Riesling is an ideal warm-weather refreshment in more ways than one. Firstly, it’s a wonderful wine because you can find top-rated examples for a steal – a great choice for the many get-togethers of the summer months. Secondly, it’s a fantastic food wine. Versatile enough to pair with everything from seafood to spicier dishes, when you have several flavours on the table riesling tends to be a safe bet. Finally, the fresh, zesty style of Australian riesling is famed worldwide, and is an appealing option for outdoor drinking on sunny days. So, what are you waiting for? Seek out the top-value bottles ahead, each tasted and rated by James Halliday.
2016 Ravensworth Riesling
There's no beating around the bush: this is a first rate riesling, its floral bouquet an instant come-on, followed by a riveting palate of lemon, lime and green apple fruit within the embrace of flinty/minerally acidity. Moreover, this is a wine bred to stay the distance.
RRP $25 | 2026 | Ravensworth
2015 Tallavera Grove Carillon Vineyard Riesling
Has a certain delicacy to its bouquet and palate, but no shortage of varietal expression as it moves through its blossom and spice bouquet to its elegant lime and apple-infused palate. Bright acidity will be a friend forever.
RRP $25 | 2025 | Tallavera Grove
2016 Mr Riggs Wine Company Watervale Riesling
Classic Clare Valley Watervale style, with abundant varietal fruit covering all the various citrus bases and sustained by positive minerally/slatey acidity. Good now, greater still in 5+ years.
RRP $24 | 2026 | Mr Riggs Wine Company
2016 Bellarmine Pemberton Riesling Dry
Right in the slot of the Bellarmine Riesling style. The floral bouquet of lemon, lime and apple blossom leads into a fresh, crisp palate with minerally acidity woven through the fruit and providing both length and drive. The wine needs 4-5 years to fully flower, but is already enticing.
RRP $26 | 2027 | Bellarmine Wines
2016 A.T. Richardson Chockstone Grampians Riesling
Classic Grampians riesling, starting quietly on the bouquet, and then progressively building intensity and depth as the length of the palate unrolls to reveal itself. While the boundaries are firmly marked by lime and Meyer lemon fruit, there's complexity to burn on the playing field. Give it a few years and shake your head at the price.
RRP $18 | 2031 | A.T. Richardson Wines
2016 Castle Rock Estate Porongurup Riesling
A 10+-year track record with this wine leaves no doubt about its longevity, and the way it will burst into song with 5+ years bottle age, and continue that song for another 5 years thereafter. Pale straw-green; length and balance are the cornerstones of this beautiful wine.
RRP $25 | 2030 | Castle Rock Estate
2016 Riposte The Scimitar Clare Valley Riesling
Lime and apple blossom aromas lead into a dazzling pure and crisp palate, finely etched acidity driving the long finish and cleansing aftertaste. A 10-year outlook may be way short of the mark, but either way, it's an automatic choice or any BYO Asian restaurant.
RRP $20 | 2026 | Riposte
2016 Vickery Eden Valley Riesling
From 15-17yo low yielding vines from the Zander, Mason and Riley Vineyards, each parcel fermented separately in stainless steel before final selection and blending. Gleaming straw-green, classic young Eden Valley riesling, its citrus aromas and flavours on the midpoint between lime and lemon, the acidity flowing calmly on in the wake of the fruit, purity the watchword.
RRP $23 | 2031 | Vickery Wines
2012 Chaffey Bros Wine Co This Is Not Your Grandma's Eden Valley Riesling
Has fulfilled the promise that it showed when first tasted 3 years ago, but you don't have to pay more, although I'm tempted to say this is exactly your grandmother's wine, so perfectly does it capture all things Eden Valley, with juicy lime fruit complexed by a touch of green apple skin and structured on its foundation of crisp acidity. Still on a rise to even better things around the corner.
RRP $22 | 2026 | Chaffey Bros Wine Co
2015 Peter Lehmann H&V Eden Valley Riesling
Essence of Eden Valley, with a marriage of intensity and finesse. The bouquet is filled with white fruits blossom, the palate with crystalline purity to its lime-accented flavours. It's as fresh as a daisy, great now or whenever enjoyed over the years to come.
RRP $22 | 2025 | Peter Lehmann
Next article: do you have a preference for red, no matter the weather? Then these summer-appropriate red wines are for you.