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Featured Reviews

Wing and Prayer 2015 and 2016 North Canterbury Riesling

29 March,2018

‘Wing & Prayer’ is the wine brand of the Lumsden family who have a 10 hectare property in Swannanoa, 35 km north-west of Christchurch, purchased in 1994. The Lumsdens planted 1.2 ha of Riesling, the cuttings from the ‘Corbett’ block which supplied Corbans, and a little Pinot Noir in 1996. The fruit was contracted out to producers, but decided to make their own Riesling wine, the first vintage being an experimental one from the 2014 vintage, wild yeast fermented and made by Theo Coles. Then came the 2015 vintage which has been deemed able to be commercialised, followed by the 2016 and 2017. These wines have been made by Haydon Good at the Crater Rim winery in Omihi. Here, I review the 2015 and 2016 Wing & Prayer Rieslings. For availability, contact Barry Lumsden on email:


Wing & Prayer ‘wildchild too’ North Canterbury Riesling 2015

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour with some depth, paler edged. The bouquet is intense and well-concentrated with aromas of lime fruit entwined with subtle notes of toast and honey, along with chalky minerals. This is tightly bound and thirst-quenching. Medium-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a core of lime fruit along with savoury florals, hints of toast and chalky minerals. The fruit is enlivened by soft, lacy acidity and the wine flows with good energy along a very fine line leading to a gently sweet and luscious finish of citrus fruit and honeysuckle. This medium-dry Riesling has an intense bouquet and a good core of lime fruit entwined with secondary toasty notes and honey on a fresh, fine-flowing palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, indigenous yeast cool-fermented to 10.4% alc. and 10.85 g/L RS, TA 8.3 g/L and pH 3.2, the wine spending time on gross lees. 100 cases made. 17.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $TBA

Wing & Prayer ‘the good child’ North Canterbury Riesling 2016

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with a taut heart of lime fruit, white florals and subtle notes of fragrant herbs and chalky minerals. This has delicacy and finesse, and is mouthwatering. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a gently concentrated core with soft, mouthfilling flavours of lime fruit entwined with subtle notes of white florals, a little honeysuckle and mineral elements. The fruit possesses purity and is underlined by fine, crisp acidity, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line of fruit extract, leading to a delicate, thirst-quenching finish. This is a delicate and elegant medium-dry Riesling with pure lime and floral fruit with honey and mineral hints, on a crisp palate with fine textures. Serve as an aperitif, and with Thai, Vietnamese or Japanese cuisine over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit, indigenous yeast fermented to 11.6% alc. and 12.6 g/L RS, TA 8.4 g/L and pH 3.18, the wine aged on lees. 128 cases made. 18.0/20 Mar 2018 RRP $TBA

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