BB Review: Mansion House Bay Riesling 2015
Riesling has a bit of a bad rap. Not because it has a podcast that regularly features smutty jokes and lots of swearing (ahem), but because people often assume it's a lot sweeter than it really is. As Bottle Bitches, we know that the last thing any of us want is to be sweet, so we're here to help Riesling control its narrative and change its reputation! Or are we...
BOTTLE: Mansion House Bay Riesling 2015 – Marlborough, New Zealand
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £12.50 from Secret Cellar
ABV & TECH SPECS: 10% ABV
LET'S GET NERDY: Marlborough is home to New Zealand's most sought-after wines, producing over 75% of the country's tipples. And although the majority of this might be of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal, it's also being recognised for its premium Riesling offering. Riesling thrives on the bright days, cool nights and long, dry autumns found in New Zealand's South Island. A classic Marlborough is noted for its notes of lemon, lime and spice.
FUN FACT: This wine is produced by leading Marlborough wine company Whitehaven, and is named after Mansion House Bay, the sheltered cove on Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. Once upon a time in the 1800s, Sir George Grey lived and entertained at the residence. Who is Sir George Grey? Good question. He was the third Governor of New Zealand and served two terms, which happened to be at the time when New Zealand was being occupied by European Settlers (his first term started in 1845). Is this fact actually fun? Not really. And knowing settlers and European colonialists, this guy was probably pretty bad news. But wine is fun and look, now you know the name of the third Governor of New Zealand. You're welcome?
CARO: First, I’d like to make it clear that no, I was not drunk or hungover for that tasting. But man, to me that wine smelt of PLASTIC. Hang on: this carried onto the tongue too, with the added treat of a slight cheesiness. Great. Again, no, I was not drunk. Despite the smell/taste sending me to WhatTheFuck Town, I did find the texture quite pleasing: pretty full, with a lingering tingle and acidity on the tongue!
ANGELA: A classic aroma of lime with that ‘oh-so-delightful’ kick of kerosene – yes it should be there! The palate is medium-bodied with flavours of apple and peach. This is my style of Riesling – vibrant and aromatic!
KATE: Golden sunshine! As yellow as a Coldplay song! This wine smells like a field right after it's rained (worms and all), and sipping it brought me right back to late summer days on my uncle's farm, when we'd wander the fields and eat fresh cucumbers like they were ears of corn – cucumber water dripping down our chins. That is to say that this Riesling is juicy, has a bit of a vinaigrettey note and makes me want to eat a big summery rocket salad.
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? Angela and Kate are whisking up a dressing and making a big salad to enjoy with a few bottles of this Riesling (hello, it's only 10%!), whilst Caro's opening a bottle of South African something-or-other to enjoy on her own...