Xabregas Mad Men of Riesling Devolution 2014
‘This is devolution’.
To be honest, this is less wild and crazy than expected. It’s just really fucking good – the best of the new Xabregas Riesling wines.
It sounds wild in the making. Well, wild for Great Southern Riesling at least (which is typically made super clean). Semi-botrytised Riesling grapes were handpicked, destemmed and wild fermented, the juice pressed off skins at 50% dryness (3 days). It then spent 8 months on full lees, with a cold settle pre bottling. Unsulphured and unfiltered (though I’m not sure if sulphur was added at harvest).
For all that riding-close-to-the-wind winemaking, this is still really fresh and vital. It smells of tangerine, pineapple and citrus on the genuine fruit-driven (must stop saying that) nose. Crunchy, dry palate has firm skin tannins, spritz freshness and a bolt of dry acidity with tangy phenolics to finish things off, without edging into hardness.
Like all great ‘natural’ or even ‘natural-esque’ modern whites, this wins because it tastes of lively, unadulterated fermented grape juice. There’s layers of flavour, plenty of acidity and an overarching juiciness that, ultimately, makes me want to drink loads of this.
Details: 12.2%, Screwcap, $30
Tasted: June 2015 (sample)
Best drinking: 2015-2022+
Score: 18.5/20, 94/100
Would I buy it? Sure would. Delicious
Buy online: Xabregas website