TWR or Te Whare Ra owners and winemakers, Anna and Jason Flowerday, thought that their old block Riesling vines, planted in 1979 and the oldest Riesling vines in Marlborough, would be the perfect match with the Marlborough climate and terroir. They were right as they have produced a world class Riesling as they planned in Te Whare Ra Riesling D 2017. Like most of their wines it is produced organically and bio-dynamically and like all the TWR wines that I stock including the gorgeous TWR Pinot Noir, it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The ‘D’ in the name of TWR Riesling D by the way signifies that it is a dry wine. There is also a Riesling ‘M’ which is as lovely and it is off-dry.
The Te Whare Ra Riesling D 2017 is a very elegant and refined wine displaying lime fruit and flinty minerality with white floral aromas and just a hint of the kerosene aromas expected of a good old vine Riesling. The wine is definitely dry with good acidity, assisted by a cool vintage in 2017, and flavours of lime, apple and minerals – and I also detect crisp pears which kick in on the finish some time after the wine has been swallowed. I classified this wine as aromatic because Riesling is known as an aromatic grape variety but it would fit equally well in crisp white wines.
If you think you don’t like Riesling you should try TWR Riesling D – it’s a delightful white wine. Te Whare Ra Winery or TWR is a small, family-run vineyard and winery whose Pinot Noir I stocked for some time before adding some of their white wines after a tip off from a new customer. He was right – I could not not add this wine to the Wines With Attitude list after tasting it!
How to Enjoy this Wine
This dry white wine is beautiful to drink on its own but it will also pair well with spicy Chinese dishes and other Asian food. The producer recommends drinking it with seafood.
Serve at: 10 – 12°C
“This wine has gorgeous lifted aromas of jasmine, fresh lemon and Kaffir lime through onto the palate. Flavours of fresh lime juice, lemon sorbet and ripe grapefruit with hints of floral spice are balanced by a fine backbone of ripe acidity. This Riesling is a dry style which has excellent fruit weight and concentration to balance the lingering mineral acid structure. This wine is finely structured with great length of flavour.”
95 Points – Bob Campbell MW
“This is the best Te Whare Ra ‘D’ Riesling that I can recall tasting. It has true ‘old vine’ concentration with citrus blossom and subtle oyster shell flavours. Tantalisingly accessible now but with the potential to develop well in bottle.”
94 Points – Nick Stock for jamessuckling.com
“Very attractive lime and lemon-pith aromas here. Scintillatingly pure and fragrant and very subtly flinty, too. The palate has a long and chiseled core of limes with neat and seamless, pitch-perfect acidity giving length and drive.”
94 Points – Cameron Douglas MS
“Immediately engaging bouquet of Riesling with intense, precise and pure fruit aromas of citrus showing lime and lemon, some orange peel then apple and white blossom. Equally pure and precise on the palate, dry and with flavours that mirror the nose. Crisp and tense with plenty of acidity, developing complexity and core of fruit. Long finish, a great aperitif wine for Summer. Lovely drinking now, but will continue to age and offer great drinking from today and through 2025+. By the way the ‘D’ refers to this wine as a dry style.”