These tasting notes accompany our feature on Marlborough as part of our New Zealand 2020 series
(2020) Nice peppery note to the cool, firm white fruit. Lovely palate, full of fruit and bursting with zesty orange flavour. Long and deliciously spicy, a touch of sours in the finish.
(2020) Younger more pear drop and confectionary notes than the 2018, lemon jelly, a little yeasty character, then fresh, pure and long citrus finish. Dry in the finish and a bit of grip. Very young.
(2020) Gently herbaceous, a coolness to the fruit, a touch of exotic fruit comes through, then on the palate lovely balance - not too herbaceous, a big thread of dry and pithy acidity, and a touch of minerals/salts at the finish.
(2020) What a terrific wine, just starting to mature. A blend of 70/30 Sauvigon and Semillon, the Semillon fermented and matured in all new French oak. Lovely nose, a bit of herbaceous character, a bit of oily green bean, the creaminess of the background oak, there is a burst of fruit, the lemon and lime jelly acidity is truly lovely. It's three years since I tasted this last, and it has put on a little weight and complexity since. No UK stockist at time of review.
Riverby Estate, Dry Riesling 2018Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry White, Screwcap, 12.0% abv
(2020) Very clean, very fresh, a real punch of zestiness, a bit of stone Fruit, develops a bit of nice weight on the palate, not oily, but just a fairly substantial weight, and long, shimmering finish. Bone dry feeling in the finish. No UK retail stockists at time of review
(2020) Lovely sweetness suggested over the limey pure fruit. A tiny bit of a kerosene or waxy character in the background, some floral notes. Beautiful fruit, luscious and peachy, but then the tension of apple cores and citrus, a fantastic acidity streaming to the finish. Price and stockist is for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) A little more subdued aromatically compared to the vibrant 2019, a touch of a yeasty character, then more of the florals developing. The palate has more sugar, much more of a Kabinett feel than the 2019, the sweetness set against quite pithy lemon and lime, and a long, clear finish. Price for previous vintage at time of review.
Riverby Estate, Pinot Gris 2019Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry White, Screwcap, 12.5% abv
(2020) Punching its way out of the glass with its vivacious fruit, with citrus and ripe, juicy pear. The palate has huge juiciness and touch of pepper and spice in the finish. A lovely and appealing wine, mixing easy-drinking approachability with a bit of texture and flavour complexity. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
Riverby Estate, Pinot Gris 2018Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry White, Screwcap, 12.5% abv
(2020) Much less aromatic than the ultra-fresh 2019, but the creaminess of the texture is fine on the palate, there’s a lovely stone fruit flavour and quite luscious, driving through to that cool, citrus and apple skin acidity and touch of grip against a background hint of richness and sweetness.
Riverby Estate, Chardonnay 2016Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry White, Screwcap, 13.0% abv
(2020) Less pronounced oak influence than the 2018, maybe just subsided with time in bottle, less creamy, but has a similar line of fruit and acidity on the palate, good length, a clean finish. Price and stockist is for a previous vintage at time of review.
Riverby Estate, Chardonnay 2018Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry White, Screwcap, 13.0% abv
(2020) This spends 11 months in French oak, 30% new. Lovely nose of buttery Brazil nut and a touch of nougat, plenty of peach juiciness. The palate is smooth and elegant, the peachy fruit is there, but cut by sweet and ripe lime and a citrus - not sharp, there’s a clean but generous acid profile. Price and stockist is for a different vintage at time of review.
(2020) This appears under the Cicada label because it is the only wine in this line-up not made from estate-grown fruit. Old roses, peach and a touch of Turkish delight. Very floral and aromatic, full of flavour on the palate, great Gewürztraminer character, loads of fruit and sweet nectarine, and the finish flowing with a gentle but pin-point acidity.
(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.
(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.
Riverby Estate, Pinot Noir 2017Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry Red, Screwcap, 12.5% abv
(2020) Pale but bold garnet colour. Delicate perfume, lots of smoky notes intertwined with old roses and briar and cherry. Delicious, plenty of ripeness and a finish that’s balanced with smooth tannins and a bit of chocolate and smoky/spicy character.
Riverby Estate, Pinot Noir 2019Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry Red, Screwcap, 13.0% abv
(2020) Barrel sample. Lots of florals here, lots of lift and fresh red fruits, cherry and a lovely truffle note developing .In the mouth a fine truffle and smoke character, but the flesh and finesse of the fruit are both in lovely balance, a touch of toast and chocolate. A cautious score for now, but a beautiful Pinot with potential to score even higher. Price and stockist for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) This spends 15 months in oak, 40% new, and the best barrels. A meaty aroma here, the colour just developing a touch of maturity on the rim, the fruit sweet and full, a lusciousness here for sure, lots of sweet, voluptuous fruit, lots of spice from the barrels. And long and firm in the fnish. Delicious.
Riverby Estate, Syrah 2019Marlborough, New Zealand, Dry Red, Screwcap, 13.5% abv
(2020) Barrel sample. Violets and florals, a touch of pepper, but very much fruit driven. The oak just adding a bit of deep balsamic flavour. Lithe and creamy on the palate, good acidity and a fresh finish. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
Back to Riverby Estate profile in our feature on Marlborough