Ange Clifford is known as the public face (at least to those of us in Australia) of Tongue In Groove wines based in the Waipara Valley, New Zealand She’s engaging, friendly and also just a little bit of a rebel: She’s the only producer that has amnesty from Revel’s Dan Sims to have a sneaky Riesling under the table at Pinot Palooza events. She’s also highly passionate about locally sourced and grown produce and farming with her family’s organic permaculture property: The Food Farm in North Canterbury.
With regards to their Riesling, they wait until May to pick the grapes when, Angela informs me, the “skins are beautifully yellow.” They’re “on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land of balance, texture and the expression of the vineyard.” With 5% of the crush also affected by Botrytis (Noble Rot) this is a southern hemisphere Riesling with their vision firmly affixed on northern hemisphere richer styles.
Tongue In Groove, Riesling, Waipara Valley, New Zealand, 2013
Bright yellow gold in colour, indicative of the harvest paradigm. Rich and expressive: Golden Delicious apple, lime cordial, brûlée, light stone fruit yet still with earthy qualities of wet sand, chalk and talc. The depth continues to be plumbed with baked fleshy golden apple and zingy lime giving a round and full mouthfeel yet still with a bright and tight core of piercing acidity. There’s peppery spice (akin to rocket) and a hint of bitter herbs that further enhance the complexity while the finish is chalky a toffee twirl echo. Will be going for a while yet.
RRP: $28 (NZd, current vintage 2015)
Rating: 18.25/20 (93/100)
Wine self purchased. See Tongue In Groove for more details.