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/
Despite some slightly ungainly labelling on this BWS private label, this wine presents as a good quality varietally typical Clare Valley riesling. In the glass, there are aromas of stones and lime. The palate is dry, the acidity fresh and the length a little short, but this is nonetheless sound drinking at $15. Books and covers. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $15. Source: Sample.
This is a somewhat unusual white blend that finds semillon, riesling and gewürtztraminer together. In the glass, it’s a pale yellow in colour, and has aromas that remind of grass and apple skins, perhaps explicable by the 7 day ferment on skins. The palate is fresh and the acidity apple like. Some CO2 and a light body complete the picture, whilst the abv is only 10%. Suitable for current drinking. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 10%. Price: $18. Source: Sample.
A second wine from Patina. This time a dry riesling from Orange and the 2016 vintage. The aroma of this wine is quite muted with earth, stones and minerals evident with effort. The palate reminds of lemon, yellow grapefruit and is bound together with high acidity. Austere in bearing, this wine will reward time in the cellar. Rating: Good. Abv: 11.1%. Price: $25. Source: Sample.
This wine from Patina has very pure aromas of candied lemons and lime. The palate is clean in bearing and style, off dry, the acidity high and the balance in the glass very good. Overall, this is a very good riesling. The label doesn’t in my view make the geographic indication (GI) claim obvious but I presume the region of origin is Orange or the broader Central Ranges Zone. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 11.1%. Price: $25. Source: Sample.
From the Watervale subregion of the Clare Valley, this wine from Mitchell Wines (no relation!) is quite aromatic, with aromas of lime, jasmine and a herbaceous note. The palate is dry, with mouth watering acidity, a youthful touch of CO2 and a medium body. It provides delicious drinking now and will also suit long ageing. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.0%. Price: $25. Source: Sample.