Jul 25, 2011
Food & Dining
by Andrew Giles
I am fully aware that with winter upon us we are all to easily tempted to only reach for a wonderful warming glass of red wine. Along with a box of chocolates and a hearty meal red wine and winter hibernation paint a perfect picture to most of us.
This being the case, I found it very interesting when I was offered the company of the Pyramid Valley Riesling this week. What a delightful find on a rainy day. This wine was like a glass of sunshine on an autumn afternoon.
I have been pleasantly surprised and intrigued by the craftsmanship of New Zealand wine makers in their approach to some of the ‘Old World’ or more obscure grape varietals which have not always been popular with more modern Estates and wine styles.
Riesling is a grape varietal that has origins in Germany; Through history it has been proven again and again to be one of the few white grapes that ages with ease and elegance. It is no wonder to me that the Germans have given this little grape such a large amount of attention with their world famous eye for detail. So when shopping for a Riesling don’t be put off by an older offering.
The characteristics of this particular white wine varietal have been used to great advantage in the Lebecca Vineyards 2007 Riesling, with only 4 years of age it is already showing a great amount of body and elegance.
What I have come to expect from a Riesling is a bouquet that reaches out to you from your glass, but this coy little number holds its character back, only hinting its great depth like the sound of someone laughing at a joke in the next room. Not until you enjoy a good few sips does it all come together in a beautiful arrangement, with subtle depth and a lovely sweet flavour lingering in your palate.
A well-crafted wine is judged on the continuity and the congruency of the first sniff, sip and then finally the lingering taste on your back palate; it should be a perfect balance from start to finish. This Pyramid Valley Riesling is surprising and elegant at the same time, and a white wine that will brighten any Winter afternoon or evening with a touch of sunshine.
I enjoyed this great wine with an amazing duck confit dish at the Ponsonby Road Bistro but it can very easily be enjoyed with just about any meal, especially Asian cuisine. I would personally avoid pairing it with ‘heavy’ red meat dishes.
Once again, this great find is available from Kemp Rare Wine Merchants in Newmarket as only one of the hand selected, well crafted wines in their extensive palate.