The Rise of Riesling

Image source: Contributed

Tony Cox shares his riesling revelations to celebrate all things ‘spring’.

Welcome to spring and those days where that first kiss of morning sunshine makes you realise how good life is. Add in the waves lapping at the shore, that wondrous invigorating freshness of effervescent foam washing through your toes, and you have to wonder if it get any better?

If spring was to be captured in a wine glass it surely would be riesling!

With the best expressions having a pristine acid line it is no surprise that the finest examples are grown at altitude, higher latitude or in a continental climate which facilitates a bigger diurnal temperature range enabling acid retention.

What better to accompany our abundant fresh seafood than riesling?

The juice! Let’s take a look at some of the key regions in Australia and NZ for some of these delicious drops. Tasmania, Great Southern in Western Australia, Eden and Clare Valleys in South Australia and a shout out to our friends in Central Otago in NZ’s South Island.

Tucked away on Tasmania’s East Coast is the family run Freycinet Vineyard which has the luxury of two qualified winemakers heading up the team. The 2022 Riesling has those trademark lime and floral aromatics with a beautiful, elegant palate, predominantly citrus flavours (think lime and lemon) and precise acid line. Seafood, fresh Asian dishes, fish and chips – perfect.

Head to the southern part of Western Australia and discover the Great Southern region producing stunning riesling, with the elevated Porongurup region creating the finest examples. The 2022 West Cape Howe Porongurup Riesling has that traditional lemon/lime profile with green apple to the fore and again a fantastic acid line. We could be boring and say it will go with the same dishes as Freycinet but just on its own is reward enough for a day of sun and sand.

Traditionally, Clare and Eden Valleys have produced fantastic examples with your scribe preferring the slightly softer wines of the Eden Valley. The 2022 Pewsey Vale 1961 Block experiences a little lees contact which provides a little more texture to the wine whilst not diminishing the linearity and freshness.

Just because he is an all-round good guy and one of very few of NZ’s highest achievers somehow not wanting to take on honorary Aussie status, Sam Neill’s 2022 Two Paddocks Picnic Riesling deserves a mention. The combination of altitude, continental climate and latitude creates a stunning limey, precise wine, reminiscent of classic German riesling. Lovely balance and perfect with a couple slices of soft white bread smothered with Lescure butter, crunchy lettuce, Marie Rose sauce and fresh Mooloolaba prawns, also known as a prawn sanga for the uninitiated – magic!

Now that the weather has turned for the better, the days get longer and warmer, it’s important that we reward ourselves with some of life’s simple pleasures. It doesn’t get any better than fresh, clean seafood washed down with pristine riesling.

Cheers & good drinking!

About the Author /

After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

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