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31 Days of Riesling

31 Days of Riesling

The summer is upon us and it is time to break out one of our favourite grape varieties, the beautiful and occasionally misunderstood Riesling. From its ancestral home in Germany to the hills of Australia this beautiful grape variety produces wines in a wide range of styles and can reflect the terroir of where the grapes are grown in a way most other varieties cannot even dream of. On top of that, Riesling is downright delicious and is great for pairing with food! You do not have to take our word for it, the great Jancis Robinson describes German Riesling, explaining some of its strengths and weaknesses, as follows:

“German wines have never been better made. {…} Riesling. For some, it simply has too much flavour and character. I love it. I love its raciness, its breezy refreshment, its ability to go with so many foods, its crystalline precision, its stately progress to an even more complex old age; and I am thrilled that there are now so many great dry Rieslings in Germany.”

Fiona Beckett put it more succinctly in the National Geographic Traveller when she wrote “Riesling […] one of the wine world's greatest pleasures.”

We agree, and to help you explore the wonderful world of Riesling here are a few of the delightful wines you can find in store, recommended by our Riesling loving staff.

 

Ed recommends the Two Rivers Juliet Riesling from Marlborough New Zealand £16.95

Aromas of ripe citrus and sherbet are mixed with savoury almond notes in this thirst-quenching wine. The palate is delicate and pure with an old-fashioned lemonade type texture, releasing pithy citrus flavours of apricot curd and lime.

Sourced from the Two Rivers Brookby Hill Vineyard, the fruit was hand harvested and gently pressed. The cool fermentation was stopped when the sweetness and acidity were in perfect balance. The wine then rested on yeast lees for three months to gain texture and palate weight.

Matthew recommends the Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Washington State, USA £19.95

Aromatic, smooth, vibrant and tasty. White peach, mandarin orange and apricot are delivered with a core of minerality that makes this dry Riesling shimmer with energy and freshness.

It takes an unconventional winemaker to make a totally unexpected dry Riesling. One night, Charles was eating Chinese takeout and watching a fight scene in a notorious martial arts film when he had an idea: a killer white wine made to be paired with Asian food. Just like that, Kung Fu Girl was born. And it’s been kicking ass and taking names ever since.

 

Lucy recommends the Donnhoff Dry Riesling from Nahe, Germany £21.95

A characterful Riesling from the steeply sloping vineyards of the middle Nahe region and typical of the estate style. Fresh and dry with green apple and lime. A fantastic example of dry German Riesling.

The grapes for the estate dry Riesling are harvested by hand at yields of 50hl/ha from 15-30 year old vines grow in stony, weathered volcanic soils of porphyry and melaphyr in particular, with certain amounts of slate and quartzite. Fermented and matured in stainless steel vats and large oak barrels.

 

James recommends the Rolly Gassman Kappelweg de Rorschwihr Riesling from Alsace, France £39.95

This Riesling displays a powerful character with layers of ripe stone fruit and underlying citrus notes, balanced by a racy acidity culminating in a long complex finish. This wine is a true classic, with the winemaker being a firm staff favourite too.

Rolly-Gassmann have 5.67 hectares of the lieu-dit Kappelweg de Rorschwihr. Located at 220 to 235 metres above sea level, the vines sit on ancient blue-grey marl limestone soil which lends the wines vibrant acidity and intense concentration. The vineyards are managed following organic and biodynamic principles but are not certified.

 

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