This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20081112.php.
New Zealand Riesling
During this month's Wine Focus on the world's styles of Riesling, I've been spending the first couple of weeks Down Under. Having tried a couple of excellent Rieslings from Australia last week, I thought I'd move east this time and try one from New Zealand.
In this sample of one, at least, I find a considerable difference in style. While the Aussie Rieslings (one each from Western Australia's Frankland River and from South Australia's Clare Valley) won my instant affection with their bone-dry, focused, minerally and acidic style, this particular Kiwi Riesling struck me as a close and admiring emulation of the German style.
Indeed, the back label on the Daniel Schuster 2006 Riesling from the Waipara wine region in New Zealand's North Canterbury declares the wine a "classically structured, German-style Riesling." Upon tasting, I can buy that. It's fragrant and floral, with good acidity cloaking a perceptible level of fresh-fruit sweetness. I don't pick up the minerality that elevates the best Rieslings of the Mosel, but the overall impression is close. My tasting notes are below.
I hope many of you will open your choice of Rieslings and join us in discussing them this month. To participate in Wine Focus, click to
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Daniel Schuster 2006 Waipara Riesling ($13.99)
Transparent pale gold. Tiny bubbles line the glass. Heady floral aroma, reminiscent of gardenias, along with plenty of ripe Riesling mango. Textured and off-dry, white fruit and gentle fresh-fruit sweetness. Light 10.5% alcohol is well balanced by mouth-watering acidity. A bit surprisingly for a New Zealand white, it's closed with a natural cork, not a screw cap. U.S. importer: American Estates Wines Inc., Philadelphia. (Nov. 8, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: Riesling is one of the most versatile food wines. This one went well with a seafood risotto with bite-size chunks of cod.
VALUE: Hard to beat at this low-teens price, which appears to be a dollar or two below the national median.
WHEN TO DRINK: Drinking nicely now, but as with virtually all quality Rieslings, it's likely to cellar well for a few years at least.
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