Stephanie Toole of Mount Horrocks on the “jumping out the glass” 2011 vintage Clare Valley Rieslings & more

In the second of this week’s video interviews with Australian winemakers about the 2011 vintage, I speak with Stephanie Toole of Mount Horrocks, the Clare Valley, South Australia.

With high natural acidities and botrytis, Toole is absolutely thrilled with her Rieslings, dry and sweet.  And that’s not all.  She’s reckoning on some elegant albeit relatively forward reds on which note, I loved her sassy retort about “lunchtime claret.”

Click here to watch the interview and see below for my notes on the 2011 Rieslings, plus current releases from previous vintages.  And for more on the Clare Valley 2011 vintage, watch this space over the next couple of days for my interviews with Jeffrey Grosset and Tom Barry of Jim Barry.

Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling 2011 (Clare Valley)

Simultaneously delicate and intense, this brightly etched Riesling firmly puts the accent on Watervale’s subtly musky, lingering rose petal perfume.   Lovely length and spine tingling line. Super fine.

Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling 2011 (Clare Valley)

This, one of Australia’s top sweeties, is renowned for its fleetness of foot and bell clear purity of zesty lime fruit.  In 2011, a touch of botrytis brings the texture and tang of wild honey and salted limes.  With its marvellous synergy of sweet, savoury and sour, it’s compellingly complex, long and lingering.  Ab fab –  the best yet, despite having just been flown over (with Toole) and used as a door stopper at her hotel!

Mount Horrocks Watervale Semillon 2010 (Clare Valley)

This powerful, poised Semillon is one of my favourite oaked examples of the variety.  Muscular without being in the least bit bulked up, it’s sleek, ripe ‘n zesty with a lemon and lime oil smokiness to its fruit and hints of toast.  Good structure, minerality and length complete the package.  Very good.

Mount Horrocks Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Clare Valley)

An elegant, mid-weight, Cabernet with a subtle cedar edge to its succulent plum and blueberry fruit.  Well modulated, it’s classy and eminently approachable.

Mount Horrocks Shiraz 2008 (Clare Valley)

A Rhone fan, Toole has not looked to the traditional model of Australian Shiraz and this youthful medium-bodied example is distinguished by its bright, juicy blood plum fruit and (pleasantly) gentle grip of tannin.  A little subdued on the nose today.  Needs air/time.

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