Riesling – a very focused trip!

Great to spend two weeks this April focused on Riesling from Australia’s foremost regions for the variety: Clare Valley and Eden Valley in South Australia and Great Southern in Western Australia.

The best offer breathtaking purity, vitality, structure and minerality and, for those who find them too austere in their youth – Classic Australian Riesling is typically bone dry – the rewards of patience are many and not infrequently sigh-inducing – take it from me! You may also notice that there is a small but growing interest in sweeter and more textured styles amongst producers large and small.

Below you’ll find the highlights of the trip, region by region, together with tasting notes for Rieslings from regions that I did not have time to visit but which, in the interests of “research” I have also put to the test this year!

You will pick up that Orlando presented this most food-friendly of grapes degustation style with lunch, an experience which I also enjoyed just before heading out to Australia at the Michelin starred The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, this year’s Decanter/Laurent-Perrier Restaurant of The Year.  Owners Roger and Sue Jones are huge Riesling fans and they offer an unrivalled selection of said grape by the glass many of which are also sold retail by the case at very reasonable prices.

Clare Valley

Clare Valley is renowned for Rieslings that are bone dry, razor-sharp – sometimes to the point of austerity – with a fabulous purity and concentration of lime fruit.  Its most famous (unofficial) sub-regions Polish Hill River (hard rock soils) and Watervale (limestone and red loam) can be like chalk and cheese – the former uptight, steely and mineral, the latter expressive, with generous citrus fruit and a floral, rosewater and talc edge.   With age, they develop a complex melange of sweet and savoury flavours.

Leo Buring 1998 – with a decade under its belt this still has plenty of life while showing developed lime cordial and toast notes; fabulously flavoursome, complex, lingering palate.

Leo Buring Leonay 2002 – the top wine, usually single vineyard, epitomises the Buring tightly structured, linear style.  Not giving much away yet, it shows a steely core, with hints of bath salts and lime sherbert.  Very poised – a real keeper.

Kirrihill Estates Reserve 2005 – gunflint and grapefruit nose with a steely, mineral palate of great structure and concentration.  Mouth-sluicing, super clean finish.  Terrific.

Kirrihill Estates 2002 – looking very good now with an attractively toasty nose and rounded, yet fresh and floral, bath salts palate; lovely balance.

Jeanneret Doozie 2007 – Ben Jeanneret’s wines step outside Clare’s classic, bone dry style which some find a tad austere.  With several grams of residual sugar the aim here is “delicious, approachable wines.“ The Doozie, the top cuvee and the first Aussie Riesling to be sealed under (glass) Vino-Lok, bears more than a passing resemblance to Alsace Riesling with its generous, spicy, citrus and orange blossom palate; long and lovable.

Kilikanoon Mort’s Reserve 2007 – breath-taking concentration of tightly focused, punchy lime and grapefruit, chiselled with minerals.  Built for the long haul – terrific classic Clare style.

Leasingham Classic Clare 2005 – slated for release the end of this year, this is worth watching out for with its steely, whetstone nose and palate, dancing with pretty pink grapefruit; lovely acid integration.

Pauletts Polish Hill 2002 – shows some attractive, developed spicy orange peel notes, wed to pithy, lively acidity.

Pauletts Antonina 2006 – slatey, tight, mineral palate with freshly squeezed lime juice and hints of exotic, pink grapefruit and tangerine – bring on the pan fried scallops!

Sevenhill St Aloysius 2006 – a lifted, floral nose and palate with plenty of bath salts underpinned by a pithy core of fruit, dry, long – a keeper.

Sevenhill St Aloysius 2007 – an excellent “arrow straight” 2007 for this drought-stressed year, almost painfully concentrated, mineral and salty, this is a super-tight wine for the cellar.

Mitchells 2005 – focused, pure and mineral with a salt lick finish.

Mitchells 2002 – restrained, racy and long – beautifully structured with plenty of go.

