2017 Rippon "Mature Vine" Riesling

Central Otago, New Zealand

Rippon is own by Rolfe and Lois Mills. They are true pioneers of wine in Central Otago in New Zealand. Their first commercial vintage was in 1988 and their son Nick has been the winemaker since 2002. He spent the previous four years in Burgundy where he learned his craft at Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and a few others.

Nick and his wife Jo, also a well-respected winemaker in her own right, work with other members of the Mills family to make Rippon a unique and successful family operation. Added bonus, they make biodynamic wines!

The “Mature Vine” Riesling is a unique creature, it is completely dry at 10% ABV resulting in a light-bodied, crisp wine. Lots of citrus notes, grapefruit and lime-peel to name a couple, followed by notes of green apple and an abundance of stony, flinty, wet rock minerality. The palate is fresh with a remarkable acidity, this is full of life and has a very long finish. This wine is perfect for sushi or with perogies.

I first came across this wine almost by chance. I was living in Montreal at the time and it was on a special listing offer called “Jewels of the Wine World” at the SAQ. Although I was mostly looking for mythical wines from producers such as Thierry Allemand, Clos Rougeard and Didier Dagueneau, I ordered a bottle of Rippon out of curiosity and because I adore Riesling! I automatically fell in love with this wine on my first sip and I started to look for it right away. I only saw it once in the next 2 years. I was in Beaune and it was there, sitting on the shelves of a caviste. However, I just couldn't wrap my head around buying a New Zealand Riesling while in Burgundy!

On my first day at Bricks I saw it in our New Zealand section. I couldn't have been happier to finally end the hunt (it was my first purchase as an employee) and it was a no-brainer for me, it was going to be my first “staff pick”!