Today is a special day where many wine lovers will gather to pay their respects to the late Raymond Chan, whose wake will be held at Ata Rangi winery in Martinborough. Winemakers, marketers, writers and fans will gather to pay tribute to the man who encouraged so many of us on our wine path. Raymond rocked a vibe of incredible warmth, offering an unpretentious welcome to newcomers to wine, including myself.
Raymond would have heartily approved of this wine of the week too. He loved Riesling, in all its weird and wonderful styles, and his affection for this great white grape opened doors of new flavour to me at an international Riesling tasting he ran at Regional Wines in Wellington in the mid 1990s.
So here, without further ado, is the wine of the week – Zephyr Dry Riesling made by Ben Glover in collaboration with his brother, Jack. Both are co-owners of their family company, Zephyr Wines. Expect to hear much more about this exciting Marlborough wine brand, which is dedicated to aromatics from Riesling to Pinot Noir, with great Gewurztraminer and subtle Sauvignon Blancs in the mix too.
2018 Zephyr Riesling 12% ABV $22
This great white from Marlborough has mouthwatering dry flavours of lime zest, green apples and a fresh, zesty, long finish. It tastes damned fine now and has the ability to age for the long term (9 to 10 years and then some), evolving into a more full bodied wine, retaining freshness and zing – as a tasting of every vintage of Zephyr Wines early last year showed.
5 stars – Joelle Thomson