Celebrated for its award winning Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand is swiftly becoming recognized for its other dazzling wines, such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Representing only 1 percent of its wine production, Riesling is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. Overall New Zealand Rieslings tend to be on the drier side, but with such a diverse climate, terrior and individual producer flair, they can vary greatly in style. Riesling hailing from the alluvial soils and river terraces of Marlborough exhibit a dashing minerality and aromatic intensity. Those from the Waipara region benefit from a long growing season with cool night temperatures and gravel soils, resulting in wines with a rich depth of flavours and aromas.
I had the fantastic opportunity to enjoy two spectacular, food friendly Rieslings at a wonderful evening with Complexity New Zealand at Aureole, NYC. They have compiled an extensive portfolio of “hero wines and winemakers” in order to showcase the amazing wines coming out of New Zealand.
Mud House The Mound Vineyard Riesling 2011
Winery: Established in 1996, with a focus on the earth and environment, the Mud House name reflects their “origin and link to the earth, where the wine begins”. Mud House has vineyards in 3 different regions of New Zealand’s South Island; Marlborough, Waipara Valley and Central Otago, along with two wineries, one in Marlborough and one in the Waipara Valley. Employing a combination of innovative technology along with the “passion and artisan skill of the winemakers” they strive to capture the essence from where the grapes come from, “ensuring the unique complexities of each region travelled through the earth through the vineyard to the glass”.
Tasting Notes: Light in style, easy drinking and incredibly versatile with lemon and fresh herbaceous notes backed by a bright acidity along with a crisp citrus zest finish.
Villa Maria Dry Riesling Cellar Selection 2011
Estate: Founded in 1961 when George Fistonich leased 5 acres in Marlborough from his father, today the family estate has more than 250 employees, exports wine to over 50 countries and is New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Practicing sustainable farming and possessing a long term view of both the environment and the wine business, Villa Maria believes that “sustainability is not an end point but a journey and therefore we are always finding ways to embed sustainable principles into the culture of the organization”.
Tasting Notes: Pale straw in colour with aromas of honey and rain-washed minerals. Big and full in style, yet wonderfully refined, with pear and honeysuckle notes merging into a lengthy, crisp finish of citrus zest and clean minerals.
Media event sponsored by Complexity New Zealand