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Dr John Forrest of Forrest Estate on Riesling

This show was published 04 April 2008


Dr John Forrest is winemaker and owner of Forrest Estate in New Zealand and a big fan of Riesling. We find out why the versatile Riesling grape holds so much appeal.

Riesling is the most challenging and interesting of all grapes because you can make it in all sorts of styles. Climatically, New Zealand is perfect for Riesling - better even than it's spiritual home of Germany! In the South Island of New Zealand, the flavour of Riesling changes as you move from the warmer North to the cooler South. In Marlborough you get ripe citrus flavours, spice, floral and aromatic. As you go further south you move towards citrus limes and lemon flavours and then finally citrus plus green apples - Granny Smiths - in Central Otago. You can also see the influence of the soil in the different styles with a definite variation between the regions. Stony soils in Marlborough create minerality whereas in Otago, where it is glacial, the wines have less minerality and a slight chalkiness.

The different styles of Forrest Estate Rieslings include:

- Classic style with 12% alcohol and 12g residual sugar per litre (medium style).
- Bone dry with no residual sugar - best to drink between 5-15 years (screwcaps hold the freshness).
- Low alcohol at 8% and 30-50g of residual sugar per litre.
- Late harvest 100g residual picked as late as June in New Zealand.
- Botrytis style with 200g sugar.

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The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.

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