Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weekly Wine Review - Riesling - 2008 Villa Maria New Zealand Riesling Private Bin

New Zealand is known for some outstanding Sauvignon Blancs in the white wine world. I was very interested to see this Villa Maria Riesling from New Zealand that got some love from Wine Spectator with 91 points.  Hearing Riesling can be a turn off to many who immediately thing of über-sweet versions like Blue Nun that have graced the grocery store shelves for many years.  Forget about those - there are many, many, many examples of Riesling from Germany, France, Washington State, and Australia that are wonderful. Some have a certain level of sweetness, but are balanced by acidity so don't leave a cloying sweet aftertaste. Rieslings from Alsace, France can be bone dry, while examples from Germany range from dryer to super sweet. Here is a word to impress your friends with - Trockenbeerenauslese (pronounced TROCK-EN-BEER-EN-OWS-LEH-SEE) which is a super sweet dessert Riesling.  So... let's see what New Zealand has to offer us!!!

Wine: 2008 Villa Maria New Zealand Riesling Private Bin
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Obtained from: Purchased at Total Wine & More
Price: $12.99
Wino4Life Category: Everyday Wine
Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.

Cork Condition: Screw cap - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Clear, very light yellow color with a water-white rim.
Aroma: Very lively nose - sharp citrus with grapefruit and lime, a bit floral, and a hint of my favorite aroma present in some Rieslings - a petroleum/gasoline aroma. Believe it or not, some good petrol in the Riesling nose is a good thing. Wow - very impressive nose!!!
Taste: Excellent taste with brisk - mouth watering acidity and nice fruit flavors for an aftertaste. A hint of sweetness is nicely offset by the acid. The taste did not disappoint!

The Grade: I give this one an A+. For less than $15 this is a great wine - tasty enough to drink alone, yet it would also go nicely with seafood, or perhaps Mario Batali's Spaghetti with Artichokes and Pancetta. Also, with other Rieslings I've had a pasta salad with smoked gouda from Whole Foods - It is amazing how the smoked cheese and a Riesling interact - I highly recommend you try with this Riesling or another like Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Charles Smith Wines.

Go get some of this - you will not be sorry - give Riesling a chance!

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