Margrain Vineyard Riesling 2017



It is 10 years since we planted our own small block of Riesling vines and 7 years since we bid farewell to our long term contract grower. Of course as expected, the first few crops were small but by now we imagined we’d be up to our ears in the golden polka-dotted berries on an annual basis. Not so! The nuggety little vines are struggling in the truest sense of the word and despite the well-deserved reputation of the variety as a prodigious cropper, they set a personal best this year by reaching a miserly 1.5 t/acre. But the quality…. OMG!


The light green hue is no surprise in a wine so young and hints at the level of extract within. The nose smacks of hellfire and brimstone as it comes barrelling out of the glass like a rabid dog. A bitter sweet pungency of kaffir lime and pinched passion fruit skin run side by side with primrose, linseed and the hint of musk from a long forgotten encounter. Intriguing notes of melted butter trickling over hot sweetcorn and snifter lollies are backed by fleshy white nectarine, hints of mango and artichoke heart sprinkled with cardamom. When drawn into the mouth slowly, there is an obvious touch of fruit sweetness on the tip of the tongue which quickly gives way to the cutting edge of swashbuckling acidity as the wine makes its way further back.  It has a powerful raspy grip, exceptional mouthfill and a steely composure which combine to form the building blocks of a stairway to heaven. There is a floodplain of flavour; ripe yellow peach, citrus in overload, tinned pineapple juice, a touch of asparagus and a malty warmth at the back. The mercurial presence of a lemon, lime and bitters balance leads to a long clean finish which expunges all in its path.

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