This winery in the Grampians wine region in western Victoria may no longer exist, but their riesling, cellared since purchase on release, is outstanding at 13 years of age. Fully mature and yellow gold in colour, it has undergone the riesling metamorphosis. Its aroma is all bread, butter and stones. The palate is dry, medium bodied and the acidity linear and not quite high. This delicious riesling is ready to drink now, and good evidence of the region’s capability with this grape. Rating: Very Good to Outstanding. Website: NA. Reviewed: August 2020.
The Canberra wine region does two grape varieties very well – syrah (at its best, in a northern Rhône style expression) and riesling (at its best, in a dry, tight, high acid, mineral and floral expression). To the European mind, that this combination of varieties might work in the same region is unusual. As an illustration, the 2016 Master of Wine examinations included a question along the lines of “can cabernet sauvignon and riesling be successful in the same location?“. From an Australian or North American point of view, the answer was relatively easy.
Shaw Wines in Canberra have produced a first class riesling here. It has aromas of minerals, stone and lemons. The palate is dry, with linear, high acidity and excellent balance. The alcohol is low at 11%. It is approachable now and will likely cellar over the next decade, or longer. This wine sits comfortably alongside the rieslings produced by Australia’s better producers. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 11.0. Price: $30. Website: http://shawwines.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: June 2020.
From Castle Rock Estate and Porongurup in Western Australia, this is a fine, chiselled, emphatically dry riesling in style. In the glass, there is a firm aroma of lemon and stones. The palate has fresh, biting acidity and a mineral edge. Ready to drink now, this should improve with 4 to 5 years in the cellar. Rating: Good. Abv: 11.5%. Price: $25. Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: January 2020.
This is a very good Eden Valley riesling from Rockford. It has typical lemon-line aromas and some nascent hints of toast. The palate has steely acidity, medium fruit weight and a ripe expression. This lovely wine will cellar for a decade. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $20s. Website: http://www.rockfordwines.com.au. Reviewed: January 2020.
This a good release of this classic wine from Dr Loosen. Only 8% in alcohol, it is typical of the Mosel Kabinett riesling style. In the glass, there are restrained aromas of lemon and stones, with hints of tropical fruit. The palate is off to medium dry and the acidity both refreshing and racy, ably balancing the impression of residual sugar. This paradigm Mosel wine can be enjoyed now or cellared. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 8%. Price: $30. Website: https://drloosen.com. Reviewed: January 2020.
Laurel Bank is a small north facing vineyard near Hobart, along the Derwent river. This proved a first class expression of cool climate dry riesling and has aromas of stones, smoke and lemon. The palate is dry, with crisp acidity and good length. Ready to drink now, this wine should improve over the next decade in the cellar. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.8%. Price: $25. Website: http://www.laurelbankwines.com.au. Source: Sample. Tasted: October 2019.
This is classically styled riesling from Castle Rock Estate in Porongurup, a sub region of Great Southern in Western Australia. Its aroma reminds of lemon and stones, and its palate is dry and has firm, linear acidity. This wine can be approached now or cellared for 5 to 8 years. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $20. Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au. Source: Sample. Review: September 2019.
This is a delicious grand cru riesling from Domaines Schlumberger in Alsace. Towards gold in colour, its aroma reminds of steel and lemon zest. The palate is firm with a rich body, racy acidity and good length on the finish. You can approach it now, but this wine has years of cellaring ahead of it. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $50. Website: https://www.domaines-schlumberger.com.
If you wish to know about the wines of Wachau in Austria, the Austrians make it particularly easy to learn. Their website is terrific and here is the link: www.austrianwine.com/our-wine/wine-growing-regions/niederoesterreich-lower-austria/wachau/. This wine is from FX Pichler in Wachau, and is a “Federspiel” which is a classification in Wachau and means that its alcohol is 11.5% to 12.5%. In the glass, the wine has a delicious aroma of green apples, stones and apple skins. Resolutely dry on the palate, the body is fullish and the acidity searing. The acidity pierces without remorse through the fruit flavours, which otherwise have a plumpness to them. The finish is balanced and has a subtle length to it. A classic Austrian dry style, this riesling should drink well over the next decade or more. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $60+. Website: fx-pichler.at,
Schlossberg is an 80 hectare grand cru in Alsace that is situated eight kilometres from Colmar, overlooking the Weiss Valley. The Vins Alsace website actually has a lot of further information, including some very cool interactive maps that highlight the region’s stunning beauty. You can find it here. This wine from Paul Blanck is a very good wine. A yellow gold in colour, it has aromas of lemon and touch of honey. The palate is rich and mostly dry, with flavours reminding of lemon, stones and tropical fruit, supplemented by fresh acidity and long length on palate. Ready to drink now, this wine can be approached over the next decade or more. Rating: Very Good. Abv: not recorded. Price: $60. Website: www.blanck.com/en/