Raining Riesling


Poor old Riesling.  First there’s identity theft by Crouchen Blanc.   Then the German connection and all those unpronounceable names and Gothic script labels no one can read.  A fragrant white has always been a hard sell as its seen as wimp wine by fashionistas in thrall to Swartland oxidative brews that look and taste like urine samples.  Then you organize Riesling Rocks at Hartenberg Estate and the heavens open and keep away the wine nerds in droves. Even though they’re sometimes called anoraks, which would have come in useful this afternoon.

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But what wines!  Vintage 2012 is totally stunning.  But where are the entrepreneurs to package a Riesling Retail Showcase for upcountry consumers?  Forget about Rocking Riesling – even if the guitarist plays a passable Jimi Hendrix for a white boy – the name of the game in recession is retail.

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My first six pack would feature the 2012 Nitida (above) which is so full of passion and passion fruit, you’d swear its a Sauvignon Blanc, it’s that steely and linearly elegant.   The De Wetshof 2012 (below) is an order of magnitude sweeter (20g v. 2g) and wow! what intensity of flavour.

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The oldest Riesling on the rocks was one of the best – the Ross Gower 2009 (below) which tasted against the screw-capped 2010 is in a different league and should be sponsored by Amorim, the corkamorimcork Raining Riesling
by Amorim Cork
people.  They have stock.

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Altydgedacht 2012 impressed as did the R90 Hartenberg (below)

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Which brings us to the sixth wine for the Riesling Retail Showcase from Howard Booysen.  His 2010 is made from grapes grown in the Karoo, which is where Howard (below) must have been.  For who else wears sunglasses to a rainstorm?

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The second six pack could showcase Spioenkop (below) and Gyles Webb’s Sutherland from Elgin

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and the good value wine from Nick Pentz whose Groote Post farm should be renamed Groote Bargain and who also has the classiest spittoons

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Then there’s Klein Constantia (below) who were the best dressed and only Constantia Valley producer after Lars Maack uprooted his ancient Buitenverwachting Riesling vines for braai wood after falling under the influence of WOSA.  But the elephant under the boma was “where was Paul Cluver?” as he has something of a reputation with the Riesling grape.  Let’s hope he has not fallen for the siren song of Martin Prieur to concentrate on Chardonnay!

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