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General Blog

Anim Tasmania Riesling 2018 by Max Marriott

Some of the best and most interesting Rieslings from New Zealand I have ever tasted came under the Auburn Central Otago label, the wines made by Max Marriott. First made in 2009, Max and his partners set out to make sub-regionally expressive Rieslings. The Auburn portfolio grew to include bottlings from Alexandra, Bannockburn, Bendigo, Lowburn, Northburn and Pisa, each showing distinctively different characteristics. In addition to these, the Auburn range included sweeter wines and grew to include a dry Riesling. I rated the both the 2011 and 2012 Auburn Bendigo Rieslings at 20.0/20 points, making the Auburn label a contender for my ‘Winery of the Year’ award, and in the standing of Andrew Hedley and John Forrest as this country’s expert Riesling specialists. Unfortunately, Max ceased the Auburn operation, making the last wine under this label with a 2014 Bannockburn bottling, before heading over to Oregon to further his career.

Max Marriott in Tasmania
Since then, Max and his wife Siobhan have added twin sisters to their older daughter, growing the family, and decided to head to Tasmania to move forward again. Max is now based 15 minutes south of Hobart and has involvement in several projects (what else could you expect?), including a 2 ha vineyard that he leases and manages, as well as two other vineyards he has inputs in. The focussed vineyard is named ‘Tinderbox’ and is situated in the d’Entrecasteau Channel district, with sandstone, dolerite and scoria soil. Max has access to 8 rows of Riesling at the top of the vineyard, the vines approx. 15 y.o., and has made his first Riesling wine from the fruit in 2018 since the last Auburn wine in 2014. The wine is labelled ‘Anim’.

Max has several wines from the Tinderbox vineyard on the go, including some ‘fun’ bottlings including a Pet-Nat called ‘Field Fizz’ and a field blend named ‘Field’. But there are also more classical wines, including the Riesling, a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir. The quantities will be small due to the size of the vineyard.

View from top of Tinderbox Vineyard, Tasmania
Photo - Max Marriott

The Anim Riesling 2018
Max sent a bottle of the 2018 Anim Tasmania Riesling for me to try, his first Riesling made since the Auburn wines. He tells me it was made in a very similar manner to his previous wines, with clean fruit, WBP, and cool-fermentation. My impressions follow:

Anim Tasmania Riesling 2018
Bright, pale straw colour, near colourless on the rim. The nose is a little shy with delicate aromas of white florals and subtle notes of lime fruit melded with a layer of mouthwatering minerals. Some honeysuckle detail emerges with aeration, and the aromatics form a refined, tight core. Medium in sweetness and light-bodied, the palate has restrained flavours of white florals, lime fruit, nuances of honeysuckle and mineral detail. This is bright and lively with fresh, crisp acidity lifting the core and enlivening the mouthfeel, balancing the sweetness and fruits which grows in richness. This has a fine core and possesses linearity, leading to a lingering finish. This is an elegantly proportioned medium-sweet Riesling with delicate flavours of florals, lime and honey with mineral detail on a fresh, crisp palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Tinderbox’ vineyard, WBP cool-fermented in tank by indigenous yeasts to 10.5% alc. and 36 g/L RS, TA 7.2 g/L and pH 2.95. 210 bottles made. 18.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP AU$30.00
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