Why do wine writers and serious wine drinkers love Riesling? Perhaps because it, more than any other variety, can produce such a range of styles, from dry and austere, to semi-sweet or luscious dessert wines.
Also appealing is that it ages so gracefully in the bottle. Connoisseurs often appreciate both young and mature Riesling, enjoying it while it is young and fresh, and relishing the lovely toasty characters it develops after years of cellaring.
And finally, Australian Riesling represents great value for money, particularly when you consider the quality on offer.
Riesling traditionally thrives in cool-climate regions, with South Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys renowned for producing Australia’s finest examples. In recent years, other cool-climate regions, including Canberra, have shared some of the spotlight.
Along with the four Rieslings reviewed here, there are a couple of others you might like to look out for. These include Sevenhill Cellars 2022 Inigo Riesling, which at $25 is even cheaper than the 27 Miles reviewed here. It won the trophy for Best Australian Dry White at last year’s Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Another to seek out is the 2022 Singlefile Riesling from Western Australia’s Great Southern region. It took out the top award at the 2022 Canberra International Riesling Challenge, which looked at more than 400 Rieslings from six countries.
The Challenge presents a trophy for Best Riesling from the Canberra District, and last year that award went to Mount Majura Vineyard for its 2022 Riesling. The same wine won the trophy for Best Riesling in the 2022 NSW Wine Awards, making it definitely one to look out for.
Sevenhill Cellars 2022 ‘27 Miles’ Riesling, $50: South Australia’s Clare Valley, where this wine hails from, is Australia’s most famous Riesling region and 2022 happened to be a sensational vintage. It has a divine nose of jasmine and orange blossom, a fine, elegant palate of lemon and lime, hints of minerality, and a bright crisp acidity.
Pewsey Vale Vineyard Estate Riesling 2022, $26: Pewsey Vale Vineyard celebrated its 175th anniversary last year, a remarkable legacy and one that highlights the magnificence of Eden Valley Riesling. The vineyard is dedicated solely to Riesling. When I say that Australian Riesling represents great value for money, here’s a prime example. So expressive and delicious, its zesty flavours and enticing lime and lemon aromas burst out of the glass. Flinty, dry and concentrated, with a lovely long finish.
Pewsey Vale Vineyard 1961 Block Riesling 2021, $35: This captures the pristine and powerful characters of a block that was planted in 1961 in what is considered to be the vineyard’s “dress circle”. The grapes are hand-picked and wild fermented before being aged for a few months on lees. It’s very enjoyable right now but you might like to put it away for a special celebration down the track, when its rich flavours are likely to have aged gracefully.
Shaw Wines 2022 Eden Valley Riesling, $32: Shaw is a Canberra producer and Canberra, being a cool-climate region, produces some mighty fine Riesling. But Shaw has had a few tricky vintages – bushfires, drought, too much rain, you name it – and for the first time, it has sourced fruit from outside the region. It’s turned here to the Eden Valley, creating a crisp and refreshing Riesling with lovely honeysuckle aromas and zesty lime and pear notes.
These reviews originally appeared in PS News.
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