In direct contrast to the Chardonnay I reviewed some weeks ago, Riesling is one of my more favoured wines. I may even go so far as to mention “love”, but one must keep a level head about these matters. Add to that the fact today was hot and sunny down under and the task of being the impartial judge becomes that much harder.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Pale
- Colour: Lemon
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Youthful
- Sweetness: Off-dry
- Acidity: Medium
- Tannin: N/A
- Alcohol: Medium
- Body: Medium-
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium+
- Quality: Good – Very Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential for ageing
- Identity: New Zealand / Marlborough / Riesling
- Price: High-priced (~$30)
- Long, thin tears and watery rim
- Aromas of lemon+lime zest, green apple, white florals
- Flavours of green apple, citrus (lemon + lime), honey/floral nectar, almond peel
- Off dry → must be pretty ripe at harvest
- Very refreshing acidity
- Happy to drink by itself
- but may go well with a light
dessert?meal, no heavy sauces. Aperitif!
Pictured: My thoughts when I drink this wine
A high-quality wine needs to be well-balanced and leave a lasting impression, and this Foxes Island Riesling pretty much touches all the necessary requirements. Refreshingly zesty and attractively youthful even after five year in the bottle, this is the kind of quality one is deeply contented to receive at this price level.
Its off-dry status was mildly surprising, and I had to consider long and hard whether it was merely a very pronounced fruit profile that was trying to throw me off or actual sweetness I was tasting. After referencing the winemaker’s website and my textbook, I am relieved to find that I am technically correct, which any bureaucrat would tell you is the best kind of correct. This wine clocks in at 6.4g/L of residual sugar, and anything between 5-9g/L can be considered “off-dry”.
In my notes I wrote “almond peel” as a placeholder for a very slight bitter note on the back palate. However as the wine has warmed up this has become less evident. I was also struggling to come up with a food match for this wine, before remembering that not all wines need food to go with them. I included “Aperitif!” as an afterthought, but was happy to find this mentioned in the winemaker’s notes.
Just a final note on quality – I circled both “Good” and “Very Good”. Here I had the opposite dilemma from the Chardonnay I reviewed previously. As a Riesling aficionado I would exclaim “Very Good!”, but as a rational and professional wine consultant I might need to tone it down a notch – I would have preferred a touch more acidity to counter the off-dryness of the wine, and perhaps a little more body to round off and balance the experience. However I respect that this may have been considered as the wine was aged for three months on the lees, a technique normally associated with Chardonnay.
End of review. Now enough of the professionalism and rationality – I love Riesling and I love this wine, plus the general svelte, slim bottle shape of Riesling is just very pleasing to my eyes, and if I ever invite you over for dinner you must bring a bottle of Riesling or I will serve you a cheap box wine from a phallus decanter.