Summer of Riesling | Gourmand and Gourmet

Summer of Riesling

It’s been called the world’s most undervalued grape, but Riesling is the perfect white wine for summer – and people are starting to catch on. Festivals dedicated to the versatile drop are popping up all over the country, celebrating the many fantastic Rieslings being produced both here and abroad. While the party hasn’t quite reached Brisbane yet, don’t let that stop you from opening a few bottles of your own. A great all-rounder, Riesling has bright, aromatic notes that bring a veritable Turkish bazaar of flavours to the table with an intense palate – perfect to foil the summer heat. As residents of a warm (read: sweltering) state with delicious seafood to match it with, you should be licking your lips. But if you’ve been weaned on Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and have yet to embrace Riesling, here’s a few to get you started. Grosset Polish Hill Riesling is considered the finest expression of the variety produced in Australia and won’t disappoint even the most dedicated chardonnay lover. It has the perfect amount of lime blossom with green apples and spice on the nose, while the palate is pure and persistent with limes and pears tightly coiled around a long mineral finish. Wine Experience $52 Mesh Eden Valley Riesling is the creation of Jeffrey Grossett and Robert Hill-Smith, two names that denote quality wine. The nose has aromas of zesty lemon and grapefruit with dried herbs and spices and the palate is lively and generous with citrus fruits and a little talc on the finish, perfect to cut through buttery garlic prawns fresh off the hot plate. Vintage Cellars $31 Henschke Julius Riesling is a classic from one of the greatest Australian winemaking families. It has a full nose of citrus blossom, frangipani and lavender intertwined with green peppercorn and star anise that gives way on the palate to layers of lime juice and intense minerality. A pairing with piping hot calamari would be spot on. Wine Emporium $37 Jim Barry Lavender Hill Riesling is a medium sweet style that is oh so perfectly balanced. The nose shows fresh lemons, citrus blossom and apricot marmalade with a light biscuity character and honey suckle, with a palate full of lemon curd, apricots and honey and a zesty minerality cutting across the palate. This one needs no match, just sip it on the deck with a good book. Vintage Cellars $24 Best’s Great Western Riesling is an elegant wine from a great producer. It has aromas of spring blossoms, fragrant kaffir lime and lemon curd that follow through to a palate full of fleshy stone fruits with a crisp mineraly finish. Drink with Thai crab cakes on a balmy evening. Cru Bar $29 Don’t let summer escape without stopping to linger over a few bottles of Riesling! Words by James Cooper