Archive for the ‘Riesling’ category

Pewsey Vale The Contours Riesling 2002

April 25, 2008

To say that I turned to The Contours after I run out of Grossets would unjustly declassify this Riesling which I regard as one of the country’s best. What I like about Eden Valley Rieslings in general is that they are more approachable when young than their Clare Valley cousins. That doesn’t neccesarily mean that top wines from outstanding vintages don’t age well, as shown by The Contours. The best part is that you can’t be tempted to drink this wine too young as the 2002 is only released about half a year ago. The depth and concentration of aromas and flavours in this yellow golden wine is superb, showing crisp lime and citrus complemented by hints of flowers, spice and toast following through on a palate with subtle, delicate fruit flavours balanced by powerful mineral acidity. This wine will last at least another 10 years and at about $30 dollars I wouldn’t hesitate to put a case in your cellar. 94 points

Source: Samuel Smith & Son  Price: $30  Drink: Now-2015+


Grosset Watervale Riesling 2002

April 25, 2008

I love Rieslings, generally the older the better. Top vintages from good producers like Grosset are always a treat. The one’s from 2002 still show so much slatey acidity that I’m sure they have another decade ahead. They taste so good after 3 to 4 years though that I’m afraid this was my last bottle. Bright gold in the glass the wine offers everything you want from an aged Riesling. Intense aromas of lime, citrus and apple still dominate the nose with sublte spice, floral, toasty and honeyed tones adding complexity and depth. The palate is succulent and mellow yet wonderfully balanced by vibrant acid that runs through the wine as a fresh mountain stream. So good that I couldn’t wait. 94 points.

Source: Fine Wine Wholesalers  Price: $37  Drink: Now-2015

Castle Rock Estate Riesling

April 23, 2008

I haven’t been posting regularly lately, finishing one job, starting a new challenge on Monday and a well-deserved break inbetween. When away with the family I normally avoid wineries and cellar doors but when in the Porongurups it would be a shame to miss Castle Rock. With the Stirling Ranges visible on clear days it forms one of the most dramatic backdrops in WA while the reversed view from the 1095m-high Bluff Knoll is equally stunning. But it’s not primarely the natural surroundings that make made me pay a visit to the warm and hospitable – even in the midst of vintage – Diletti’s. For me their wonderful Rieslings are the true reason behind it all and I just had to see and feel the place where one of my favourite drinks is born year after year. 

My first introduction to these tightly structured and intensily concentrated wines was at a vertical tasting a couple of years ago. A backbone of impeccable balanced acid proved to be the key to their longevity with the most wines showing their best after several years in the bottle, having shed off their initial shyness. This turned out to be the same at this visit to the cellar door where the still tight, steely, racy and relatively austere 2007 Riesling contrasted sharply with the award-winning approachable and oh so gorgeous 2003. At respectively $20 and $28 you can readily drink – or cellar – one of Australia’s best.

Source: Castle Rock Estate/Swanbourne Cellars  Drink: Now-2020

Mesh Riesling 2007

April 18, 2008

Clare meets Eden Valley in this joint-venture between Jeffrey Grosset and Robert Hill Smith. Although this label hasn’t got the same pedigree as its contributors own wines, it certainly is one of Australia’s Rieslings with high potential, clearly demonstrated in vintages as 2002 and 2005. Under the more challenging circumstances of last year it proves to have class indeed although I always expect that little bit extra from this wine. For Riesling that means purity, precision, line and lenght. The intensity of lemon and lime in this pale straw wine dominates nose and palate, complemented by hints of riper varietal characters as candied orange, flowers and spice. Succulent, open and textural it seems to concentrate its virtues predominantly on the front and the middle of the palate leaving me with the impression that great lenght and persistance are only to be found in those exceptional vintages from the past. So don’t keep this one in the cellar too long but drink it while it’s young and fresh. 90 points

