"a small, quality-focused Marlborough producer" Bob Campbell MW
"I was impressed with the consistency of this ....producer" Wine Advocate
2008 saw Riverby return to the wine show circuit with immediate success after an absence of several years. Pinot Noir and Sali's Block Riesling both received golds in their first show outings. The Noble Riesling also subsequently won gold and was rated New Zealand's best sweet wine. Chardonnay also joined in with a further gold.
The 2008 Riverby Noble Riesling was also judged "Champion Sweet Wine of Australia and New Zealand" by Winestate Magazine in their annual review of over 10,000 wines. This was an extraordinary success for the first ever sweet wine under the Riverby label. The next vintage, the 2009 Noble Riesling, has since gone on to win the Trophy for NZ's champion sweet wine at the 2011 Easter Wineshow and was also rated the best sweet wine in Australasia at the Five Nations Challenge; an extraordinary record for two successive vintages of the same wine to be recognised in this way.
The Riverby label itself has also had success, being judged champion label at the International Aromatic Wine Competition, where "the judges commented on the layout and design, appropriate visual and great shelf presence."
Over recent years Riverby has also attained international recognition. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate Magazine tasted several of the wines in 2009 and declared "I was impressed with the consistency of this...producer". The Rieslings were called "delicious" and "excellent", the Pinot Gris "very well made", and the Chardonnay; "once again, it is just delicious". Top score went to the 2007 Chardonnay, rated one of New Zealand's best Chardonnays. For a first exposure to international scrutiny these were excellent reviews. In 2010 the wines were again very highly rated in the Wine Advocate. Most scored at least 90/100.
Top English wine writer Jamie Goode tasted the 2008 Noble Riesling and called it "quite a serious wine" which he scored 93/100. Top Scottish writer Tom Cannavan tasted through the range and rated them all very highly with top scores going to the 2008 Noble Riesling and 2007 Chardonnay.
Recently, in a major tasting of Australasian Pinot Noirs, the 2008 Riverby Pinot Noir was rated top equal with wines from Tasmania and Central Otago. The 2009 Pinot Noir was also rated equal to Felton Road 2009 Pinot Noir by the Wine Advocate.
Further recognition came with the selection of the Riverby 2008 Chardonnay to be served to Air New Zealand's Business Class passengers. The 2009 Chardonnay and 2009 Noble Riesling are currently enjoying a 12 month run on Business Class.
Accolades have continued to flow; the Christchurch Press, when reviewing a Riverby chardonnay, said; "another fine wine to compliment this label's rapidly growing reputation." Well known NZ reviewer Bob Campbell described Riverby as "a small, quality-focused Marlborough producer". Robert Parker's Wine Advocate said; "I was impressed by the consistency of this Marlborough producer who delivers a range of crisp, well-crafted, vivacious white wines" Jo Burzynska when reviewing a riesling said; "from Riverby's impressive collection of well priced rieslings". Geoff Kelly complimented the two 2010 Riverby Estate Pinot Noirs saying; "Both these 2010 wines show remarkable depth of varietal character for younger-soils Wairau Valley sites, and are among the best so far produced there."
The most satisfying aspect of all of the above comments is the continued recognition for the whole range of Riverby wines; even the brand new Noble Sauvignon Semillon has already earned a five star rating from Michael Cooper. With several other brand new wines to be released over the coming months there is no reason why this recognition shouldn't continue.
"excellent balance and structure.... leading to a very fine, long finish"
***** Sam Kim.
"concentrated and wonderfully structured....one to watch" ***** Sam Kim
"delicious" 90/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"from Riverby's impressive collection of well priced rieslings"
Jo Burzynska, NZ Herald
Sali's Block Riesling
"absolutely definitive riesling, whether from Marlborough or Mosel" *****
"magnificently concentrated yet so elegant" *****
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"this is another impressive offering from this excellent producer" *****
"rounded silky texture with well balanced acidity" **** Sam Kim
"very well made" 89/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"very classy... rated highly by all judges and a great buy" *****
"excellent weight and a stunning length of Flavour" ***** Sam Kim
"once again, it is just delicious" 91/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"very pure, rich, sweet and luscious" ***** Michael Cooper
"the wine is totally integrated, fresh and light. Magic!" ***** Geoff Kelly
"quite simply, stunningly delicious" Sue Courtney
"a beautiful example of what botrytis can do.." Winestate Magazine.
"Ravishing honeyed bouquet....lovely ripeness and richness" *****
"beautifully poised and elegant, destined to develop even greater complexity" ***** Sam Kim
"savoury aromas of vanillan oak, spices and aromatic herbs." *****
"it should remain delicious through 2014+" 90/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Reserve Pinot Noir
"remarkable depth of varietal character... among the best so far produced there" Geoff Kelly