Ravishing Riesling

Ravishing Riesling

OVER THE BARREL | South African Rieslings are often noted for their characteristic lime aroma and taste. Try with grilled garlic chicken.

Ravishing Riesling

Riesling is a light-skinned, aromatic white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. It displays flowery, almost perfumed aromas as well as high acidity. It is used in the making of dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines.

Riesling was estimated to be the world’s 20th most grown grape variety in 2004 (with an increasing trend), but in terms of importance for quality wines, it is usually included in the “top three” white wine varieties with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, if critics and (ahem) wine writers are to be believed.

In cooler European climates, Riesling wines tend to exhibit apple and green fruit notes with high levels of acidity that is sometimes balanced with residual sugar. A late-ripening variety can develop more citrus and peach notes in warmer climates (like in South Africa). It is then often noted for a characteristic lime aroma and taste.

Riesling wines have immense ageing potential because of the naturally high acidity and pronounced fruit flavours, often developing sweet, smoky honey aromas and aged (in particular German) Rieslings then taking on a terpene (petrol-like) character.

Try South African Rieslings with grilled garlic chicken and lemon and honey semolina cake. In my opinion it is probably one of the best wines (in semi sweet form) to pair with spicy foods like curry and Thai dishes. Not too spicy though.

Some Ravishing South African Rieslings:

Paul Cluver “Dry Encounter” Riesling 2013, Elgin, South Africa

A light green apple tint leads to apple blossom, fynbos, terpene and waxy honey on the nose. Lime and a subtle nuttiness on the palate leads to a long and fresh finish. The crisp mouthfeel is wonderful!


 paul cluver dry encounter riesling

De Wetshof Estate Riesling 2012, Robertson, South Africa

Clear, almost sparkling on the eye. A bit more steely and minerally than most Rieslings but on going back to it a developed nose of Granny Smith apple with peach notes and hints of honey. Lovely fresh acidity with stone fruit  and a spicy follow through. Delish!


DE-wetshof Rhine riesling

Klein Constantia Riesling 2012, Constantia, South Africa

Greenish tint with light yellow on sight. Very floral and fragrant. Shows lime, honey and muskiness on the nose.  Sharp acidity followed by lovely richness of stone fruit on the pallet. Very, very good wine and can age for a bit longer.


Klein Constantia Riesling