Riesling is a white wine of distinction, in its youth the wine expresses vibrant lemon and lime characters which mellow into luscious, honeyed flavours with age.
The Riesling grape is one of the six noble grape varieties and the grape variety is known to highly terroir expressive as it’s characteristics are influenced by the surrounds it was grown in.
Riesling can have tremendous cellaring ability, this aging potential comes from the naturally low pH (and high acidity).
It is crafted in a range of guises, from bone dry to seductively sweet. Some producers even include a sweetness scale on the label, helping communicate the complexities of the variety.
This aromatic wine offers primary fruit aromas of orchard fruits like nectarine, apricot, honey-crisp apple, and pear. Besides fruit, you’ll often smell things like honeycomb, jasmine, or lime peel, along with a striking aroma that smells similar to petrol or petroleum wax. Riesling ranges from bone dry to seductively sweet.
History of Riesling
Riesling originated in Germany in the Rhine River region that crosses both Germany and France’s Alsace, first documented in the 15th century.
In Australia, the first plantings were recorded in 1838 near Penrith NSW. While German settlers in South Australia embraced the variety. The Clare and Eden Valleys have consistently produced superb, age-worthy Rieslings over a long period of time and are widely regarded as Australia’s benchmark regions for the variety.
It prefers a cool along climate, with exceptional examples grown across Tasmania, the Clare and Eden Valleys in South Australia. You will also find beautiful styles crafted in Victoria and the Southern Highlands of NSW.
Plantings and more…
There is only 89,000 acres of Riesling planted worldwide. Australia has the second highest plantings with 10,300 acres.
As well as being the ancestral home of Riesling, Germany has the world’s largest plantings at 56,000.
With distinctive styles from each of its regions, its labelling system includes the terms (from driest to sweetest) Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein. Eiswein translates to ice wine, referring to the fact this sweet wine comes from frozen grapes.
Mosel produces the top 5 most expensive Rieslings, varying in price from just under $4000, to a little over $14,000.
Serving temperature & Food Pairing
Riesling doesn’t need to be chilled to icy temperatures before drinking. A short stint in the fridge is fine for your standard dry riesling (7–8°C is about right), while sweeter styles should be enjoyed at around 10°C, and aged riesling a couple of degrees warmer still.
So many spicy dishes work well with an off-dry wine – Thai, Vietnamese, even Indian.
The slight sweetness of the wine balances perfectly with the spiciness of these cuisines.
Asian-style fish cakes, Thai spicy eggplant with sweet basil, or for a super easy, and light midweek dinner you can’t really go past these Vietnamese rice paper rolls.
Wine blends using Riesling
Our 2021 Winemakers Craft Wild White is a blend with 36% Riesling.
A unique blend of Semillon, Riesling, Arneis, Gewurztraminer and Verdelho sourced from the Hunter Valley and Hilltops regions. Each variety contributes to the lovely perfume, delicious fruit flavours and lingering length making it the ideal summer wine.
Intense aromas lift out of the glass, beautiful floral perfume with hints of sweet rose and jasmine. A refreshing palate of papaya, ruby grapefruit and passionfruit, it has a lightly textural mouthfeel and a subtle off dry finish
2020 SADDLER’S RIESLING
Crafted from premium Eden Valley fruit in South Australia.
Eden Valley is one of Australia’s premier cool climate wine regions. The wines are distinctive in their character, displaying wonderful aromatics, elegance, complexity and finesse.
With Rolling exposed hills, the terroir of the Eden Valley is varied with a number of soil types. From grey to brown, loamy sand to clay loams. Ironstone and quartz gravels.
Vibrant floral aromas, intense flavours of lemon and lime zest balanced by a mineral acid backbone layered complexity and lingering finish.
It is classic in style and can be enjoyed now with fresh seafood or if you can be patient, medium term cellaring will add depth and textured complexity.