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $30  Drink: Now-2010

Karra Yerta Eden Valley Riesling 2007

March 25, 2008

img_4200.jpgRiesling is for the Eden Valley what Shiraz is for the Barossa. This variety has in fact become a synonym for this region where it performs on the central stage with great finesse and balance. The historical close relationship between the two is clearly shown by the establishment of the Pewsey Vale vineyard by Joseph Gilbert in 1847 as most famous and oldest example, while others as Leo Buring, Heggies, Henschke and Peter Lehmann followed more than a century later. Amongst those big names I was pleasantly surprised to find this gem from Karra Yerta, a winery with a tiny vineyard originally planted in the early 20th century by the same family that planted Chris Ringland’s Three Rivers vineyard. After an era of decline present owners James and Marie Linke decided to revive the old vineyard including 0.40 hectare of Muscat Blanc, 0.60 hectare of Semillon, 0.43 hectare of Shiraz and 0.49 hectare of Riesling. Saved for wineloving mankind this has turned out to be a wise decision as the 75 years-old Riesling vines produces wines that are truly outstanding. The 2007 Riesling shows a brilliantly intense nose of lime, citrus with apple, peach and hints of spice adding background and complexity. The warm and dry vintage conditions are absorbed remarkably well on a palate that is positively open and fleshed out without losing its wonderful linear acidity. A fantastic wine that already presents about everything you’ll like to see from this variety although it can be cellared for at least another 5 years with confidence. 92 points

Source: Winery Sample  Price: $20  Drink: Now-2013+


Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2007

October 1, 2007

img_3694.jpgAs always I am on the lookout for the newly released Australian Rieslings, especially the ones from the Clare Valley. About 8 weeks ago the 2007 Rieslings from O’Leary Walker past my lips. Fresh as a daisy both the Watervale and Polish Hill initially looked somewhat aggressive on the palate. When I revisited the same wines a week ago the fruit and acid had married really well, reassuring that I find it difficult to assess very young Riesling. The Polish Hill Riesling from Jeffrey Grosset is still considered young one year after its release. But who wants to wait that long? Pale straw in colour with a nose of apple and lemon blossom, lime, herbal and spicy aromas that leap out of the glass. The palate is already pretty open and complex but with the same lively purity, zestiness, delicacy and balance that can be expected of this wine that finishes long and firm. I reckon this vintage Polish Hill can be enjoyed straight away. 93 points.

Source: Fine Wine Wholesalers  Price: $45  Drink: Now-2013+


J.J. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese 1998

April 16, 2007

img_2328.jpgFor most Riesling lovers the wines from the German Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region are among the finest expression of this noble variety. Those low-alcohol and elegant wines are truly unique with a continuous play between highly aromatic – often sweet – fruit and bracing acidity. Top wines from this region can only be produced from grapes of the highest quality grown on the steep heat-retaining slate-soil vineyards. High above the river the vines are protected against the cold winds and exposed to the northern sun so that the grapes ripen sufficiently in this cool climate. Along the meandering Mosel there are many of such sites, all with their own unique location and soil composition. It is therefore no wonder that those terroirs produce such distinguished and different wines. One of the most famous vineyards is the Wehelner Sonnenuhr near the village of Graach. Although producers like Willi Schaefer and Dr. Loosen make very fine wines from this vineyard, this site is inextricable linked with Dr. Manfred Prüm from Weingut  Joh. Jos. Prüm. Recognised as one of the world’s best white winemakers, Prüm crafts supremely elegant and sophisticated Spätlese and Auslese – and Beerenauslese and Trockenberenauslese in the better vintages – out of the grapes grown on this site. The 1998 Sonnenuhr Auslese is one of these classics that demonstrates the virtues of great Riesling. This deep golden wine shows quite a few contrasts. The intense and complex nose runs through ripe apricot and nectarine, honey and marmelade to be balanced by real fresh lime flavours. All this carries on to the palate where an impeccable balance between sweetness and acidity gives the wine the focus it needs. The same message is send by the finish that is smooth, silky, long and lingering. A great wine for anyone with a sweet tooth. 92 points.

Source: Splendour West (Bellarmine wines) Price: $42  Drink: Now-2010

Web: (under construction)