Jancis Robinson, my favourite British Wine Writer, in her Wine Tasting Workbook, speaks of Riesling as ‘The greatest white wine grape.” And says, “Poor old Riesling the most under-appreciated (and mispronounced) grape in the world. Afrikaans helps us to pronounce Riesling, but too often in Britain, I have heard it pronounced Rice-ling. Riesling is a noble German White Wine Grape. Not to be confused with other wines locally named Riesling, Cape Riesling or Paarl Riesling. These are made from what Jancis describes as “a very ordinary grape whose name is Crouchen.” The Hartenberg Riesling 2017 is a queen of Rieslings.
The tiny berries of Riesling grow on the smallest bunches of all white wine varieties. The flavour concentration and massive flavours, couple with excellent acidity means that Riesling can age really well. Made in the same way as a conventional white wine, with no contact with oak, the Hartenberg Riesling 2017 is a stunner.
From a bottle known as an Alsatian Flute, closed with natural cork. The label is simple and elegant with an etching of the Manor House on it. In the glass, the wine is a pale green golden straw in colour, gem bright. The aromas are of chalk, flint, and river stone minerals. Remember sucking small round river stones as a child? There are also whiffs of terpene, a kind of benign sweet turpentine or kerosene, a smell that I love. The palate, from entry is rich and layered and mouth filling in the most generous way. Though the wine is dry, there is a big fruit offering which is perfectly countered with a perfect counterbalancing acidity. This is truly a sublime wine experience, with an ‘agrodolce’ ending.
While it does make a great glass, for me this is a food wine. Robyn Wallace’s Roasted Indian Cauliflower with Cashews makes a perfect lunch partner for the Hartenberg Riesling 2017. Click here for her recipe.
Read more about Hartenberg Wine Estate – CLICK HERE