Wine of the week, new vintage, new brand, old varietal

Wine of the week – new release today

This wine of the week is suffering from an interminable hangover. That hangover is called image and it comes from a time when many  insipid wines that were not Riesling were labelled as if they were. This misrepresented all the incredible variety of styles and flavours that the world of Riesling can offer. Riesling has naturally high acidity and naturally intense aromas, which offer all the variety of life a wine lover could ask for. These flavours span the gamut of zesty green citrus through to ripe intense peach, each one an expression of the climate in which the grapes are grown. I’d go so far as to say that Riesling can express a greater range of different flavours and styles than any other white wine in the world but I’m always open to try new things.

We can’t undo the misrepresentation and misunderstandings of the past but we can open our minds (and, in this case, our mouths) to try something new – a modern, dry Riesling that highlights great flavours without pretence, without oak, without over the top sweetness… but with outstanding depth and purity.

So, without further ado, this wine of the week comes from a cool climate, namely Martinborough at the southern tip of the North Island. Here it is.

Wine of the week


2021 Butterworth Dry Riesling RRP $35

Martinborough is one of New Zealand’s smallest wine regions and home to some of the country’s highest quality dry Rieslings. This fresh new wine is officially released onto the market in New Zealand today and is an outstanding expression of Riesling from a climate that ideally suits the stunning purity of this great white grape. Flavours here span the gamut of freshness and complexity  with notes of lime zest, green apple and white peach.

Fermentation was in stainless steel tanks to preserve fruit purity and was stopped at 6 grams of residual sugar to retain balance. The wine was bottled unfined with a light filtration. It is vegan friendly.

It is made from hand picked grapes grown on Te Muna Road, six kilometres from Martinborough village on a vineyard originally established by Wym Julicher and now owned by Brad and Warren Butterworth.

I love Riesling because it is the essence of wine without pretence.

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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