Auburn 2013 Riesling Selection

Over the short time frame of five vintages, Auburn Wines has gone from ‘zero to hero’, the label representing the ultimate in Riesling wine site expression in Central Otago, if not New Zealand and Australasia. The classical versions from Germany, Alsace and Austria no doubt serve as inspirations for Max Marriott, Andrew Burge and David Paterson. Taking the lead from the best such wines, Auburn’s approach is as non-interventionist as possible, eschewing as many forms of additions and input as possible, making the wines oxidatively and without sulphur, and as cool and long as possible to capture the maximum detail and nuance that the Riesling variety grown in different terroir has to offer. The quantities made are purposefully limited to enable full supervision of every aspect in their growing and making.

So far, the results have been sensational, and I’ve loved the wines I’ve seen to date. The Auburn ‘Bendigo’ wines have been awarded 20.0/20 by Raymond Chan Wine Reviews for the 2011 and 2012 vintages, and the other sub-regional bottlings are not far off. Such has been the style and quality that Auburn Wines was my runner-up to ‘Winery of the Year’ in 2012 (click here to see). At the end of June this year, I visited Max Marriott in Cromwell and tasted the 2013 wines from tank (click here to read my report). I was extremely impressed with what I saw and Max’s thoughtfulness and sensitive approach, as well as his open mindedness to trialling new styles – this being dry Riesling, as is done and taken extremely seriously in Europe.

Here, I review the new 2013 releases as finished wines. The vintage is seen as a remarkably and positively uneventful in growing terms, except for frosting on the Lowburn site, the fruit in top condition. The wines are listed in order of ascending sweetness, and there are now five sub-regions represented. The wines are more subtle and taut at this stage compared to the previous releases, and the expressions are very different and consistent with the regional characters that I’m beginning to appreciate. This will be the vintage to explore terroir in Central Otago Riesling. As the review is being conducted after 1 December, the results will be considered for ‘Winery of the Year’ in 2014.


  • Auburn Central Otago Dry Riesling 2013
  • Auburn Bannockburn Central Otago Riesling 2013
  • Auburn Pisa Central Otago Riesling 2013
  • Auburn Northburn Central Otago Riesling 2013
  • Auburn Bendigo Central Otago Riesling 2013
  • Auburn Lowburn Central Otago Riesling 2013

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