New Zealand Sweet over £10
Seifried Riesling 2010
For the fifth year running, Seifried Estate in Nelson has won the title of best sweet wine producer in New Zealand.
With 180ha of vineyards and a string of awards, the family business has come a long way since founder Hermann Seifried moved to New Zealand from Austria in 1970 to make 'a New Zealand babycham'.
While in New Zealand, Hermann fell in love with Nelson, and a local woman, Agnes. Forty years later they are still happily married and producing wine with the help of their three grown-up children; Heidi, Chris and Anna.
The Riesling grapes are late harvested with no botrytis and hand selected, “we are looking for clean ripe fruit,” says Chris Seifried. “The wine then chugs away slowly in the fermenter and we bottle it reasonably early. We just want to bottle pure fruit and retain the crispness.” The ferment is arrested and the finished wine has just 10.6% alcohol, 180g/l of residual sugar, and a zippy 10.9g of total acidity, which carves effortlessly through the sweetness.
The alcohol is also important to the wine's structure, explains Chris, “if the wine had less than 10% alcohol, it would be like lolly water. Alcohol is important in terms of mouth weight.”
Heidi adds, “Agnes is the jewel in our crown. At the London International Wine Fair, we had people coming to try this Sweet Agnes they had read about, and Agnes was there to pour it. It's becoming an icon for us.”