An off-the-wall blend of Riesling and the Cava grape, Xarel-lo, this is something to challenge your friends with in a blind tasting. It’s got that slight earthiness of Xarel-lo, leavened by the acidity and lime blossom notes of Riesling, made in a dry style that works really well with food. Stony, mineral and ocean-influenced.
White Varietal: Riesling
How to choose a white wine: a beginner’s guideby Ron Washam
2012 Darting Estate Dürkheimer Kabinett Riesling Trocken, Pfalz( £9.49 down to £7.12, 12.5%, Marks & Spencer )
If your impression of German Riesling is that it tends to be sweet, try this off-dry number from one of the best names in the southerly Pfalz region. It’s very aromatic, with exotic, tropical fruit notes, a hint of carbon dioxide on the palate, lovely, crunchy, peach and apple fruit and bright, focused acidity.
2012 Loosen Brothers Grey Slate Dr L Reserve Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer( £9.99 down to £7.49, 10%, Waitrose )
This is a step up from Ernie Loosen’s widely available (and very drinkable) Dr L Riesling, made exclusively for Waitrose. The result is a classic Mosel Riesling, with sappy, sweet and sour flavours, notes of lemon and lime and a finely-judged interplay beween acidity, fruit and residual sugar. Long and refreshing.
2011 Tanners Mosel Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer( £10.95, 11%, Tanners )
The supplier for Tanners’ impressive own-label Mosel Riesling Kabinett is none other than the Max Ferd. Richter winery, which is something of a coup. The result is delicious. It’s at the lower end of the sweetness scale (at 27 grams per litre), showing 11% alcohol and a comparatviely “dry” finish. Youthful and zingy, with a touch of carbon dioxide and racy, palate-tingling acidity.
2012 Finest* Tingleup Riesling, Western Australia( £9.99 down to £7.49, 11%, Tesco )
I told you Janice McDonald was an ace white wine maker and this is further proof of her talents, this time with Riesling. This is a beautifully, poised, ageworthy style, focused and pithy with youth on its side and bone dry, lime-scented fruit. Buy a few bottles and see how they age over the next decade or so.
2009 Leasingham Magnus Riesling, Clare Valley( £9.49 down to £7.11, 12%, Sainsbury's )
Another Aussie white that may appear a little long in the dental department, but has actually benefited from the extra bottle age. This is just off-dry, showing delicious, lemon, lime and toasty flavours with a hint of kerosene. Focused and long, this is great with Asian food.
Canada: you can’t build an industry on Icewineby Matt Walls
2012 Pewsey Vale, Riesling, Eden Valley( £13.30, 12.5%, Slurp, Winedirect )
Pewsey Vale, Yalumba’s Eden Valley outpost, makes some of my favourite Aussie Rieslings. They are good young but develop stylshly in bottle. This is crisp, focused and tangy with lime and pink grapefruit flavours and a stony, pithy backbone of acidity. Long and focused on the palate.
Everyday value?by Matt Walls
2012 Pewsey Vale Riesling, Eden Valley, South Australia( £11.99, 12.5%, Auswinesonline.co.uk, Noel Young Wines, Slurp, Winedirect )
An Eden Valley Riesling that rarely disappoints, this is as reliable as ever, a dry, aromatic, minerally white with notes of apple and pear and an underlying seam of fresh limes. The wine will get toastier with age, if you can keep your hands off it.
2011 Valle Pradinhos Branco, Transmontano( £10.95, 13.5%, The Wine Society )
It’s remarkable to discover that Rui Cunha’s innovative white blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Malvasia Fina comes from the Upper Douro, a region usually better known for full-throated reds. But there you go. This tastes as good as it looks: spicy and aromatic with a hint of Burgundian style struck match, notes of lime and ginger, plenty of minerality and a long, nuanced finish.