Mitchells 2001 – much more evolved than the 2001, with a hint of diesel and rich, candied citrus mingling with floral, talc notes.

Jeffrey Grosset Polish Hill 2005 – lime and slate nose, fine and focused on the palate with hints of honey and salted limes – superb length and precision.

Jeffrey Grosset Polish Hill 2002
– minerals sluiced with fresh lime juice and a hint of lime cordial; long, fine mineral chiselled palate – terrific.

Jeffrey Grosset Polish Hill 1990 – developed flavour spectrum with honey, lime cordial/shred and  toast yet structurally fresh as a daisy with racy acidity and great line.  Stunning, delicious wine.

Jeffrey Grosset Watervale 2005 – delicate lime blossom notes dance over the palate carried by beautifully integrated acidity – focused and long.

Jeffrey Grosset Watervale 2002 – a little more palate weight with lime shred, candied limes, honey and toast characters adding dimension, effortlessly buoyed along by vivacious acidity.  Excellent.

Mt Horrocks 2007 – expressive nose and palate of candied citrus with honey, cut with pith and slate.

Mt Horrocks 2005 – racy, pure and long with vibrant citrus flavours.

Mt Horrocks 2002 – a very cool, mineral thread runs through this intense yet delicate wine – lovely mouth sluicing acidity to its lime fruit.

Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut 2007 – lifted, exotic rose petal and lychee notes underscored by a sensationally pure seam of lime – delicious.

Wakefield St Andrews 2002 – the top, museum release is impressive and in 02, a terrific vintage, reveals deliciously layered sweet and savoury flavours – honeyed toast, fresh lime and salted limes; great depth and length.

Wakefield St Andrews 2001 – more exotic, ginger notes augment a handsome depth of classic lime cordial and toast; long, mineral (slate) finish  – its developed notes and spicy lift worked superbly with sashimi of tuna with ginger sherry and mirin.

Wakefield St Andrews 2000
– more linear than the 2001 with pretty lime shred fruit cut with penetrating, but balanced acidity.

Tim Adams 2006 – fresh lime juice, sweet talc and lemony thirst quenching acidity – pure, zippy and long.

Tim Adams Reserve 2007
– lean and mean with plenty of acid drive carrying zesty citrus notes – an oyster catcher!

Skillagolee Trevarrick 2007 – a selection of best parcels this has superb concentration and structure with fresh squeezed lime, spicy lime oil, talc and herbal notes; very long, limpid and mineral with great focus.

Knappstein Hand Picked 1995 – 13 years on the junior wine has developed super savoury pithy, salted lime and porcini notes edged with lime cordial; round, pebbly acidity – very good.

Knappstein Hand Picked 2002 – a great reflection of this lissom vintage with pulpy lime fruit, a thread of honey and refreshingly juicy, ripe acidity.

Knappstein Ackland 2005 – from the dry grown, shy bearing Ackland vineyard planted in 1969 this single vineyard Riesling was one of my finds of the trip (available at Fishworks restaurants – see www.fishworks.co.uk for locations).  Its tightly wound lime-driven palate has a distinct, delicate chalk dust character and a smidge of honey and toast – very long, fine finish with mouth-sluicing acidity.

Knappstein Ackland 2007
– a more forward vintage is overtly floral with bath salts and a textured, palate chiselled with minerals (chalk and slate).  Attractive, rolling acidity – very good.

Petaluma 2005 – expressive and ripe with succulent lychee, spicy orange peel and juicy acidity.

Petaluma 2002 – enticing nose and a lovely, long limpid palate with fine acidity shows a pebbly minerality, sweet talc, lime, apple and a touch of cinnamon.

Petaluma 1992 – a cool vintage, this is zingily fresh with candied lemon, lime and slatey, grapefruit; fine and long.

KT & the Falcon Watervale Single Vineyard 2007 – KT is Kerri Thompson, formerly of Leasingham and now striking out on her own with the Falcon, her Maltese husband, viticulturist Steve Farrugia.  Classic Watervale with talc, kaffir lime, blossom and honey notes surrounding a fine spine of mineral acidity.  Very good.

