As the weather warms up down under, here’s a selection of smashable rizzas to splash liberally throughout the summer and beyond.
2017 Dr Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Kabinett Mosel RRP $40
Very fresh apple and cassis character with wonderful freshness. A long, crisp finish. Screw cap. A long, crisp finish with pronounced minerality and a discrete hint of grape sweetness. Screw cap. Drink now or in 2019 and 2020. 92 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com June 2018
2017 Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Mosel RRP $44
Succulent and spitzy with very vibrant acidity with delicate peaches, apples and floras of some complexity. A long and fine finish with a ton of minerality. Screw cap. Drink now or in 2019 and 2020. 92 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com June 2018
2017 Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Riesling Kabinett Rheinhessen RRP $35
A juicy and vibrant Kabinett that’s a great food wine, thanks to the medium-dry balance, generous yet controlled peaches and the very clean, vibrant finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap. 91 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com September 2018
2016 Charteris Riesling Central Otago RRP $39
Single-site wine from the Hunt Vineyard, which PJ Charteris describes as possessing “geological Riesling pornography” on account of the schist soils and windblown Greywacke silt. Always a wine with exhilarating energy, piercing flavour and uncanny balance. Pre- bottling analysis: pH 2.93; 9.3g/L TA; RS 10g/L; alcohol 11.5%.
2017 Dönnhoff Nahe Riesling Nahe RRP $33
Cornelius Dönnhoff’s off-dry Riesling is a great introduction to the Nahe. A touch of RS lends it a soft entry, with citrus and white stone fruit purity allied to a chalky mineral feel. A stone fruit kernel note gives the finish a twist, and the acidity is gently mouthwatering.
2017 Gunderloch Redstone Riesling Rheinhessen RRP $32
Charming rendition of the Roter Hang. Apricot and tangerine aromatics lead into a palate that is more typically stone fruit and citrus with earthy spice and nice plumpness. Fresh with a touch of residual sweetness; all round pliant and pleasing.
2018 Rocky Gully Riesling Frankland River RRP $21
Always such a reliable, great-value Riesling from the Smith Cullam family of Frankland Estate, one of Australia’s undisputed champions of this variety. Fresh, pure and with generous Riesling flavour, it never fails to hit the spot.
2017 Frankland Estate Riesling Frankland River RRP $29
Some colour development, but not alarming. A wine of impeccable bloodlines and breeding, not a hair out of place, nor a crease in its clothing. The young rieslings from all parts of Great Southern are a pleasure to do business with. Citrus, apple and silvery acidity are as refreshing as they are cleansing. 95 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion December 2017
2017 Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Frankland River RRP $43
All the hallmarks of this site are at play with camomile and blossom, the lightness of touch on the palate with its citrus notes, some concentration and texture yet the steely freshness and acidity so pure it creates an ultra-fine and long finish. 96 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2019
2017 Frankland Estate Poison Hill Frankland River RRP $43
Terrific fragrant allure such as stony, flinty, spicy and rocky aromas here. This is exotic and stunning. The palate has elegance and finesse delivered with power. Long flavors of citrus, white nectarines and some green mangoes. A superb wine. Drink or hold. Screwcap. 96 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com August 2018
2017 clos Clare Riesling Clare Valley RRP $32
Pale straw-green; a scented bouquet of lemon and lime blossom sets the scene for a wine of great purity and balance, the fruits promised by the bouquet driving the long palate, sustained by minerally acidity. Lovely wine, longevity assured by quality and evidenced by gold medals for the ’09 and ’10 at the Clare Valley Wine Show ’17. 94 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2019
2016 TWR Riesling ‘D’ SV 5182 Marlborough RRP $33
Lovely perfume shows green apple, lime, green herbs, whiff of mint, orange juice, blackcurrant. Even a touch of really nice slate-mineral character. Flinty and racy to taste, brisk juiciness, green apple crunch. Pristine, precise and pretty. 94 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front September 2018
2017 Paul Blanck Riesling Alsace RRP $33
This lovely, balanced celebration of Alsace comes from vineyards with sand and gravel soils around the village of Kientzheim. Light floral and citrus aromas precede a palate with lemon, pineapple and mineral notes, as well as an evocation of sweet-scented flowers.
