1Dec2012.

Wild Earth Central Otago Riesling 2009 (sc) This is a pretty little thing. It's off dry to medium in sweetness level with citrus, spice, tropical fruit and plenty of zest. An easy drinking style with floral notes and hints of lime, it takes chilling well and is sure to please. 12% alc. 5Jan2011.

Wild South Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) A little different in the lineup. A powerful wine, plenty of apple, citrus and ginger, and the finish is long and full. Apples rule. Bit of SO2 perhaps. 12.5 % alc. $18.90. 4Nov2010.

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

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