Nelson’s winegrowers are keen to promote their region as a source of exciting white wines made from riesling, gewürztraminer and pinot gris – often classed as “aromatic” grape varieties because of their enticingly scented bouquets. So two panels of viticulturists and winemakers, tasting blind, selected Nelson’s First XV Aromatic Wine Selection 2012.
Missing from the First XV are some highly accomplished players on the Nelson scene – Brightwater, Greenhough, Neudorf and Woollaston. The First XV turns the spotlight on Waimea Estate (three wines), Rimu Grove (two) and Kahurangi Estate (two).
Kaimira Estate Brightwater Gewürztraminer 2009
Full of personality, this is a late-harvest style with deep, peachy, spicy flavours, seductively sweet and soft, and bottle-aged complexity. $22 (5/5).
Kahurangi Estate Dry Riesling 2011
Full-bodied and lemon-scented, with crisp, lively grapefruit and lime flavours, showing good intensity. $18 (4/5).
Rimu Grove Riesling 2011
Scented, with generous lemon, lime and passionfruit flavours, a splash of sweetness and a mouthwateringly crisp finish. $31 (4/5).
Sea Level Home Block Pinot Gris 2011
Full-bodied, with pure, intensely varietal pear/spice aromas and flavours. Refined, off-dry wine. $20 (4/5).
Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling 2011
Sweet and slightly honeyed, with peachy, lemony, spicy flavours, deliciously fresh, crisp and strong. $32 (375ml) (4/5).
Te Mania Gewürztraminer 2011
Richly scented, weighty and finely balanced, with a strong surge of ripe citrus-fruit, ginger and spice flavours and a slightly sweet, rounded finish. $22 (4/5).
Waimea Classic Riesling 2011
Fresh, strong, citrusy flavours, slightly sweet and crisp, gingery and spicy notes and lots of charm. $20 (4/5).
Anchorage Pinot Gris 2012
Fresh, vibrant and crisp, in a medium-dry style with satisfying depth of lemony, slightly spicy flavours. $18 (3.5/5).
Richmond Plains Riesling 2011
Certified by BioGro, this is a flavoursome floral wine with crisp lemon/lime characters, a hint of sherbet and a fractionally sweet finish. $20 (3.5/5).
Tohu Single Vineyard Gewürztraminer 2011
Easy-drinking, medium-dry style with good body and depth of peach, lychee, ginger and spice flavours, fresh and rounded. $22 (3.5/5).
The First XV also includes Waimea Classic Riesling 2009 (4.5/5, $20); Trout Valley Pinot Gris 2012 (3.5/5, $18), from Kahurangi; Rimu Grove Pinot Gris 2010 (4/5, $31); and Waimea Gruner Veltliner 2011 (3.5/5, $25).
WINE OF THE WEEK
Blackenbrook Pinot Gris 2012
Fragrant and full-bodied, with stonefruit and spice aromas and flavours, gentle sweetness and lovely balance and depth. $23 (4.5/5).