KT & the Falcon Churinga Vineyard 2005 – a departure from the classic dry Clare style,  fermentation was stopped at 14 grams of residual sugar to produce a more rounded, richer, spicy, textured Alsation style.  Shows a broader fruit spectrum too – apple, lychee, salted limes, orange peel.

Jim Barry The Florita 2005 – powerful, super-steely, mineral palate with a salty tang and floral lift – would be superb with oysters and a squeeze of lime.

Jim Barry The Florita 2004 – youthful with very primary lime shots nose and palate with grapefruit and a savoury, salty tang; long, steely finish.  Very good.

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill 1986
– antique gold with a developed, nutty nose but a lovely freshness to the lime confit palate  – delicious.

Jim Barry Watervale 1977 – salty, nutty nose and palate with dried apple, spice and floral notes lifted by cleansing acidity.  Lovely.

Eden Valley/Barossa

Eden Valley is the Barossa “high country” so, like Clare Valley, elevation is the key to its ability to produce fine Riesling that tends to accentuate lemon over lime and has more mineral, less punchy, acidity.  Unlike Clare, vineyards are scattered patchily across the region whose rocky soils and protected red gum trees militate against large vineyards.  Since these relatively small vineyards are largely owned by growers not producers, Eden Valley region is home to “garagiste”, increasingly experimental, winemaking as well as being the source of top Riesling for leading Barossa players.  A generic tasting of some 80 Rieslings showed a huge and exciting diversity of styles.  Some wines in this section come from the warmer Barossa floor which has some very old vine Riesling, notably at Rockford who produce a very hands off, powerful style.

St Hallett 2002 – honeyed, zesty lemon and lime and toothsome lemon meringue pie surround a fine spine of acidity – super moreish and worked well with the sweetness, richness and spiciness of roast spiced sweet potato with toasted pepitas, almonds and roast cumin.

St Hallett 2005 – tight knit, dry and dustily mineral with grapefruit, quinine and a touch of spritz – its dryness was a good foil for tartlet of Williamstown marron (fresh water crayfish) with a rich glaze of shellfish and ripe tomatoes.

Orlando Jacobs Creek Reserve 2006
– a blend of Clare and Eden Valley fruit this is lemony, limpid and long with a fine spine of acidity – well done.

Orlando Jacobs Creek Reserve 2002 – a blend of Barossa floor and Eden Valley fruit in this cooler vintage shows an expressive floral nose with a touch of lime cordial.  These follow through on the palate together with rich lemon/lime butter notes and a hint of toast – lip smackingly good, grapefruity balancing acidity. Rich enough to carry King George whiting fillet with galette potato and lemon butter.

Orlando Steingarten 2007 – Orlando’s prestige Riesling, from a steep, rocky site densely planted in 1962 struts its pedigree across a range of vintages.  The 07 is long and limpid, with lime-washed  minerals and gunflinty grapefruit; subtle but defining rolling acidity lends presence not punch.  Excellent.

Orlando Steingarten 2006 – that long wash of minerals and cool, pebbly acidity, this time with pithier, more overt citrus (lemon, lime, pink grapefruit) and a hint of ginger.  Very good – cries out for sushi and paired well with Prawns with Thai herbs and tamarind dressing.

Orlando Steingarten 2005 – a little more development turns the volume up – dry but with more “sweetness” to the lime cordial fruit and expressive powder puff/talc notes.  Its powerful, dry, mineral, slatey finish found its perfect match with Coffin Bay oysters with lemon/lime wedges.  Excellent.

Orlando Steingarten 2002 – a thoroughly delicious wine, honeyed white peach, lemon and lime butter and stony, pebbly, rolling acidity – stunning with King George whiting fillet with galette potato and lemon butter.

Orlando Steingarten 1998 – subtley flavoursome roll call of savoury salted limes, grapefruit pith, toast, lemon butter and honey; long, limpid finish – terrific with Morton Bay bug (scampi) with pea puree, pancetta and garlic butter.

