BB Review: Paul Cluver Ferricrete Riesling 2016

For this round, we're exploring the wonderful world of Riesling! (Literally, Riesling is produced all over the world, including Australia, South Africa, Austria, Germany, The United States, Croatia, Canada, New Zealand... you get the picture.) But is this wine actually wonderful? We're putting it to the test! 

Bottle Bitches Riesling Wine Review Paul Cluver Ferricrete Riesling 2016 from Elgin South Africa

THE WINE

BOTTLE: Paul Cluver Ferricrete Riesling 2016 – Elgin, South Africa

WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £13.00 from Marks and Spencer

ABV & TECH SPECS: 10.5% ABV 

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LET'S GET NERDY: Not heard of Elgin? This cool climate region in the Cape South Coast is a newer addition to the South African wine scene and was popular for apple growing before the vines moved in. Due to its cooler temperatures from the Antarctic, it’s perfect for growing Riesling and Chardonnay grapes.

FUN FACT: Paul Cluver is the biggest single Riesling grower in South Africa and was one of the first vineyards in SA to initiate a black empowerment scheme.

Ferricrete Riesling takes its name from the iron rich soil in which the grape vines are grown, giving a mineral flavour twist to the wine. It is crafted on the Paul Cluver Estate located in the cool coastal region of Elgin, renowned for making wines of exceptional quality.

CARO PICKED THIS WINE: Give me a classic Old World grape, and I’ll do everything I can to turn it into a “see, New World is best”. So, obviously, my beloved South African wines took the forefront in the decision-making process! Did I nail the “New World Rocks” trick? Read on…

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THE VERDICT 

CARO: Those of you who are familiar with our palates will know that I’m slightly obsessed with South African wine - no matter what they are, I’ll give them a go! Well, this one was like a bad Tinder date to me: smelt of rotten lemon, had an exciting acidity at first that quickly became pretty flat, leaving you with a bitter taste of lemon (or is that Cif?) and sick. Needless to say I won’t be calling for a second date.

ANGELA: This is incredibly lemony on the nose and a faint whiff of dairy. The acidity is dominant to start but a lingering of residual sugar would make this a perfect match for spicy Asian cuisines and blue cheeses. 

KATE: This Riesling smells a bit like using lemon washing up liquid to clean a forgotten swimsuit that's been mildewing in the bottom of your gym bag since last Thursday (but in a good way!). It's juicy but crisp, and reminds me of eating a freshly picked apple that's been warmed by the autumn sun. Next time I sip this wine, I want to pair it with a big block of sharp cheddar, a cashmere blanket and a brisk breeze.

WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? Just like last week's Riesling, Angela and Kate are quite happy to finish off a bottle of this (and did) but Caro's looking around for the nearest Shiraz (which– wouldn't you know it– Kate's parents conveniently had open whilst we did this tasting. What a world!). 

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