Home Winners > Winners 2016 > NEW WORLD: Riesling

Winner Details

 New World: Riesling

2016 Gold: 2 Silver: 7 Bronze: 4 Commended: 7
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 5 Bronze: 6 Commended: 12

In unoaked whites, there’s nowhere to hide when it comes to price, and arguably it’s the factor that struck our tasters most in the various flights on offer here. Two Gold medals each year is absolutely par for the course with New World Riesling – as is the fact that they tend to go to Australia – and our tasters are more or less resigned to having to pay around the £12 mark for Gold-Listed wines.

What is unusual, however, is the lack of a decent swathe of Silver or Bronze medals at more easily sellable prices. As recently as 2014, half our medals were £10 or under. But this year, only two of our 13 medal winners came the right side of that sensitive dividing line.

It matters with Riesling, too. Because however much our tasters like it, the public (rightly or wrongly) often take some convincing, so it’s handy if the price can be attractive to begin with.

Special congratulations, though, to Chateau Ste Michelle for being our cheapest medallist this year, and making it two Silvers in two years, and to Best’s, which made it on to the Gold List for the second year on the trot.


‘A lot of the Australians just needed a bit more bottle age. With a couple more years they’d emerge from this “chrysalis stage”… they were not particularly good value for money – but they will be when they’re ready.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘Australia needs to keep working on Riesling. I’ll take the minerality, but sometimes the acidity can be too high.’ Carlos Ferreira, The Sign of the Don

‘You don’t find a lot of elegance and subtlety in Australian Riesling – lots of acidity and greenness. It’s hard to shift, too. Compared to other regions, it’s not good value.’ Mahesh Nair, Charlotte Street Hotel

‘There were some exciting wines here – they had minerality and they were well priced compared to Germany.’ Gustavo Medina, Tate Britain
‘Riesling is a sommelier wine because it’s very complex, very exciting, comes in dry to sweet styles and ages beautifully.’ Bart Michalewicz, The Arts Club

‘They were very New World – lime zest, lime cordial and the acidity was very high. The off-dry examples were better because they balanced the acidity. They were all varietally classic.’ Laurent Richet MS, Restaurant Sat Bains

“The problem of Riesling is its bad image. But as sommeliers, we really like it and we liked these.” Bart Michalewicz, The Arts Club

Award winners

Found 8 wines

New World: Riesling

Spy Valley, Riesling 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Great, aromatic style showing kaffir lime leaf notes and a slight bitterness, but good acidity and mineral feel. Needs a seafood platter,' suggested team leader Laurent Richet MS. Meanwhile team leader Angela Reddin noted: 'Crab apple jelly and pamplemousse. The tight, pithy palate evolves to hard nectarine and saline minerals.'

£11.16 Bibendum

Ceres, Composition, Riesling 2015, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

A little off-dry with 'good poise', according to Chris Woods of Chelsea Vintners, with Bart Michalewicz of The Arts Club noting: 'Perfect for a sunny seaside early afternoon. Complex, expressive and defined, with impressive depth, clean minerals and lifting finish.'

£14.32 Matthew Clark

Blank Canvas, Riesling 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Good, clean style that carries the residual sugar through well, to a long, fresh and zesty finish,' said Chris Wood of Chelsea Vintners. 'Petrolly, waxed lime zest and lime cordial aromas and ripe peaches on the palate,' added team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£11.40 Liberty Wines

Chateau Ste Michelle, Columbia Valley, Riesling 2014, Washington State, USA

Silver medal winner

'Nice and delicate on the nose yet aromatic, easy and simple on the palate, with a fairly sweet finish,' said The Arts Club's Bart Michalewicz. 'Ripe palate with a spritz on the tongue, a refreshing, aromatic, sunny day wine,' added team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£8.43 Enotria&Coe

Chateau Ste Michelle, Eroica, Riesling 2013, Washington State, USA

Silver medal winner

'Nice stone fruits marrying with varietal Riesling characters, great texture on the palate with good complexity and a mouthwatering, clean finish,' said Bart Michalewicz of The Arts Club, with team leader Laurent Richet MS noting that it tasted 'rather like a spritzer, with pleasant lime zest and cordial notes, lemon juice and golden apples'.

£14.78 Enotria&Coe

Framingham , Classic, Riesling 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Sebastiani, Firestone, Riesling 2013, Central Coast, California, USA

Commended medal winner

Trefethen, Dry Riesling 2015, Napa Valley, California, USA

Commended medal winner


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