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(2022) Riverby's take on classic Sauternes, this is 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, with plenty of Botrytis and 13.0% alcohol. It spent 12 months in oak barrels, 50% new, and boast 145g/l of luscious residual sugar. Flooded with apricot - fresh and dried - barley sugar and hints of bergamot/Earl Grey tea, the palate is slippery and viscous, a certain smokiness of mango and papaya, then a star-bright burst of lemon to the acidity. It is an extremely intense and powerful wine, that actually needs food; fully sweet desserts, foie gras or blue cheese, to stand up to the formidable power. This will age for many, many years.
(2020) With 187g/l of residual sugar, marginally less luscious than the 2016, but beautifully toasty and full of lime marmalade. The palate is so rich and creamy, full of honey and Botrytis richness and yet that Botrytis element to give a drier character to the finish, so sweet and yet so well balanced. Price quoted is for 37.5cls, and for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) A Botrytis wine with 200g/l of sugar. Great golden colour, fabulous honeycomb and floral nose, lots of Riesling character as well as the luscious Botrytis, there is toast and such opulent sweetness, full, peach and apricot and fat limey acidity, extending into an endless finish. Lovely creaminess and intensity. Price for a half bottle, for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2017) A few rows in one of Riverby's prime Riesling vineyards have a track record of developing 'The Noble Rot' and so are left on the vine long after the regular harvest. This is unoaked, the full aromatic panoply of beeswax, nectarine, more exotic mango and intense honey and barley sugar allowed to really sing. In the mouth the intensity gives this 11% alcohol wine huge presence: concentrated and sweet with 200g/l residual sugar, the luscious peach and nectarine, sliced through by a delicate but absolutely authoritative lime acidity. Terrific. Price for a half bottle and note: price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2014 vintage and if you are lucky enough to fly Air New Zealand Business Class, you can try it there.
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