Featured Reviews

SOHO ‘Betty’ Riesling Spatlese 2017

19 June,2018

The New Zealand wine industry has committed funding to research the development of low-alcohol wine, especially with respect to our most grown variety Sauvignon Blanc. The balance of sufficient fruit flavour, ripeness, acidity and residual sugar, along with phenolics has been the focus of work in the vineyards and in the winery. However, the Riesling variety has the natural ability to work well in the low-alcohol style, as demonstrated by the German wine industry for decades, and in New Zealand with the work of Dr John Forrest with his ‘Doctors’ Riesling. It is nearly incomprehensible that our industry has not strongly followed his lead, but then the image of sugary ‘sweet Riesling’ as in the past has had negative connotations for many wine drinkers. Rachael Carter of SOHO has been very positive in showing that low-alcohol Riesling has the balance, finesse and quality to make the style a very viable path to take. She introduced the lower alcohol ‘Betty’ Riesling with 9.4% alc. with the 2015 vintage to instant critical acclaim and gold medal winning status, followed by the 2016 vintage which followed suit. The wine is labelled ‘Spatlese’ as in the classical German category of quality wine. Here, I review the new release 2017 vintage. www.sohowineco.com


SOHO ‘Betty’ Marlborough Riesling Spatlese 2017

Riesling from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is delicate and elegant with very fresh and youthful fruit aromas of limes and lemon with notes of mouthwatering minerals, subtle honeysuckle, herb and floral detail. This aromatics are taut and locked in, needing time to open out. Sweet to taste and light-bodied, the palate has fresh flavours of lime and lemonade entwined with honeysuckle and florals, and mineral nuances. The fruit is still taut and tightly bound, but poised with fresh acidity. This has good linearity and carries to a long, , delicate floral and honied finish. This is a youthfully taut, light-bodied, medium-sweet Riesling with lime, florals, honeysuckle and mineral flavours on a mouthwatering palate. This will blossom over the next 4+ years. Serve as an aperitif, with Asian fare and fruit. Marlborough fruit cool-fermented to 9.5% alc., and 41 g/L RS. Winemaker: Dave Clouston. 18.0+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $20.00

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