Riverby Estate Marlborough Riesling Range

The understated market presence of Riverby Estate in the local market belies the activity and success of Kevin Courtney who assumes a role of overseeing the logistics, sales and marketing of the brand. He points out that the selected outlets which carry the wines enjoy real success and also the overseas markets are very active for him. The range of wines is ever-increasing, and from 2013, there will be 13 wines in the portfolio, including a Gruner Veltliner. All of the wines are made from fruit from the Matthews family 70 ha vineyard on Jackson Road, next to Cloudy Bay. Established in 1989, the vines are among some of the oldest in Marlborough. Vinification is at Forrest Estate, with Kevin specifying style and parameters with winemaker Dave Knappstein. The output under the Riverby Estate label is approx. 10,000 cases, which accounts for nearly 50% of the yield, the remainder sold under contract.

The colour coding of the Riverby Estate labels is unique and understanding it allows the consumer to understand and follow the styles. Each wine carries a differently coloured vertical side strip which is consistent for that style every year. The wines which carry the coloured strip at the bottom of the label horizontally are "something special” according to Kevin.

This review is a specially focussed one, on the Riesling variety. It covers a small vertical of the Dry Riesling, from 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012 vintages, the latter not yet released. Also reviewed is the medium-sweet ‘Sali’s’ Riesling 2011 and the fully sweet Noble Riesling 2011. The review is supplemented by the new ‘Eliza’ Riesling 2012, about to be released, and the Dry Riesling and Noble Riesling also from 2012, but still being held back. The ‘Eliza is a blend of the Dry and Noble wines! Kevin reckons all of the Rieslings share a distinctive lemon and lime citrus character that originates from the vineyard. He sees wines made from neighbouring sites possess this trait as well. I find all the wines have a tautness and restraint, as well as a low pH feel about them. They certainly have the style that suggests aging is beneficial. www.riverbyestate.com


  • Riverby Estate Marlborough Dry Riesling 2012
  • Riverby Estate Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011
  • Riverby Estate Marlborough Dry Riesling 2009
  • Riverby Estate Marlborough Dry Riesling 2007
  • Riverby Estate ‘Sali’s Block’ Marlborough Riesling 2011
  • Riverby Estate ‘Eliza’s’ Marlborough Riesling 2012
  • Riverby Estate Marlborough Noble Riesling 2012
  • Riverby Estate Marlborough Noble Riesling 2011

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