Howard Park Riesling 2001

There’s not much left here by way of fruit, only a muted quince-like suggestion of faded summer apples long since dried. At first glance, this could almost pass for a severely dry English cider, but there’s also an interesting subtle perfume of talc and (almost) roses mixed in with that tell-tale kero smell that quickly hides itself from the rest. All in all, what there is on the nose is slight, elegant, delicate: this isn’t a screamer.At first apparently sleep with almost a slight spritz left, it turns out to not be sweet at all. Surprisingly (to me, at any rate), the acidity isn’t as searing as I would have expected (I have memories of tasting their 2002 at the cellar door in Denmark (I think it was) and being taken aback at the sheer nerve of the thing). The overall effect is of a very soft wine with some acidity at the tail, almost flabby (but not quite), with very still apple-y flavors and a moderately short finish. The overall effect is quite like seeing a cover band play your favorite band’s songs: it’s good enough to remind you why you like that band in the first place, yet also not good enough for you to really break right down and enjoy it.Then again, it turns out that all this wine really needed was to warm up just a bit from its ice bath. Served slightly warmer than usual, it mellow out into a lovely wine that still has distant glimpses of freshness; the overall effect is strangely English – it’s like a genteel, polite floral drink best served with cucumber sandwiches. I do like it and yet I’m not bowled over by the style; a bit of residual sugar would do wonders towards making this a great wine. I’m glad to see that Howard Park are now doing that and suspect their greatest success might lie with a sweeter style – especially after lengthy bottle ageing.Howard Park
Price: $20
Closure: Stelvin

One thought on “Howard Park Riesling 2001

  1. Hm, it thought of something different–without knowing what it was, I’d guess it was a Hunter Valley semillion; only after you said it was a riesling did I see hints of the varietal character.

    For me, it was all sharp lemonade and acid. A dash of sugar would help balance that… and some ice cubes… and it’d be a great summer drink.

    This one wasn’t for me.

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