Riesling has to be the most misunderstood grape variety in the world today, loved by the few that have truly discovered it brilliance but unfortunately, this still remains a small number as the majority of people are still wary of this wonderful grape. This may be down to the Rieslings of the past and those ghastly blue-and-black bottles we endured many years ago (Sorry Blue Nun!) that were full of the dilute, sweet liquid that sadly, many still associate with the variety. Thankfully, this could not be further from the truth and Riesling today is capable of producing a myriad of flavours from bone dry with flinty minerality and crisp orchard and citrus fruits to expressively floral styles with vibrant blossom and honey aromas with the unique aptitude to develop aromas of petrol and kerosene as it ages.

Rieslings homeland is Germany where extremely age-worthy, super premium examples exist in both sweet and dry styles (look for the single word Trocken on the label to indicate dry) a great example of which is Eva Fricke Lorcher Krone Riesling Qba Trocken 2015. However, the cool regions of the new world have taken on the challenge of this notoriously tricky variety with tremendous success. The most famous new world region for Riesling is probably Clare Valley in South Australia where you can find cool, high altitude vineyards that produce bright, crisp Rieslings with distinct flavours of lime and mouth-watering acidity. This is followed by Eden Valley further north but one of the most exciting regions to watch for new world Riesling is Tasmania, Australia’s most southern region, surrounded by windy coastline and influenced by the cool breezes from the Southern Ocean makes it ideal for growing cool climate varieties such as Riesling. Mewstone are located at the southern end of Tasmania sourcing grapes from the most ideal vineyards of the Derwent and Coal River Valleys for their exceptional Hughes & Hughes Riesling.

In Zealand you can find great examples of how well Riesling ages and develops from Martinborough’s Dry River with mature vintage Rieslings from 2010 and 2011. On the east coast of New Zealands south island is the Waipara Valley, a small sub-region of Canterbury and home to Pegasus Bay. Along with the vintage Riesling, Pegasus Bay also produce one of the best new world Rieslings we’ve tasted with their highly complex Bel Canto Dry Riesling, a perfect example of the level the new world is capable of achieving.

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