Spotlight on Riesling: Rippon Riesling 2008

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It would be easy to focus this entire spotlight on the Germans, given the sheer diversity, quantity and quality of Riesling from that land. However, Riesling has also made some strides in other parts of the world, and while I will no doubt return to Germany and move into Austria for this profile, I thought it would be interesting to provide a Riesling contrast by going to New Zealand.

New Zealand does not have much of a reputation for Riesling, if any. However, if anyone has the ability to change those preconceptions it is Rippon, a biodynamic producer in Central Otago who make some of the more exciting wines coming out of New Zealand.

This is not your steely electric acid and fully dry style that many have come to expect from Australia. Several wineries in New Zealand are taking a different tack, instead looking for a bit more elegance and a lighter texture supported by some residual sugar. This is just such a wine.

Very slightly off-dry, this wine is lime candy – very fresh and sparkly like German Riesling, but with more weight. A wonderful wine with a high level of extract but also with structured balance. The greater fruitiness and richness of this wine makes it ideal for richer seafoods. I had it with seared scallops with a butternut squash puree – a perfect match.

$48 at Kits Wine


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