March 13th is known across the world as International Riesling Day every year. Riesling is grown all over the world, in France, Austria, USA, Canda, Australia, New Zealnd, with Germany leading production dedicating 56000 acres to growing this Noble Grape. They can range in appearance from pale straw to a deep, golden yellow, however, it is perhaps the aromas of this varietal that are its most defining characteristic.
Riesling wines can express fruit aromas of apple and pear, as well as peach and nectarine, and even tropical notes like pineapple. There can also be some herbal or spicey aromas like honeycomb, ginger, and citrus blossom. Some other aromas like petrol and wax can become more evident as the wines age. All these aromas and flavours are held in balance by the wine’s high acidity, which is similar to lemonade. The sweet, acidic nature of Rieslings make them perfect for pairing with spicey foods like Indian or Thai curries, or even Southern BBQ.
The approach to making Dreissigacker’s Organic Dry Riesling is simple - as little intervention as possible with low yields and careful fruit selection. The palate is packed with refined citrus flavours, floral aromas, and balanced acidity. All the producer’s vineyards are Certified Organic and Biodynamic methods are often used, resulting in excellent fruit quality, hence beautiful balance. 12%.
Walt is an elegant and fruity example of Riesling which expresses a dry, apple crispness, with hints of peach, held in balance with the wine’s hallmark acidity. This is a perfect accompaniment to lightly spiced Asian dishes like Thai Green Curry, or Crispy Honey Chili Chicken. The body is medium, with a prolonged finish, with subtle mineral notes. 11.5%.
Dr. Loosen produce Riesling in the cool climate, slate terroir of Mosul, Germany. This fruity, aromatic Riesling pairs excellently with sushi, and other fish dishes. With flavour notes of peach and white flower, and a lower alcohol level of only 8.5% it’s the perfect pairing for a light lunch. These wines are vegan friendly, organic, and shipped in lightweight bottles. Weingut Dr. Loosen are an EcoStepWine® Certified winery
Gustave Lorentz’s Riesling from Alsace boasts delicate, elegant aromas of white flowers, Granny Smith apples and hints of lime zest. This is a classic dry Riesling, which pairs excellently with delicate fish dishes, lightly spiced Asian cuisine, and would accompany a garden salad perfectly. Lorentz have been certified Organic since 2012. 12.5%.
Loimer’s Riesling from the Kamptal DAC 55 km north of Vienna is bright yellow and gives off delicate aromas of apricots and melon. It has a lovely, long finish, of zingy acidity and lingering notes of apricot. This would pair nicely with fatty dishes like sausage or can highlight the freshness of a salad in the same way as a vinaigrette. Loimer Riesling is vegan friendly, organic, and is produced using biodynamic methods. 11.5%
Riesling isn’t often used in blending because of its distinct aromatic profile, but it does happen. In South America, Amalaya have blended Riesling with Torrontes, Argentina’s most prominent white grape. The result is a crisp, deep flavour, with hints of grapefruit and floral notes, typical of a Torrontes. The Riesling brings a defining complexity and richness to the blend. Amalaya’s wines are Vegan friendly and Sustainably produced. 13%.
Another interesting blend is Golden Mullet Fury’s Riesling Semillon from Australia’s Alpha Box and Dice producers. This skin-contact / orange wine inspired by the wines of Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia has notes of capsicum, butterscotch, and guava. The mouth feel is that of a red wine, but the aromatic nature of Riesling brings this wine to life with lively acidity. Great by itself or paired with Thai fish curry. 12.1%
Pikes Estate’s Hills and Valleys Riesling from Clare Valley, Australia describes itself as soft and light bodied. Its fruity palate is kept in balance by its acidity, and as well as pairing well with lightly spiced curry dishes, this wine works excellently with some Gruyere! 9.5%
Vickery Riesling from Watervale, Australia displays delicate aromas of citrus blossom and zest. The purity of flavour in this wine makes is a wine that has ageing potential, where the secondary aromas of honeycomb and petrol have time to develop. 11.5%
Peter Lehmann’s Wigan Riesling from Eden Valley, Australia displays fruit purity with delicate lemon and lime flavours overlayed with toasted brioche and honey that come from bottle ageing. The natural acidity, and purity of the selected fruit make this another wine that drinks well now, but also has great cellaring potential. 11%.
Two Paddocks Dry Riesling is grown in a warm climate on schist soils. It displays stone fruit aromas of peach and nectarine, followed by a supple and superbly textured mouthfeel. Hot days and cold nights allow the acidity and fresh fruit flavours to develop over a long ripening period. The finish is driven and complex. 13%.
Henry of Pelham Family Estate Riesling Ice Wine is a decadent treat. The aromas of peach and apricot are right there, albeit sweeter, like a jam. Sipped ice cold, this pairs well with strong blue cheeses or fresh fruit for an after-dinner tipple. 9.5%
Their Sibling Rivalry white blend marries Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay for a truly unique experience. Again, the stone fruit and floral aromas a present in this slightly off-dry wine. Bright acidity and fruit flavours of peach and pear compliment the medium body. A fresh seafood salad, or sweet and sour chicken would be ideal pairings with this wine. 12%.