Mt Rosa, Riesling 2011
The Central Otago region in New Zealand’s South Island may be world-renowned for its sensational Pinot Noir, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice to overlook their Pinot Gris and Rieslings next time you are scouring the shelves for a suitable white.
With only about 86 hectares of Riesling vines in the Central Otago region, it’s very much the little sibling when you consider that the area grows almost 1,500 hectares of Pinot Noir. But scattered throughout the rocky canyons are some small producers creating exceptional Riesling at a very fair price point.
Tucked away in a tin shed that was once used for shearing Merino sheep, the Mt Rosa cellar door serves up a range of regionally distinct wines and amongst them, some outstanding Pinot Noir and Riesling.
The 2011 Mt Rosa Riesling is a very dry style but still shows a delightful pineapple and cumquat nose which emboldens if you are patient enough to allow the glass to warm a little. Its attraction, though, is on the palate where blood orange characters meet Moroccan citron and Kaffir lime and dance a zesty jive across the roof of your mouth. There’s a mineral edge to a very clean, almost quartz like finish that sucks in your cheeks until you take another sip. It’s a style that will last the test of time thanks to generous acid but at only the $20 to $25 price tag, it won’t hurt to try a couple now and put the rest aside.