2016 Dr Loosen Dr L Dry Riesling Mosel RRP $25
Very fruity and charming. Leaps out at you and has such a playful personality. Drink now or any time into 2020. 90 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com June 2017
2016 Ansgar Clüsserath Vom Schiefer Riesling Mosel RRP $39
What a little mouth-waterer this is! Lime, thyme, mint, a little honey and petrol. Light, intense burst of lime and green mango, distinctly stony texture, zippy and tight through the finish, which closes dry and flinty. Quick, someone hand me a schnitzel! 92 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front November 2018
2016 Georg Breuer Rüdesheim Riesling Rheingau RRP $39
The 2016 Rheingau Riesling Rüdesheim “Estate” is super clear, bright and elegant on the nose, with lovely stony-mineral notes, almost stone dust but also beautiful concentration. On the palate, this is a round, juicy, very fruity but clear, piquant, well-structured and finely mineral Rheingau classic at 11.5% alcohol. It drinks perfectly today and will also do so over the next 15 to 20 years. Sweetness and acidity are in perfect balance here (8.4 grams per litre). A highly filigreed and delicate Riesling. 91 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate December 2017
2016 Dönnhoff Estate Riesling Nahe RRP $40
An amazing everyday wine that’s full of peach, citrus and floral aromas. Juicy and elegant this is beautifully balanced with a ton of character and a long clean finish. Drink now or hold. Made from organic grapes and Fair’n Green certified. Screw cap. 92 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com November 2017
2017 Wittmann 100 Hügel Riesling Rheinhessen RRP $29
A charming and rather juicy dry Riesling with plenty of pears and citrus fruit. Crisp finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now. Screw cap. 90 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com September 2018
2017 Wittmann Estate Riesling Rheinhessen RRP $39
Wittmann’s 2017 basic estate Riesling tastes better than some single-vineyard wines! Delicate peach, quince and citrus notes, but also plenty of herbal and mineral character. From biodynamically grown grapes. Screw cap in some markets. 91 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com September 2018
2016 Gunderloch Fritz’s Riesling Rheinhessen RRP $23
Fritz’s Riesling grows in a very small and special part of Rheinhessen called the Roter Hang, a name meaning “red hill“ due to its red-slate soils. The red slate soil, proximity to the Rhine, exposure to the sun and steepness of the vineyards are the perfect combination for producing wonderful ripeness. This wine is dry, fresh and full of character.
2016 Gunderloch Als Wär’s Ein Stück Von Mir Riesling Rheinhessen RRP $39
Issuing largely from the Rothenberg plus a bit of Hipping, and reflecting spontaneous fermentation largely in cask, this represents a leap in quality over the basic Gunderloch Gutsriesling. Zesty, juicy and strongly seed-inflected tangerine and lime mingle on the nose with suggestions of crushed stone and smoky black tea, while on the palate, even as there is palpable lees-enrichment for a satiny texture, the concentrated fruit exhibits a sense of transparency to comparable mineral elements. As was the case with the corresponding 2015, there is mouthwatering salinity to the finish. 90 points. David Schildknecht, Vinous Media May 2018
2016 Villa Wolf Wachenheimer Riesling Pfalz RRP $28
The fruit for the Wachenheimer Riesling comes from a single-vineyard site , called Königswingert (“King’s Vineyard”), but is labelled only with the village name. This excellent site lies just to the north of the village and is rated as a premier cru vineyard. The Wachenheimer Riesling has an elegant mineral purity and good intensity on the palate. It is a refreshing wine that’s very easy to drink, but there is also a distinctive stony character that reflects the terroir of Königswingert.
2017 A. Christmann Riesling Pfalz RRP $39
Lots of lemon-zest character. Juicy and well-structured with a very clean, long, herbal finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Drink now. Screw cap. 91 points. Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com September 2018
2017 Domäne Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Riesling Wachau RRP $28
Orange peel flashes its aromatic headiness from the glass. The palate has that same citrus focus: zesty lemon blends in with riper rounder notions of mandarin, orange and tangerine. It’s clean, zesty, tangy and wonderfully aromatic, as well as exquisitely light and dry. 90 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2018
2017 Domäne Wachau Ried Bruck Riesling Wachau RRP $35
Grapefruit, lemon and tangerine notes unite on nose and palate of this wine, creating an intriguing interplay of ripe and tart citrus that tingles on the tongue and sweeps across the senses. It’s taut, fresh, fruity and full of refreshment and joy. 92 points. Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast September 2018