Most of the Rieslings I love come from Germany. I was incredibly surprised when we came across the Villa Maria Riesling from New Zealand. As an added bonus, it was only $6.99!
Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 2005
New Zealand (Marlborough)
$6.99, Liquor Direct
Winery web site
Villa Maria is a family owned winery, established in 1961. As of 2004, they moved all of their lines to Stelvin screwcaps. They attribute some of their recent successes to the consistency provided by screwcap enclosures.
The wine has a pale gold color (as it should I suppose). Off the nose you get some lemons, limes, and a little more lemon. There might be a little honey hidden in that nose as well. But it’s the taste that’s the real winner. Initially you taste that lemon and overall citrus. By mid-palate you’re thinking, hmm, maybe some honey, some floral, and a bit of grassiness. It finishes crisp and tart. This is a complex wine, especially for the price tag.
We bought one bottle. Then we went back and bought a case.
In fact, we bought the last case. The price was a fluke. It’s a 2005, of course, which is part of it. The newer vintages are retailing locally for between $12–$15. I actually took several of these bottles to the bridal shower I helped host and it was a huge hit.
If you can find it, snap it up. This is the perfect back-porch wine as the dog days of August draw near.
FYI: A Villa Maria wine maker, Vince Edwards, will be at West Chester’s The Wine List on Friday night, 7/20, for a Meet the Winemaker event. There is no charge and the event lasts from 4 -7 pm.
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