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Try: A Regal New Riesling

A new limited-release riesling from Giesen has our tastebuds very excited...

Giesen Estate Riesling is not only the highest selling riesling in New Zealand, earlier this year it was also selected as everyday Kiwi’s favourite riesling in Liquorland’s Picked By You awards. So you can imagine the excitement here at Toast when Giesen told us they were launching a new riesling.

Gemstone Riesling is a very special, limited-release wine, created in unique circumstances. Made from handpicked grapes sourced exclusively from Giesen’s Eden Valley vineyard, in the lower Waihopai Valley of Blenheim, this wine faced some unusual challenges thanks to mother nature.

A major earthquake in the region, a cool and windy summer, and stints of rain in autumn kept Giesen winemaker Nikolai St George on his toes, reducing the yield but resulting in concentrated flavours and heightened ripening potential in the fruit.

In addition to the pure and intense flavour of the fruit, the free run juice was fermented in a combination of granite tanks, used French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. “It’s the use of granite which makes Gemstone special,” explains St George. “Granite tanks are made from one giant slab of volcanic rock and the French have been fermenting in them for centuries. Granite is exceptional for stabilising temperature, and flavour is enhanced by granite acting a little like oak barrels. It allows air in and the vessel ever so slightly sweats, this slight evaporation adds concentration to the wine. All this adds up to ensure wine matured in granite is clean, bright and full of flavour.”

TASTING NOTES: An enticing wine with luscious aromas and flavours of citrus blossom and white florals, this beautifully balanced sip has subtle levels of sweetness and unexpected hints of smokiness.

FOOD MATCH: Pair Giesen Gemstone Riesling with Vietnamese fresh spring rolls.

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