Waitrose riesling: subtle or ruthlessly efficient?
In contrast to Sainsbury’s, Co-op and, in particular, Tesco, Waitrose don’t stock many own-brand wines. I think this is a shame: I like own-brand wines. Like a faithful pooch or a mid-table football team, you know where you stand with them, and you can generally expect something solid and crowd-pleasing from the “luxury” ranges.
Although it’s priced in the same bracket as their rivals’ “simply deliciously tasty” (or whatever) ranges, this Waitrose riesling, from the Mosel Valley, looks more like a “value” range product. Its label shouts “austerity” at you from the shelf. Actually, it’s more of a whisper than a shout… most shoppers probably won’t even notice it, sitting there all plain, simple and underdogish among its attention-grabbing competitors. I almost felt sorry for it.
The first thing to hit me was its bready smell, like raw dough mixed with tangerine. Not unpleasant at all, just surprising. It’s a smell I associate with wine that’s been stored on the lees, but not one I normally link with riesling. More familiar was the burnt orange-peel, typical of the grape. I gave my six year old a sniff and she said it smelled of… grapes.
Still, this is not a wine that smacks you round the head with those punchy trademark riesling flavours of rubber and petrol. I guess that makes it a good riesling for people who don’t normally like riesling. Riesling with stabilisers. I found it more acidic than expected too, with some similarities to a sauvignon blanc. Given sauv blanc’s current popularity, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Waitrose boffins got together and deliberately made a “tame” riesling to appease for the sauv blanc masses and deviously lure them into drinking German wine.
Not bad at all, but it’s not going to change your life.
Weirdly, although it was marked up as £8, it scanned in at a rather random-sounding £6.39. Did I say anything? What do you reckon?
Waitrose Dry German Riesling 2015, £8 (or £6.30 if you get lucky), 12.5% vol.
3.5 NINJA STARS
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