Groote Post’s 2012 Riesling head and shoulders above the rest

Date posted:
January 11, 2013

“It will always be a challenge to make good riesling in South Africa because of our climate, but I have always thought riesling could do well at Groote Post.  Sauvignon blanc and pinot noir do very well on our farm, and they prefer colder climates, so why shouldn’t riesling have the same potential?”


These prophetic words from Groote Post winemaker Lukas Wentzel have finally come to fruition.


The recently released 2012 Groote Post Riesling was rated one of only two 4½ star rieslings in the 2013 Platter’s SA Wine Guide. And it was the only riesling nominated for Platter’s pinnacle 5 star rating. Top ratings for riesling are few and far between in South Africa, with only 4 rieslings, all semi-sweet, ever having  received 5 star Platter’s ratings in the 34-year history of the guide.


“The 2012 Riesling is our third attempt, and this time round, we are confident that we have produced the style of riesling that we want to pursue. With riesling you need to build character and complexity with a high acidity and significant residual sugar to give the wine some depth. I believe that we have achieved this with the 2012, which has a residual sugar of 21g/l and a high acidity which combine beautifully. We have added a delicious semi-sweet wine to our portfolio and the alcohol is nice and low at 11.5%”, says Lukas.


This riesling was grafted onto cabernet sauvignon that was struggling to ripen because the vineyard block is south-facing, east-west row direction, and therefore has a cooler microclimate which suits riesling. Groote Post was lucky that 2012 was a moderate year so it was less challenging to get the harvest date right for the riesling and they were able to capture the flavours they were looking for.


According to the Platter’s 2013 edition, the 2012 Groote Post Riesling’s “nervy tension shows skilful winemaking to capture such intensity, purity…. Quince and ginger, a tangy texture as the high acid and 21g/l sugar combine, leaving an extended fruitiness.”


In the cellar the ‘skilful’ winemaker says he treated the riesling much the same as any other white wine, except he stopped the fermentation by cooling the wine down to 5°C. The wine was kept on the lees and stirred regularly.  


“We are still learning every day when it comes to winemaking, especially with riesling. I believe we are almost there and that Groote Post will produce one of South Africa’s finest rieslings”, concludes Lukas.


The 2012 Groote Post Riesling is a typical young riesling, with none of that oily terpene character yet. It is fragrant with wafts of honeysuckle and jasmine. The palate is fresh and spicy and somewhat exotic with gorgeous apple and apricot notes and a touch of ginger. Semi-sweet and well rounded, it displays the cool climate aspects of Darling.


The 2012 Groote Post Riesling is available nationally at leading restaurants and fine wine merchants, retailing at approximately R70. 



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