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In homage to its stony origins, this dry style riesling has underlying mineral and river stone flavours. A mineral wine with a floral and citrus nose of jasmine, ripe lemon skin and pink grapefruit aromas. The palate has a focussed acidity and zesty fruit making it delicious to drink now although cellaring for five years or more will be richly rewarded. This wine is the perfect match with lightly spiced tapas, Asian food and freshly caught fish.
Technical Notes (this vintage)
Tasting Notes (pdf download)
Dry, weighty riesling with lime, wild flowers and chalky-mineral characters. A smooth textured wine, with a vibrant backbone of tangy acidity that leaves a gentle mouth-watering finish. 2019-2023
92/100 4 Stars
The very age-worthy 2017 vintage was estate-grown and hand-harvested in the northern Wairarapa. Re-tasted in mid 2019 it is a bright, light lemon/green, invitingly scented, medium-bodied wine with fresh, strong, delicate, citrusy, appley flavours, slightly toasty, bottle-aged notes emerging, good acid spine and and long, unusually dry (2.7 grams/litre of residual sugar), steely finish. Best drinking 2021+. Certified Organic.
Wonderfully composed and fabulously aromatic, the wine shows crunchy apple, lemon curd, rockmelon and lime zest characters on the nose, followed by a brilliantly focused palate that is concentrated and persistent. It is bright, vibrant and delectable with a lingering crisp finish. Style: Off-dry. At its best: now to 2024. Certified organic.
95/100 5 Stars
Fragrant and feminine with aromas of sweet mandarin and red apple, some florals rose layers and fresh wet rock soil ideas. Dry on the palate with vibrant acidity then flavours of citrus – both lime and lemon, some barley sugar and apples. Wild flowers and honeysuckle, long finish, a great aperitif and very tasty wine. Drink now and through 2030.
Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with taut and finely concentrated, bright aromas of lime fruit with subtle notes of white florals, honeysuckle and suggestions of toasty nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is tightly bound with an elegantly concentrated core of lime fruit, white florals and minerals with suggestions of honey and toast, The palate is crisp with a fine-textured line of fruit extract and phenolics, with underlying thirst-quenching acidity. The wine has very good linearity and carries to a long, lingering, soft-textured, dry finish. This is a taut and finely concentrated dry Riesling with lime, floral and mouthwatering mineral flavours on a dry, textural palate with good linearity. Serve as an aperitif and with shellfish over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and cool-fermented to 12.0% alc. and 6.0 g/L RS, TA 8.2 g/L and pH 3.0. Certified BioGro organic.
There are significant developments at Urlar, the Gladstone wine venture in the Wairarapa established by Angus and Davina Thomson in 2004. With organics as a base philosophy, Urlar was certified BioGro organic in 2010, but the Thomsons have recently made commitments to biodynamic winegrowing. Long-serving winemaker Guy McMaster, who was an integral part of the vineyard and wine style evolution has left, and his position was filled by the highly experienced and thoughtful Carol Bunn from Central Otago in time for the 2016 harvest. Carol, too, is devoted to the natural approach of winegrowing, and her track record of making numerous award-winning wines will see Urlar make strong progress. Here, I review the 2014 Urlar Riesling, made by Guy McMaster, held back for further bottle maturation and increased complexity, and now released by the Thomsons and Carol Bunn.
Brilliant straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, paler on the rim. The nose is harmoniously concentrated with deep and intense aromas of limes and ripe citrus fruits interwoven with yellow florals and toasty secondary complexities, unfolding nuances of honeysuckle and minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate features a stylishly concentrated core of lime fruit entwined with layers of toast and notes of honey and minerals. The fruit possesses subtle richness and grows in intensity, and is enlivened by fresh, brisk acidity. The wine flows along a fine-textured line of fruit extract with a little grip, leading to an elegant, nuanced, dry finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, moderately rich dry Riesling with lime and complex toasty flavours on a lively palate with a fine-textured flow. Serve as an aperitif, with seafood and Asian fare over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 6.5 g/L RS, TA 8.4 g/L and pH 2.9, the wine aged on lees. Certified BioGro organic.
Hand-harvested in the Wairarapa, the 2011 vintage (4 stars) was partly (10 per cent) barrel-fermented and fermented almost to dryness (4 grams/litre of residual sugar). Citrusy and spicy, minerally and concentrated, it’s a distinctive wine; drink now or cellar. The 2013 vintage (4.5 stars), certified organic, has a scented, slightly minerally bouquet. Mouthfilling, with a strong surge of ripe grapefruit/lime flavours, it’s a classic ‘dry’ style, with good complexity and a finely poised, lasting finish. A very ageworthy, well-priced wine, it should be at its best mid-2015 onwards.
Cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 7.0 g/L RS, and TA 8.6 g/l and pH 2.92, the wine aged on lees. Bright straw-yellow colour with slight lemon-green hues. The nose is clean, fresh and steely, with lime and lemon fruit aromas, lifted with white floral and stonefruit notes, revealing savoury citrus, honey and toast nuances in the glass, Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with fruit flavours of limes and lemons along with savoury mineral elements. This has good fruit extract and the palate is carried by soft, dry textures with underlying, thirst-quenching acid drive to a sustained, citrussy finish. This is a dry, concentrated, mouth-watering Riesling with lime-like fruit and savoury nuances. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood. It will develop greater complexity over the next 5-6 years. Certified BioGro organic.
18.0/20 4 stars
Stylish and mouth-watering, this youthful charmer is elegantly perfumed with lemon pith, green apple, white peach and floral aromas. The palate is fine, focused and flowing with excellent concentration and persistency. A dry expression that’s sweetly appealing. At its best: now to 2023
Wine Orbit – Sam Kin
This is pure, delicate and fragrant, displaying floral, lemon/lime and stonefruit characters on the nose. The palate is juicy and finely textured with a touch of sweetness (7.1 g/l) and bright acidity providing a lovely balance to this elegantly attractive wine. At its best: now to 2016. 12.5% Screw cap. Certified Organic.
The Urlar label has become synonymous with excellent, complex, character-filled Riesling wines in the short time is has existed. But then again, it is not surprising that Riesling should do so well, as it seems to be the Wairarapa’s ‘next best varietal’ after the proven Pinot Noir. This new Urlar release is light golden hued straw with the full, weighty expression of exotic tropical fruits, ripe citrus fruits with a touch of honey on nose and palate. Dry to taste, there is depth and mouthfeel, and good acidity to keep things sufficiently racy and allow the minerality to show. At present, there is a little reduction subduing the aromas and flavours, adding to the tightness of youth. However, wait another year, and it’ll blossom, and drink well for another 4-5 years. A classically proportioned 12.5% alc. with a seemingly dry 7.1 g/L rs.