Orlando Steingarten 1994 – a delicious marriage of the sweet and savoury with lime shred, salted limes and lemon/lime butter on toast – vibrant and rich, lovely balance. Perfect with Wanera brie with mustard apricots and lavoche.

Orlando Richmond Grove 1998
– from Watervale, Clare, we first tasted a bottle under cork which looked distinctly flabby while this screwcapped wine was tons better, tighter with bright lemon and lime flavours and a lively, persistent finish.

Orlando Rhine Riesling Selected V95 1978 – V95 is a reference to the vat and tells you that this wine was never blended.  Complex, still tautly structured wine.  Its savoury “autolytic” toast and porcini notes chimed with Kiev cut chicken breast while its core acid ran comfortably with the dish’s fresh ginger and spring onion.

Yalumba Pewsey Vale The Contours 2002 – The Contours is a museum release from the elevated (500m) cooler, south facing Contours vineyard within Pewsey Vale that offers terrific bang for buck given its class and complexity.  A sweet lemon curd nose with talc and rose petal hints leads onto a lemon and lime dominated palate with lemon curd/butter and hints of toast on a long, lemon sherbert vibrant finish.

Yalumba Pewsey Vale The Contours 2001 – beautifully developed complex, rich palate with orange peel, spice and diesel hints; long and layered – a great food wine.

Yalumba Pewsey Vale The Contours 1999 –  lovely line, this is seamless lemon, lime and honey all the way – delicious.

Yalumba Pewsey Vale 1980 –  sealed under screwcap (Yalumba were pioneers of screwcap back in the 80s, but it didn’t take off then) this is fresh as a daisy; toothsome lemon meringue pie cut with juicy, grapefruity acidity.

Yalumba Prima 2007 – the debut “Kabinett” style, early picked with around 20g residual sugar and 9.5% abv it shows good purity of apple fruit with lemony acidity and a lick of honey and slate; clean, focused and well balanced, this is dangerously drinkable.

Peter Lehmann Wigan 2007
– a quiet nose and tight, lime/lime cordial driven palate; mineral, sucking stones, finish.

Peter Lehmann Wigan 2006
– restrained palate with floral, talc, lemon and lime hints wed to a stony minerality and mouthwatering acidity.

Peter Lehmann Wigan 2005 – super-delicious, “inverse spit” palate, every layer a different citrus adventure ranging from zesty lemon and lime through sweeter lemon meringue pie to tangy, sherbetty lemon pips on the finish.

Peter Lehmann Wigan 2004 – floral, talc nose and more developed palate: lime cordial meets salted limes, cut with lemony acidity; very long.

Peter Lehmann Reserve 2002
– restrained nose and palate with lemon curd/butter and lime – a little subdued at the moment but bags of potential – scooped the 2008 Decanter World Wine Awards Riesling Regional Trophy for wines over £10.

Peter Lehmann Reserve 2001 – awarded Best Riesling in the World at the IWSC 2006 this is knock out – still very tight-knit and vibrant with bracingly fresh lime juice edged with savoury toast and salt; delicious mouth-sluicing acidity – a real keeper.

Peter Lehmann 1982 – nutty developed characters but with a spine-tingling core of fresh lime.

Rockford Vine Vale 2002 – lemon and lime shred with hints of toast – real depth of flavour and body to this old vine, single vineyard wine from the Barossa floor.

Rockford Hand Picked 1997
– from Eden Valley this shows honeyed lemons and limes with quince and apple balanced by snappy, fresh acidity.

Rockford fortified Riesling 2005 – tarte tatin nose and palate with buttered apples, cinnamon and Stollen-like brandy soaked raisins – a cake-fest!  Very naughty but nice.

Grant Burge Thorn 2007 – very mineral, whetstone nose and palate with thirst quenching citrus acidity; long, poised finish with the merest hint of honey.

