I love Riesling in all its guises, be it young, zesty and fresh, exhibiting the petrol aromas of age or lusciously sweet. Whether from Germany, the place I see as its natural homeland and where a new crop of talented winemakers are making some truly beautiful wines, to Alsace, New Zealand, Australia and Chile. I also love the fact that the styles vary so much not only from country to country but region to region, and winemaker to winemaker as well.
We’ve been championing German Riesling for quite some time, wanting to shake off those old negative connotations of sweet, flabby sugar water and establish some new delicious ones. Dr Loosen from the Mosel has long been a figurehead for German quality Riesling, leading the way and adding his wines to our portfolio has gone a long way in drawing our customers back towards this exciting grape variety and you really can’t go wrong with his Dr L Riesling, with lashings grapefruit, a streak of minerality and a refreshing spritz. A customer said to me at a tasting recently, ‘I could drink a whole bottle of this while I do my gardening,’ and at 8.5% ABV why the devil not? (Though perhaps you should leave the lawn mowing and hedge cutting for another day)
If your tastes lean more towards the New World then you should definitely try our Ceres Riesling from Bannockburn in Central Otago, New Zealand. Made by James Dicey and his brother Matt (you can always spot them at our tastings, wearing terribly loud shirts!), James managed to do what most of us only dream about and gave up his job in the UK to make wine. It’s hard work he says, but totally worth it. Not only does he make great wines he’s also set up a scheme called ‘Building Resilience’ to support the Ni–Vans (the local population on Vanutu whose community was practically destroyed by cyclone Pam). Over 5000 Ni-Vans work in the vineyards each year and James wanted to give something back to help them rebuild their lives…I’ll say it once more, what’s not to love.