Virgin Wines Wine of the Week – Belmonte Marlborough Riesling 2010

By Michelle Connolly Wednesday 11th May, 2016

Belmonte Marlborough Riesling 2010

White Riesling Wine
Winemaker Dr John Forrest
Produced in Marlborough, New Zealand

When people hear the word Riesling they automatically jump to the overly-sweet exported whites from Germany that gave it such a bad name for many years. In fact very few of those were even Riesling, so a totally unwarranted bad rep. In fact, many critics would argue that it’s the world’s finest white wine grape variety, so let’s see what this one holds. Having won gold medals at the Marlborough Wine Awards, the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards and the Spiegelau International Wine Competition it seems like a promising one indeed.

Winemaker Dr. John Forrest of the New Zealand Forest Estate had this to say about his wines:

“Making wine is a very personal endeavour, yet one winemakers love to share. For me, winemaking combines my exuberant personality and scientist’s love of experimentation with a continuous quest to capture the best the land, the vines and the vintage have to offer. The result is a collection of wines with great integrity and purity of flavour, which clearly reflect their sense of place. I am proud to share these wines with you.

This wine is based on fruit from a high performing vineyard at Spring Creek on the Wairau Plains. This is supplemented with a small parcel of fruit from a vineyard at the mouth of the Omaka Valley. Both vineyards produce fruit of exceptional purity and focus. Spring and summer in Marlborough were warm and settled and this allowed us to harvest well ripened and flavoursome fruit. Cool fermentation with a yeast strain that is known to amplify Riesling’s lovely citrus and floral aromas has given us a dry wine of great poise and beauty. We have consciously bottled this wine while young, fresh and focused.”

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The wine itself is dry yet aromatic – you definitely get a hit of citrus and grapefruit coming through in the aroma, but it’s not tart. There’s some depth in the flavour once the lemon accent passes of flintiness, and it’s a great balance – just the right amount of citrus with an underlying sweetness. The juiciness of the fruit really comes through but it has a nice crisp, clean finish, and there may even be a little floral peachiness in the notes. While it’s perfect to be enjoyed now it’s possible to mature this for a few years to bring out these other notes and play down the freshness if you would like – the screw cap will ensure it won’t get musky.

It’s the ideal wine to have with white meat, and works especially well with lighter Thai and regional curries. The citrus cuts through the creaminess without being too much of a palate cleanser. This would even work well with richer, spicier dishes as well as light salads and creamy pastas.

It’s a great one to keep in the house to work across a variety of meals, no matter who you have unexpectedly popping over you can guarantee them an excellent glass from this refined grape at a fabulous price.

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