I’ve met Kevin Courtney from Riverby Estate a few times in my alter ego role as part time duty manager at Wino’s Liquor in Blenheim. Kevin recently held a Friday In-store tasting there and was kind enough to provide a bottle each of two interesting wines for me to take a look at.
“A major factor in Riverby’s success is the total control over all grape production on the single estate vineyard. A significant portion of the vineyard consists of vines with considerable age and this is complemented by slightly younger vines utilising modern clones. This combination of vine age and meticulous clonal selection is readily apparent in the high quality fruit being produced.
Vines were first planted in 1989; on land that had previously been used for cropping and sheep farming. Further plantings have continued over the years, until now over 70 hectares are planted out in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Semillon, and Syrah. The most recent planting is of Gruner Veltliner.”
From this Vineyard Kevin makes a range of over a dozen different wines from the 8 grape varieties planted and the two I have to taste are his 2011 Riverby Estate Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon and 2012 Spatlese Style Eliza Riesling.
Riverby Estate SV Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon 2011
Really interesting wine as they’ve always used a little Semillon in their Savvy but this ratio of 65% Savvy and 35% Semillon takes it to a new level – both grown in their own vineyards with a small portion of Savvy and all the Semillon fermented and aged in new French Oak for 8 months with regular lees stirring. The rest of the Savvy in stainless before blending and bottling in March 2012.
Pale lemon-straw in the glass, with a light oily viscosity. Earthy hay – herbals, a hint of oak and tropical citrus in the nose. Rich and complex on the palate, a nice weight and mouth feel, drying acidity up front but then opens into rich, juicy, spicy layers of fruit, texture and flavour, all seamlessly in balance and very elegant! Will certainly age well for another few years if not longer. $25.00 12.5% Alc
Riverby Estate ‘Eliza’ Riesling 2012
Gold & Champion Riesling NZIWS 2013
Pure Gold Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013
This is the first time this particular Riesling has been made, as 2012 was an exceptional year for Marlborough Riesling. That year they had a “magical combination’ of both clean fruit and fruit with just the right ratio of botrytis. Eliza is a family name that has been passed down the generations.
Shiny bright lemon / gold in colour, with a sweet honeyed nose with citrus & stone-fruit, the tiniest hit of kero just evident. Very succulent palate with just the right balance of juicy citrus acidity to balance the 63gms RS. Ripe citrus, stone-fruit and green apple sit on the tongue and last for ages… Glenys had a sniff and a taste and her eyes lit up! She is a long time Riesling lover and this certainly tickled her fancy as it did mine – needless to say here we were at 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon, large glass each in hand… well it is only 9.5% Alc – love it. $25.00
Both wines can be ordered via the Riverby Estate website or in select wine stores and supermarkets. For more information visit https://www.riverbyestate.com/