WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

04 November 2015

Australia: Riesling (again)

There's already a fair chunk of material devoted to the tantalising Riesling variety on this site and Aussie Riesling particularly, which is probably geeky bordering on obsessive. However, as the official Wine Australia blurb runs: "Australia has a rich history of Riesling production (dating back to 1838 in New South Wales apparently) which today comprises more than 4000 ha (nearly 10K acres) of plantings," making them number two in the world behind Germany Riesling-wise. It's also become clear over the years that certain regions suit the variety best, such as hillside vineyards in the Eden and Clare Valleys or Adelaide Hills in South Australia, or maritime influenced sites such as Great Southern in Western Aus or Tasmania. Their wine styles are usually dry and on the lighter alcohol side nowadays (a recent trend I think); and, as you'll see from my dozen or so reviews below, some of them are capable of taking on those lovely classic complex Riesling flavours with bottle age ('petrol-head' paradise). "Hey-up" bottle shot (think about it...) from peterlehmannwines.com.

Gatt High Eden 2014 Eden Valley (11.5% abv) - Light and delicate with juicy citrus and zingy 'chalky' mouth-feel, crisp length although soft too.
St. John's Road Piece of Eden 2014 Eden Valley (12%) - More honeyed and richer oilier texture with ripe lime vs steely and 'chalky', quite intense.
Vickery Watervale 2014 Clare Valley (11.5%) - Zesty lime with 'mineral' tones, again delicate yet very zesty and crisp with subtle citrus finish.
Tim Adams 2013 Clare Valley (11.5%) - Developing oily notes with floral lime, fairly concentrated with crisp 'mineral' mouth-feel vs maturing flavours, elegant again.
Jim Barry The Florita 2013 Clare (12.5%) - Oily 'kerosene' notes vs tight acid structure still, lime flavours with zesty and 'chalky' finish; good stuff.
Thorn Clarke Mount Crawford 2012 Eden Valley (13%) - Delicate with 'kerosene', fuller maturing palate yet intense and crisp still, weightier then tight long finish.
Penfolds Bin 51 2012 Eden Valley (12.5%) - Limey and oily vs crisp and 'chalky', fresh with bitter twist vs maturing and rounded, fair depth.
McGuigan Shortlist 2012 Eden Valley (11.5%) - Lime and 'kerosene' edges, drinking well now although zesty and zingy too, less intense finish but nice delicate style.
De Bortoli Yarra Valley Reserve Release 2011 Victoria (11.5%) - Rich lime, quite concentrated with attractive lingering combo of 'chalky' 'mineral' zip vs oily maturing.
Howard Park Great Southern 2011 Western Australia - Intense mix of ripe lime, oily notes and piercing acidity, delicate yet concentrated. Stylish.
Pewsey Vale Contours 2009 Eden Valley (12.5%) - Developed rich and oily vs green lime fruit and zingy acidity still, definitely Riesling! Wow.
Peter Lehmann Wigan 2009 Eden Valley (11%) - Similar rich and oily vs green fruit characters, more floral though and honeyed too, slightly less 'mineral' perhaps, feels weighty for 11%, concentrated and classy.
Peter Lehmann Wigan 2006 Eden Valley (11.5%) - Aromatic 'kerosene' and honeyed lime, tasty and zingy palate, still structured even vs rich and oily, concentrated yet elegant; delicious wine.

More Australia: Cabernet Sauvignon.

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