Is riesling the best warm-weather white?
By Campbell Mattinson
16 October, 2015
You might be surprised to hear that riesling can be one of the world’s most expensive white wines. Last week Gary Walsh reviewed a wine called Keller G-Max Riesling 2013 – which carries the cool price of $900. As in, nearly a grand. It fetches this price for three reasons, two of them good.
Riesling, despite what a lot of people think, is one of the world’s great wine grape varieties. It tastes good young, it tastes great old, it’s incredibly food friendly and it’s an incredible soundboard of the land it’s grown on. Most grape varieties use the land as a stage on which to strut. Riesling holds a microphone to it.
That’s one good reason. The other is that G-Max’s riesling is both incredibly high in quality, and incredibly rare, and when those two stars align then invariably the third reason is triggered and/or flushed out: there are few clubs so crazy as the cashed up wine enthusiast club. Crazy prices tend to egg crazy collectors on.
The interesting – and perhaps unique in wine – thing about riesling is that it’s not difficult to find outstanding examples at low-ish prices. Name your price and there’s a brilliant riesling to match. When you also factor that riesling is (generally) unoaked, dry, fruit-driven, fresh and vibrant, with oodles of either flavour or acid or both, then you have yourself a wine better suited to seafood in all its multitude of guises than any other variety on the planet. From sushi to salmon to squid ink linguini, to name but a few, riesling helps make them sing.
Even better, riesling chills down like a dream.
Even betterer still, the most recent Australian riesling vintage – 2015 – was a cracker. So there are heaps of excellent releases around. Like these beauties:
Galafrey Dry Grown Reserve Riesling 2015 ($25)
Eden Hall Riesling 2015 ($22)
Clonakilla Canberra Reisling 2015 ($30)
Tim Smith Eden Valley Riesling 2015 ($25)
Ravensworth Riesling 2015 ($25)
De Bortoli La Boheme Act One Riesling 2015 ($20)
The Wilson Vineyard Watervale Riesling 2015 ($19)
Z Wines Riesling 2015 ($20)
Woods Crampton White Label Riesling ($20)
Jim Barry Watervale Riesling 2015 ($18)