(2024) This organic certified Riesling from actor Sam Neill's Two Paddocks estate is in the just off-dry style of so many Rieslings from the Central Otago area. Floral, talcum power overtones sit on crisp apple. The palate has that light sherbet sweetness, but a big juicy thrust of lime acidity powers through, then the peach-down hint of tropicality reasserts. This finishes dry and decisive, the clean acid framework winning the day.
(2024) Pleasing floral and lime fresh aromatics, hints of spring flowers, no waxy/mineral notes to speak of. A fair bit of residual sugar here, pitching this firmly into off-dry to medium-sweet territory, plenty of peachy, ripe fruit against a balancing orange acidity. Aperitif style, and well done.
(2024) Always a delight, this 9.5% alcohol Kabinett-style Riesling has more weight and voluptuous texture than might be expected in a Mosel or Rhine example, but has pin-point accurate acid balance too. Hints of beeswax and ginger to lovely stone fruit and lime aromas, the sweet and deliciously pure fruit on the palate. The acid balance offsets the sweetness and hints of exotic, tropical fruit beautifully.
(2024) Vintage after vintage I really enjoy this wine. It's the only wine in the Riverby Estate portfolio where the fruit does not come from their own vineyard, hence the sub-brand, Cicada. It's a lovely wine, just off dry but with loads of substance and a bite of dry extract to add to the seriousness. All the hallmark notes of lychee and rose petal are there, but the peachy ripeness of the mid-palate fruit and the way it merges into that crisp, powerful finish whilst retaining a hint of szechuan-friendly sweetness, is marvellous.
(2024) Ultra reliable, just off-dry Riesling, this comes from a dedicated block of the Riverby vineyard. Slate and wet river stones, with a very delicate waxiness. Yellow apple and lime fruit, something a little floral too? Peachy sweet as it strikes the palate, but bracing acidity slices through that fruit juiciness and sweetness. Rounded and creamy-textured, it's both sophisticated and crowd-pleasingly delicious.
(2023) Let's start with a pedantic note: Gewürztraminer, with an umlaut, is the German spelling, so not necessary on this French Gewurztraminer. Down to business, and what we have is an Alsace wine, off-dry, and tinged with pink/bronze as is typical for this variety which has skins that mature to a deep blush red. The nose has the hallmark rose petal and exotic spice perfume, but it is relatively subtle here. In the mouth the wine is quite full textured, and has a peach juice and yellow plum character to the mid-palate, before gentle lemon acidity pushes through on the finish. Always a banker with Chinese or other spicy and aromatic cuisines. Watch the video for more information.
(2023) Run on biodynamic principles, Kühling-Gillot's vineyards lie on red slate close to the river in Rheinhessen. This off-dry white has 11g/l of residual sugar. The nose has a suggestion of custardy tones, but moves more into lime and beeswax, a hint of spiciness too. In the mouth the sweet edge is sliced through by the lemony concentration of the wine - though it is not aggressive, with some weight and richness in the finish.
(2023) With 11g/l of residual sugar this off-dry wine comes from vineyards around 20 years old planted at 225 - 400 mtres. There is schist soil here with some quartz, over clay. Creamy and buttery here, lots of ripe, peach pie character with a cut of apple zestiness. In the mouth it is rich rather than out and out sweet, with a full texture and so much peach and apricot succulence and sweet fruit. Lovely acidity, a light spice, and such a lovely full-bodied off-dry white.
(2023) From a 19-year-old vineyard on clay at 100 metres, this is distinctly off-dry with 22.8g/l of residual sugar but noticeably a pH of just 2.95 so acidity is key. Very appealing, lightly honeyed nose. The palate has a silkiness and fine balancing acidity. It is limey, as is the fruit, with delicate floral and glacé fruit notes. Stockist and price quoted is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2023) The brand is named after Maria Severa Onofriana, Portugal's first Fado singer to reach international fame. It is a distinctly spritzy Vinho Verde, featherlight with just 8.5% alocohol. Unfortunately, to my palate there's also a residual sugar sweetness to the wine, whereas I want my Vinho Verde to be dry and appetising. The sweetness against the lemony thrust of the acidity doesn't sit too happily for me.