Many wine geeks claim that Riesling is the greatest white variety in the world and yet it somehow consistently fails to capture the popular imagination. I suspect this is because the variety finds its greatest expression when grown in its traditional home of Germany, but there are only some 22 000ha of it planted there and my understanding is that by far the majority of German Riesling gets consumed by Germans.
Reluctant to open yet another bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, I recently opened a long over-looked bottle of Weisser Riesling 2004 from Stellenbosch winery Lievland, its only recommendations 3 Stars in the November 2005 issue of Wine magazine and bronze at Veritas 2004.
My expectations were not very high as a consequence but on opening the wine, I was pleasantly surprised. Very fresh for a wine seven years on from vintage, with plenty of lime and just a touch of terpene to add interest. Not profound but eminently drinkable.
Just Riesling was started to promote the advancement of Riesling locally a few years back but judging by how out of date its website is, seems to have run out of puff. What hope for the variety when most punters are quite happy to stick to Sauvignon?