Henschke Julius 2007 – punchy, focused, juicy lime palate with a pronounced mineral undertow; powerful, textured finish.

Henschke Julius 1997 – delicious developed honeyed palate with orange peel and spice; long and persistent.  Very classy.

Langmeil 2002
– tightly structured and youthful  – vibrant lime shots with bracingly fresh acidity.

McLean’s Farm 2007 – lean and mean with flinty grapefruit, lime shots and long, persistent finish.

McLean’s Farm 2005 – lime cordial with a salty, mineral core; rolling acidity gives great line and length.

Mountadam 2007 – another great find of my trip, this is made by ex-Petaluma winemaker Con Moshos so maybe no surprises he’s a dab hand with Riesling!  Limpid, mineral palate with restrained powder puff and measured acidity; subtle and poised.

Mountadam 2005 – tightly structured with limpid, fresh oyster shell characters – lovely purity and length.

Tin Shed Wild Bunch 2004 – lovely, developed orange peel and spice nose, quite applely and round on the palate with a honeyed finish.

Mesh 2006 – super slatey, focused wine with a long, textured, mineral finish; plenty of acid drive.

Heggies Botrytis 2006
– pretty pink grapefruit and candied citrus with a hint of steeliness
to the nose and palate; nicely focused balancing acidity.

Great Southern

Cooler than South Australia’s classic Riesling regions Great Southern, Western Australia’s coolest region, majors on finely honed Rieslings with a bony structure that often reward a year or so in bottle before drinking.  That said, with five official sub-regions, styles are diverse with Frankland River showing the most palate weight compared with the floral style of maritime Denmark and Albany, while Mount Barker and the Porongurups are particularly mineral.

Kalgan River 2007 (Albany) – fresh apple, grapefruit and bath salts on the nose which follow through on the linear, herbal and lime blossom edged palate.

Xabregas 2005 (Mount Barker) – pretty nose and palate with lime blossom, spice and honey notes buoyed by a tingly thread of acidity.

3 Drops 2007 (Mount Barker) – concentrated, ripe Riesling with a pithy thrust of pink grapefruit; long and steely.

3 Drops 2006 (Mount Barker) – a cooler vintage (the coolest on record) and correspondingly cooler flavours of apple and steely grapefruit with talc and taut citrus acidity.

Capel Vale Whispering Hill 2007 (Mount Barker) – limpid, stony, mineral style with steely, flinty grapefruit; tight knit – a keeper.

Gilbert 2007 (Mount Barker)
– good depth of citrus flavours – grapefruit, lemon and lime with lemony acidity – quite austere now, needs time.

Gilbert Alira 2007 (Mount Barker) – soapy, lavender (?) nose, this is a lively, early picked Kabinett style with granny smith flavours, a touch of spice and crunchy acidity; nicely balanced residual sugar.

Trevelen Farm 2007 (Mount Barker) – good depth of pithy grapefruit and lime with lifted lime blossom and persistent acidity.

Trevelen Farm 2004 (Mount Barker) – has put on a little weight with a few years under its belt  delicious lemon and lime zest, hints of sweeter lime cordial; lovely balance.

Alkoomi 2007 (Frankland River)
– flavoursome with concentrated pithy lime fruit, orange blossom notes and a mineral undertow; long, very good.

Alkoomi 2006 (Frankland River)
– very pretty with lemon and lime blossom, zest and crisp, applely acidity.

Alkoomi 1996 (Frankland River) – a rich nose with pineapple and honey leads onto a complex palate with lychee, spice, white pepper, orange peel and orange blossom.  Plenty going on, though a touch disjointed…

Alkoomi 1988 (Frankland River) – the first bottle was out of condition, the second amazingly youthful, vibrant and complex – honeyed palate with succulent lychee and sweet, spicy orange peel cut with salted lemons and limes and mouth sluicing, juicy acidity.  Terrific.

