Valli 'Waitaki Vineyard' Riesling 2021

  • 97 Points Cameron Douglas MS"Intense and pure, varietal and new, complex and distinctive.Delicious, moythwatering and lengthy. What can I say - fantastic!"
  • The nose offers citrus aromas, with lime, grapefruit, and lemon zest, also hints of ripe pineapple, sage, and lemongrass while the palate is dry and crisp, with a good balance of acidity and fruit leading to a long and lingering crisp finish.
  • This wine is delicious on its own, but very versatile at the same time, pairs beautifully with summer salads, seafood, and Indian or Thai cuisine, the wine also carries great aging potential showcasing more richness and secondary characteristics.
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  • Cameron Douglas
    97 points
  • Raymond Chan Wi
    95 points
  • Bob Campbell MW
    91 points
  • Sam Kim
    96 points

Editors notes

The Valli Waitaki Vineyard Riesling 2021 is a New Zealand wine made from 100% Riesling grapes grown in the Waitaki Valley in North Otago. The wine has a pale straw color with green hues. The nose is dominated by citrus aromas, with lime, grapefruit, and lemon zest all present. There are also hints of ripe pineapple, sage, and lemongrass. The palate is dry and crisp, with a good balance of acidity and fruit. The finish is long and lingering, with a touch of minerality.

This wine is delicious on its own, but it also pairs well with a variety of foods. It is a great choice for summer salads, fresh fish, seafood, and light-medium spiced Indian or Thai cuisine. The wine is also relatively young, so it has the potential to develop for 10+ years, showing more richness and secondary characteristics.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Lemon
    • Lime
    • Mineral
  • Palate
    • Chalk
    • Honeydew
    • Lemon

Food Pairings

  • Asian
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Cameron Douglas MS

    "Intense and pure, varietal and new, complex and distinctive. Aromas and flavours of fresh green pear and apple, lemon, apple blossoms and a distinctive mineral smoke quality. Fantastic on the palate in a just dry epxression, layers of white fleshed orchard fruits and citrus, a mineral complexity, back bone of acidity and saline mineral attributes. Delicious, mouth-watering and lengthy. What can I say - fantastic!"
  • Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

    "Bright, even, pale yellow with a green sheen. This has a soft and gentle release of lime and citrus zest melded with a savoury element and minerals. Medium-light bodied, off-dry to taste, lime and mandarin core entwined with zesty spice, jasmine, sea salt and crushed rocks. Crunchy minerals flow along with acid tension and good energy, and a touch of sweetness adds flesh and broadens the palate. The wine has a long, focused and crisp finish. This crisp Riesling shows excellent balance, features crunchy minerals and jasmine with a strong citrus core. Match with river trout and shellfish."
  • Bob Campbell MW

    "Unusual and distinctive wine with lime zest, ginger, lemon blossom, green apple and oyster shell/mineral characters. The wine has a nice sweet/sour balance with an off/dry finish. Just a tad green"
  • Sam Kim

    "Impeccable and elegant in its styling, this fabulously riesling shows lemon pith, crunchy apple, lime peel and white floral aromas on the nose, followed by a finely textured palate that’s concentrated and persistent. Youthfully charming with immediate appeal, it’s dazzling and joyful with a sustained satisfying finish. Style: Off-dry."

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New Zealand

The New Zealand wine industry is one of the younger wine regions in the world, whose popularity grew immensely when Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hit the world wine scene, quite unique in style when compared to the typical French Sancerre.

Wine is successfully cultivated on both the North and South islands from a latitude of 36 degrees in the North to 45 degrees for the most southerly wine region in the world, the South Island's Central Otago. The majority of regions are located in free-draining alluvial valleys except for Waiheke Island and Kawarau Gorge in Central Otago and benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate as no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean. With plentiful sunshine hours and cool evening sea breezes, the grapes thrive.

Sauvignon Blanc is the major white variety people will think of when you mention New Zealand Whites, however fantastic Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and less commonly Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand although Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Bordeaux Blends), Syrah are also grown and in even smaller amounts, Tempranillo and Montepulcianos can too be found. Sparkling wines of very high standards are also made in New Zealand.

The key wine regions in New Zealand include Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Nelson.

Central Otago

Central Otago, located at the southernmost point of the world where wine grapes are grown, is a remarkable wine-growing region that spans over 4,000 square kilometers on New Zealand’s South Island. This spectacular landscape is surrounded by rugged mountains, glacial lakes, and wide-open valleys, which have earned the region a reputation as one of the most scenic wine destinations in the world.

The region is centered around the bustling tourist hub of Queenstown, which is an ideal base to explore the many world-class wineries and vineyards that dot the countryside. The unique soils in Central Otago are characterized by heavy mineral deposits in silt loams that are unlike any other region in New Zealand, resulting in wines with distinctive flavor profiles and complex structures.

Central Otago is New Zealand's only "continental" wine-growing region, which means it experiences greater diurnal temperature fluctuations than any other region in the country. These large swings between low and high temperatures create ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir, the flagship red varietal of the region. The long, cool, and dry autumn period also plays a significant role in producing some of the world's best Pinot Noirs, which are known for their fragrant aroma, silky texture, and true fruit intensity.

In addition to Pinot Noir, Central Otago is also renowned for its aromatic whites, particularly Riesling, which can be made in styles ranging from bone-dry to very sweet. Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay are also produced to a very high standard, reflecting the region's diverse terroir and the skill of its winemakers.

Central Otago's exceptional wines have earned it a place in Jancis Robinson's top five New World wine-producing regions, cementing its status as one of the most exciting and unique wine destinations in the world. With its awe-inspiring natural beauty, welcoming wineries, and world-class wines, Central Otago is a must-visit destination for any wine lover.

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About the brand Valli

In the words of Grant Taylor, the pioneering winemaker of Valli, “When you drink a Valli wine you are enjoying more than just a wine, you are experiencing a place.” True to his words, the wines of Valli are well known in the wine world; Taylor has been awarded three times for ‘Best Pinot Noir’ at one of the world’s largest wine competitions in London.

Located in New Zealand’s Central Otago on the South Island, Valli is named after Taylor’s great-great grandfather who immigrated from New Zealand from an Italian winemaking background. The winery was established in 1998, with a keen focus on creating wines that highlight the diversity among Otago’s subregions, a task Grant has taken on with considerable results.

The winery is based around the close-planted estate vineyard in Gibbston and produces a dry Riesling from vines in the Alexandra basin, and a botrytised Riesling, Dolce Vita, from Lowburn fruit. Valli also makes a range of impressive single-vineyard Pinot Noirs from the Otago subregions of Bannockburn, Bendigo and Waitaki Valley.

Grant’s name is synonymous with Otago Pinot Noir. He has been crafting wines in the region since 1993 when there were only 20 hectares planted - today there are over 2,000. Grant’s accomplishments are well known in the wine world and he is credited with winning the Best Pinot Noir Trophy at a major International Wine Competition in London an unprecedented four times – a feat achieved by no other winemaker in the world.

Over the past 25 years he has made the first wines for a number of iconic Otago wineries, but now the serious focus is on his own creation, Valli.

Established in 1998 and named after his Great-Great Grandfather, Giuseppe Valli, who immigrated to New Zealand from an Italian winemaking background, Grant founded Valli with the aim of creating true representations of Otago’s subregions with unflinching intensity and purity. This was also a first for the region – no one had attempted to capture, let alone master the developing subregional plot that has now begun to unfold as the next exciting chapter in the Otago wine story.

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