I recently attended a huge riesling tasting, featuring lots of great Aussie wines, and also rieslings from around the world – including Germany of course, New Zealand, and US.  Below is a picture of the full lineup, which is prohibitively large to provide a detailed writeup.  But the wines were served in flights, so I’ve picked out my favourite from each flight, as below.

So my favourite wines were:

Orlando Steingarten Riesling 2002 (Eden Valley):  This was served as part of a four vintage vertical, including the ’01, ’02, ’03, and ’05.  There was a good consistency in style to these wines, with a classic lime cordial aroma/flavour and strong acidity.  They were all lovely, but the 2002 just had an extra dimension of depth and flavour, and was very refreshing to drink.

Jim Barry Florita Riesling 2005 (Clare Valley):  The nose was a little shy, with hints of spice and smoke, but the palate was rich and delicious.  Lovely fresh citrus and green apple flavours, with good length and acid line.

Chateau St Michelle Eroica Riesling 2008 (Washington State, US):  A very toasty and smoky nose, with a nice floral lift.  This was nice to drink, very lemony and with a sherberty tingle too.  It was very nicely balanced with lemon and floral flavours.

Taylors St Andrews Riesling 1994 (Clare Valley):  It was great to have a few older Aussie rieslings in the tasting, as the grape is capable of such excellent cellaring and transformation.  Aged riesling often puts on palate weight and richer flavours.  This one had nice notes of honeysuckle, ground spices, coffee and caramel.  Drinking very nicely, with a nice rounded body, and a tasty caramel finish.

Auburn Alexandra Riesling 2011 (Central Otango, NZ):  This wine was made in an off-dry style, with 15g/L of residual sugar.  I find some NZ wineries do very well with this style, while some others struggle to keep the sweetness in balance.  This wine was slightly sweet but not overdone, and retained good sugar to acid balance.  It had nice lychee, floral, and slightly grassy aromas and flavours.  Very interesting and harmonious.  We drank this with a few other off-dry wines, which to me were overly sweet and more in the dessert style.

JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreick Riesling Auslese 2007 (Mosel, Germany):  Germany is the homeland of riesling, and while the rest of the world offers some excellent styles, the Germans remain the benchmark.  This excellent wine had redcurrant and lime flavours, with great palate weight and pleasant sweetness.  This wine had lovely harmony of fruit, sweetness, and acid structure.  I often find the wine of JJ Prum to show excessive sulfur when young, but this wine, which we decanted a couple of hours prior to serving, had no such problem.

We finished off with a few red wines too, and I’ll comment on a couple of those in a separate post.

This entry was posted in Australian Wine, Central Otago, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, German Wine, New Zealand wine, Riesling. Bookmark the permalink.

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