Houghton Museum Release 2003 (Porongorups) – delicate floral nose with lime blossom reflected in the fine, racy palate; long, mineral finish with traces of lime pith.  Very good.

Houghton 2000 (Frankland River) – attractive development, with lime shred/cordial, nuts, honey, toast, salted caramels kept in check by balanced acidity – very moreish.

Houghton Museum Release 1995 (Frankland River)
– youthful, mouthwatering acidity coarses through layers of lime, honey and nuts.  Very good.

Ferngrove Cossack 2006 (Frankland River) – long, fine, lemony palate with herbal hints – a pure reflection of this cool vintage.

Ferngrove Cossack 2005 (Frankland River) – pithy with zesty lemon and lime and grapefruit underscored by a stony minerality.

Ferngrove Cossack 2003 (Frankland River)
– lemony palate with powder puff and pink grapefruit/grapefruit pith balanced by mouthwatering acidity.

Ferngrove Cossack 2002 (Frankland River) – lovely, limpid, long palate, with seamless lemon meringue pie and honey flavours supported by rolling acidity.

Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge 2007 (Frankland River) – generous in its fruit weight with an intense concentration of lemon, grapefruit and lime; still very primary with lots of potential.

Frankland Estate Cooladerah 2007 (Frankland River)
– spicy nose, linear palate with a stony minerality and long, subtle finish; another keeper.

Frankland Estate Poison Hill 2007 (Frankland River)
– white clay soils produce a more forward style with supple acidity and floral, spice and lime flavours.

Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge 2002 (Frankland River)
– lovely, long limpid character to this wine with sweet lemon zest and curd notes beautifully balanced by fresh acidity and a pronounced minerality.

Frankland Estate Cooladerah 2002 (Frankland River) – more austere, focused style with lime juice, a whiff of toast and steely minerality; subtle, mouth sluicing acidity.  Clear as a bell – great line and purity.

Frankland Estate Poison Hill 2002 (Frankland River)
– very zesty, honey edged wine with delicious lemon butter notes.

Castle Rock Estate (Porongurups) 2007 – crunchy, tightly focused bramley apple fruit with hints of honey; taut acidity – needs time.  Winemaker Rob Diletti says of his Rieslings if he had enough, he’d sit on it for 10 years, though he reckons they start coming out of their shell at 2-3 years old.

Castle Rock Estate (Porongurups) 2006 – long, linear and persistent with honeyed crisp apples and lime – needs time.

Castle Rock Estate (Porongurups) 2004 – shows a touch more palate weight with lime, hints of toast and racy, fine acidity to balance – terrific length.

Castle Rock Estate (Porongurups) 2002
– lovely integration of fruit (limes), honey and a subtle hint of toast; long and delicate.

Castle Rock Estate (Porongurups) 1997 – gorgeous, honeyed apples surround a tight core of acid, so still plenty of go here!

Castle Rock Estate (Porongurups) 1996 – this chimes with bright lime cordial, lemon and lime zest on the attack, building richness with lemon butter and honey on the midpalate, the whole beautifully balanced by mouth sluicing, mineral acidity.  Terrific.

Castle Rock Estate (Porongurups) 1991
– succulently fruity with peaches, lychee and honey, traces of honey and supple acidity.

Forest Hill Estate 2007 (Mount Barker) – a pithy, textured wine with steely grapefruit characters and good acid drive.

Forest Hill Estate 2006 (Mount Barker) – tighter with zesty lime some lime cordial hints and crisp, refreshing acidity.

Forest Hill Estate Block 1 2006 (Mount Barker) – a powerful, textured tight knit wine with vibrant lime flavours, lemony acidity and a long, limpid finish.  Very good.

Plantagenet 2007 (Mount Barker)
–  floral, talc notes mingle with fresh lime juice; good focused acidity with a mineral undertow.

Howard Park 2007
– quite expressive already with floral/talc notes wed to a great purity and depth of fresh lime fruit and juice; cool and long with a honey-tinged finish.  Very good.

