Ancient Amberley Rhine Riesling

I sit before an oddity that followed me from Aucklend when Chris and I moved to the Bay of Islands in 1994.  At that stage a Corbans Amberley Rhine Riesling 1988 would not have seemed that old.  But now its forgotten gold has escaped from a nook in our underground cellars at Orongo Bay Homestead and glows in my glass.

It is luminous light amber gold in colour, with aromas of Hokey Pokey, Enokitake mushroom and creme caramel with a hint of grapefuit.  The first acid bite is like a plunge into a cold pool, but once the palate recovers I can expore deeper.  Lemon, freshly pressed virgin olive oil, a ghost of sweet blood-red grapefruit, and a bracing brush up the wrong way against the grain of my tongue taste-buds.  You could still have this with food – the match would probably be smoked sardines (just as at Ponsonby Road Bistro) or Trevally with a green olive tappenade.  Tomatillo or green tomato salsa might work, too.  I’m pleased I did not intentionaly keep another bottle.

Writing tasting notes on Pasquale wines has really taken me to a different plane – I think I might return to the esoteric, but it has been an interesting diversion. New Zealand interactive map . myeclassonline .

About wine

Michael Hooper is a multi-award-winning journalist with a long broadcast and print media career. He has been, or is, a critic and assessor for most of New Zealand's food and restaurant awards and programmes. Michael also writes and blogs on wine, travel and the environment.
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