There’s nothing better on a sizzling summer evening to open the cap on a bottle of Riesling. Even better if you are cooking up a feast on the barbie with ingredients like chilli, lemongrass, coriander, coconut and lime – they just shout, ‘Accompany me with RIESLING’.
The Chilli, Lime and Coriander Prawns recipe on the Taste.com.au website took my fancy with a splash of fish sauce added too. Then for the chicken breasts another night, I found Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken at Simply Recipes – again an addition of my own – some garlic. The breasts were butterflied to cook quickly on the barbie.
Here are some outstanding Kiwi rieslings recently tried, from oldest to youngest.
Black Estate Waipara Riesling 2009
This is such an exciting wine. It has aromas of lime and honeysuckle and in the palate it’s dry on first tasting but then such power and concentration. Slightly viscous with a hint of lusciousness – oh yes there is some sweetness here but such an exciting fresh acid spine. There’s lime predominantly and a hint of grapefruit and a touch of honeysuckle to being it all so beautifully into balance with a little tingle of spritz dancing around and the finish is bright, satisfying and long. Opulent on its own but exquisite food match too.
It has 12% alcohol, 24 g. residual sugar, pH 3.21 and 7.8g/l total acidity. Sold out at the winery – www.blackestate.co.nz – it’s a treat if you have it in your cellar.
Greywacke Marlborough Riesling 2011
Now this smells like a DRY riesling – it smells a little of lime, toast and talc – tasting blind I’m thinking, ‘OMG has the wine pourer served up an Aussie wine?’
And it is moderately dry in the palate with lovely citrus one and a touch of viscosity in behind. How dry? I’m wondering, because there is very desirable succulence in behind – can’t be from Aus, I’m now thinking. The acidity is beautifully honed and the finish is bright, lifted and fine.
Later I detect a little earthy wild yeast funk too. It adds depth and complements the wine.
Stop fermented at 22 g/l residual sugar (it doesn’t seem that sweet), with low 2.90 pH, high 8.1 g/l total acidity and 12% alcohol, it was blended in old French oak and stayed on lees for 12 months. RRP $29.95. Find out more from greywacke.com
Rockburn Tigermoth Central Otago Riesling 2013
Oooh, this has invigorating edginess. It’s so fresh it’s like the grapes have just come off the vine. Then vinous complexity kicks in – yes it is really wine. It’s got racy green grape, green apple and lemon and lime flavours beautifully pulled back into check by lightly viscous nectar-like notes. Cheek-sucking, lip-smacking, tsp-tsp-tsp fresh.
Just released, it has 9% alcohol by volume, no other stats available, and the RRP is $35 a bottle. I’d love to see this wine in 10 years time. For lunchtime or an aperitif, but it really is vinfanticide to drink right now. Find out more from rockburn.co.nz.
The coriander (cilantro) plants are rapidly going to seed in the garden but I’m a sucker for coconut – coconut and lime are traits I often find in gorgeous cellar-aged dry rieslings. But young or old you can serve these Rieslings with a dish like coconut-coated strips of gurnard with a chilli-lime mayonnaise. The mayo is easy, just add lime, sweet chilli sauce and again, if you like it, chopped fresh coriander – it’s all about taste. The fish is a little more fiddly as pieces are dipped in rice flour, egg and desiccated coconut, then fried. But definitely worth the effort to accompany with Riesling.