Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spy Valley 2004 Dry Riesling, Marlborough

December 11 Vino 002

New Zealand isn’t the first place I think of when considering Dry Riesling. In fact, it’s not even the fourth or fifth. So when I purchased a six-bottle year-end lot from an online wine company, I was intrigued to discover this bottle of Spy Valley Dry Riesling.

Green Dragon loves Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. The zesty wines have a combination of freshness and acidity that she really loves. Hopefully the Riesling would have the same allure.

But this bottle caused me to have some doubts beforehand for a couple of reasons. First, I’d never had a Riesling from New Zealand and second, seven-year-old white wines are an iffy proposition at best.

Fortunately, Riesling is an exception to the short lifespan of most white wines. The high acidity helps preserve the wine and even lets it age and develop interesting character.

That was the case with this wine which I found to be even more exotic than I imagine it was back in 2005 or 2006. The wine is a deep golden color. The aroma of petrol mostly masked the citrus smells. On the palate this wine compares very favorably to top Dry Rieslings, with minerality, citrus fruit and peach. This is a medium bodied wine with complexity.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, but Green Dragon said the bouquet was a distraction for her.

The ‘04 Spy Valley is an evolved wine, it still is drinking well, but I expect that the roller coaster has crested the hill and is starting to move down the other side.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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