Mondillo ‘Nina’ Bendigo Late Harvest Riesling 2012

The first release of a sweet Riesling from Domenic and Ally Mondillo's 12 ha Bendigo vineyard in Central Otago was with the 2011 vintage. Only 2 ha of their vineyard are devoted to Riesling, with Pinot Noir the main focus. Dry Riesling is the main expression of the white variety, as conditions must be suitable to allow good late harvest wine production. And usually, the quantities of such wines are very limited. Knowing these points, it is easy to understand why the Mondillo ‘Nina is a serendipitous wine and special, hence it being named after Domenic's mother Giovanina.

The new 2012 is a very different wine to the inaugural 2011 (click here to see my review), being much lower in alcohol and approx. twice the residual sugar. It's the style that Domenic and winemaker Rudi Bauer envisaged making in 2011. Then, new to the game with botrytised fruit from the vineyard being selected for the specialist style, it was unchartered ground, and the winemaking decisions took them to 13.0% alc. and 93 g/L rs. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, the preferred style parameters have been met. Despite the differences between the two vintages, I detect a similarity of fruit personality. Is it vineyard character or terroir? Here is my review of the 2012 ‘Nina', to be released at the start of November. http://www.mondillo.com/

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