Xabregas Show Reserve & Sweet Riesling 2009
(Mt Barker, WA)
The colour on this pair is amazing. Somewhere in between water, greenish water and water again. Quite remarkable really, if easy to confuse with a bottle of Mount Franklin (though also very refreshing). I'm tasting these two together, though there is a full $10 between the Sweet Riesling ($17) and the Show Reserve ($27), mainly to see how the acidity vs sugar balance compares. Incidentally, the Sweet Riesling even comes in a Mosel Green bottle, as if it to give a silent nod to the German style it imitates.
On the nose, it is the Show Reserve that gives away the most, with an open knit, honeysuckle and passionfruit edged ripeness that zings with freshness. The Sweet Riesling, in comparison, smells plasticky and at first seemed quite reduced, but opened out to reveal some more pineapple fruit, even though it never convinces. The sweetie continues its move to dullness on the palate, lacking the concentration to make for a satisfying drink, even though the sugar and acidity seem well balanced. It's a Kabinett style Rizza then, which is simple and refreshing, but ultimately missing the requisite intensity or flavour for decent marks. 14.9
The Show Reserve, then is a fair step up, particularly in intensity. The palate is long and dry, with satisfyingly limey, honeysuckle edged acidity, making for a wine that hangs around well after the liquid has gone. In fact, the whole wine seems to be hung on its acidity, with it dominating every facet (for the time being at least) of the wines personality, filling every nook and cranny with acid dryness.
As a drink, right now, it's a slightly coarse, if certainly well structured, WA Riesling, that lacks the delicacy of some of its peers, but promises much with a few months or years of development. 15.8+