Most Rieslings that are produced here in New Zealand won’t be over the $30 mark and even some of the Grand Cru Alsation beauties can be had for $80 or less. Now the Germans on the other hand, take this grape extremely seriously and they produce stunning examples that are low in alcohol, usually 7% to 8% alc that are capable of aging decades in the bottle but these wines can set you back anywhere from $200 to $500 a bottle and that, my friend, is serious money.

The other style of wine that this grape is ideal for are dessert wines. They can be either a Late Harvest or a Noble Rot wine.

Late Harvest are wines that have been left on the vine longer if conditions allow, this enables more flavours to develop and more sugar, therefore you end up with a wine that is sweeter than usual but not intensely so. These wines are great as an aperitif or at the end of a meal with a cheese course.

Noble Rot wines have been affected by Botrytis, [bow-TRY-tiss] or Noble Rot as it is commonly called. This wonderful fungus (botrytis cinerea) enables winemakers to produce astonishing dessert wines. It draws moisture from the grapes, thus concentrating the sugars and aromatic components that remain in the juice. Botrytis typically adds a rich, honeyed character to Riesling when they are young, becoming more complex with age.

So if you are starting a cellar or you are just looking for a fabulous summer drink look no further that the wonderful Riesling grape - below are some lovely examples that I have personally enjoyed probably far too much of!!!

Frank’s top drops this week

Under $20
Wild South Marlborough Riesling 2006 $17.90

One block, three parcels of fruit, multi-layered path to heaven. Florally fragrant, this has a spicy nudge amongst the blossoming beauty, and a fresh lemon / lime oily, powerful lushness. Yum.

Brookfield Ohiti Hawkes Bay Riesling 2007 $19.90
Generous and opulent in style, with cascading lime notes scented with florals of the purest nature. The palate is passionfruit and citrus while theres a luxurious sweetness to lean back and bask in. 

Kim Crawford “The Mistress” Waipara Riesling 2005 $30

Incy wincy residual makes for non-wincey and indeed honey-tinged elixir capable of causing waves of planetary love at sixty paces. Fleshy, grapefruit tart meets honey bunch - imagine it as a Fru Ju.

Nga Waka Martinborough Riesling 2002 $19.90

Riesling has always been Roger's thing, and this thing is jolly decent. Intense lime and citrus notes, with a swerve of mineral candour and structure that suggests she'll loosen a bit under the stairs.

Pierre Sparr Altenbourg Riesling 2001 $41
Delightfully rich mineral, apple and floral notes weave a hedonistic spell to which you will find yourself subdued. It’s unfolding in the glass, one of your truly great wine experiences.  


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