Howard Park 2006
– super taut when I tasted it in March 2007 and this February, with a tight apple and citrus core this wine has relaxed a little since, revealing traces of honey and orange blossom.  A keeper.

Howard Park 2005 – intense, tightly structured with lime, lychee and ginger spice; great purity and length.

Howard Park 2004 – starting to hit its stride, from a warm vintage this is honeyed with lime, lemon, blossom and talc; supple, well integrated acidity.

Howard Park 2003 – very fresh, long and intense, still quite tight with concentrated lime flavours very much to the fore.

Howard Park 2002 – Pfalz-like ripeness and weight with honeyed citrus, tangerine and peach balanced by cleansing acidity; supple and fruity.

Howard Park 2001
– pithy and spicy on the attack with honeyed peaches coming through on the mid-palate; savoury hints of toast and salted limes on the finish; long and complex.

Howard Park 2000 – good purity of fleshy citrus animated by vibrant acidity with dried honey and nutty edges lending a sweet and savoury note.

Mount Trio Gravel Pit 2007 (Porongurups) – a delicately framed wine with apple blossom, honey nuances interwoven with a fine thread of acidity.

Mount Trio Gravel Pit 2004 (Porongurups) – very honeyed citrus and apple fruit with spice and toast hints, balanced by refreshing, mouth sluicing acidity.

West Cape Howe 2005 (Mount Barker) – long with honey edged zesty lime cordial flavours and lemony acidity.

West Cape Howe 2003 (Mount Barker) – tight core of apples, quince, grapefruit pith and traces of honey with fairly bracing acidity – a keeper.

Larry Cherubino Cherubino 2007 (Mount Barker)
– Larry Cherubino says he is dead set against austerity so his aim is to build in texture and balance with judicious use of wild yeast, residual sugar, pressings and oxygenation as appropriate.  This, the top wine, shows classic salted limes on the nose but the palate has fleshier fruit – apple, quince, guava and lychee with supple acidity which Cherubino likes to pair with white meat.

Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Wallflower 2007
– this, the baby of the range is more in an aperitif mould and will help win converts to Riesling with its relatively round, supple palate with apple, lychee and tropical fruit notes underscored by lemon and lime acidity.

Harewood Estate 2006 (Denmark)
– orange oil and peel nose with an underlying minerality; a finely framed palate shows tangy coxes orange pippens and crisp mineral acidity balanced by a hint of sweetness.

Other Aussie Rieslings of note

Tamar Ridge Kayena 2005 (Tasmania) – orange peel and spice nose and palate with an attractive lick of honey kept in check by mouth watering acidity – very good with caramelised pork with chilli, ginger and scallops.

Wirra Wirra Lost Watch 07 (Adelaide Hills) – pretty floral nose, fine minerally palate with pithy, steely grapefruit and quinine.  Good.

Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock 1998 (Heathcote)
– from The Harrow’s list and with a decade under its belt this showed impressive structure but with no youthful edges, making a classy pairing with a number of our lunch dishes; lovely, limpid, mineral and long.

Mount Langi Ghiran 2006 (Henty/Grampians) – an intriguing very effective blend of Victorian regions this has an underbelly of chalky minerality to its juicy, pithy grapefruit and has good palate presence/depth.

Bests Great Western 2005 (Grampians)
– apple and lime blossom nose and palate, nice weight, balance and length with attractive underlying minerality.

Crawford River 2005 (Henty) – gunsmoke and green tea nose – a great melange of mineral and herbal characters with gentle applely fruit and persistent acidity carrying a long, mineral finish – very fine.

Crawford River 2004 (Henty) – crystal clear citrus and pith nose and palate; long and tight – very good.

Mac Forbes RS31 2007 (Strathbogie Ranges)
– 31g of residual sugar, natural yeast and barrel fermentation make for a textured, tangy wine with fleshy apple and lime flavours and a mineral undertow; great balance – not “sweet” with a long, fresh finish.


Sarah Ahmed
The Wine Detective
April 2008

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