Wirra Wirra The Lost Watch Riesling 2018
Wirra’s Adelaide Hills Riesling can be a little lean in some years, but in a warmer ’18 harvest it is just perfect. Water clear, it’s an impressively precise Riesling in every way. A hint of melon and then perfectly delineated grapefruit flavour that, despite the rampant natural acidity, has this perfect natural juiciness. Impressively vital and very drinkable young white wine.
Best drinking: Now, or wait a few years and try again at six or seven. 18.5/20. 94/100. 12.5%, $25. Would I buy it? Absolutely.
Leasingham Classic Clare Watervale Riesling 2017
You don’t see this wine much anymore outside of the odd chain discount line. Pity, as it’s an archetypal wine. From a single vineyard in Watervale. Lightly floral nose, the palate is seriously intense lime juice – that’s the key appeal here, no shortage of flavour. Acidity is balanced, finish is fresh. It’s everything you’d want in a proper Clare Riesling. Good stuff.
Best drinking: Now or up to twenty years. 18/20, 93/100. 12.5%, $51.99. Would I buy it? I’d drink it but can’t fathom the price.
Leasingham Classic Clare Watervale Riesling 2012
Cellar release from Leasingham and arguably too young still. Terpene aplenty on the nose meeting lemon toast. Despite the hint of forward fruit on the nose, the tight lemon palate is still defined by acidity, it’s even lean, and so pure and limey still – a wine in motion. Underneath, however, there is grip, and the length is absolutely top shelf. The many layers of flavour here is the key to the appeal.
Best drinking: I’d come back next year. It will still be alive in twenty years no problem. 18/20, 93/100. 12.5%, $51.99. Would I buy it? Drinkable but see above.
Torzi Matthews Frost Dodger Riesling 2018
Dom Torzi’s Eden Valley Riesling is always good (and very well priced) and this is no exception. A primary and very fresh style that is ready to drink. Green melon, grippy phenolics, luscious fruit. This is such an open, even, pure and easy Eden Riesling. Yum.
Best drinking: Great now. 18/20, 93/100. 12.5%, $25. Would I buy it? Absolutely.
Alkoomi Black Label Frankland River Riesling 2017
Even after a year odd in bottle this is still very tight, with a pristine grapefruit nose that gives away nothing bar a cool citrus and a little florals. Tangy and incessantly dry grapefruit palate is very linear and perhaps too lean. Admirable length and intensity here, with best years ahead.
Best drinking: I’d wait another year or so and gee it’s going to live. 17.7/20, 92/100+. 12%, $24. Would I buy it? A glass now.
Hardy’s HRB D674 Riesling 2017
A blend of Clare Valley and Tasmania fruit this year. The best of both worlds? The acidity here is more grapefruit Tassy, but the ripe citrus gives the Clare away. Bracing, perhaps too acid shaped and grapefruity but it’s long, it’s brisk and again a wine of great intensity. Nice drink.
Best drinking: Good now and will live for twenty easy. 17.7/20, 92/100. 12.5%, $34.99. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
Alkoomi White Label Frankland River Riesling 2017
Amazing that this is a sub $15 wine. A broader shape than the Black Label but not that much of a step behind. Mandarin peel, grapefruit and candied lemon, the brisk palate packing intensity unheard of for $15. Maybe a little broad through the middle but much flavour indeed. An absolute bargain.
Best drinking: Now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12%, $15. Would I buy it? Sure would
Ferngrove Cossack Riesling 2017
Sprightly grapefruit lemon juice aplenty as ever with the Cossack. Piercing citrus fruit with just a little development creeping in. Super shiny citrus fruit, tangy and peppery, but ultimately a simple wine – wanted just a little more. Long and fresh though. More to come.
Best drinking: Now and up to 15 without questions. 17.5/20, 91/100+. 12.9%, $23. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
Mesh Eden Valley Riesling 2017
A curious wine this. Surprisingly forward, lime meets lemongrass nose. Sort of sweet and sour palate with a little sherbet but grapefruit and curry powder to back it up. I keep waiting for the triumph, but this just looks a bit forward and the late grapefruit acidity can’t bring it on home. Still a substantial Riesling but no killer punch.
Best drinking: Now and will live, but good now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12.5%, $30. Would I buy it? I’d drink it but not a superstar.
Seppeltsfield Barossa Riesling 2017
A blend of Barossa and Eden Riesling, the style a fleshy one, the flavours heading towards guava and peach, generous and softly fruity. An amiable, rounded wine and still looked good day two. Very likeable.
Best drinking: Now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12.5%, $25. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
Tim Adams Riesling 2018
A slightly diffuse vintage of Tim Adams Riesling, the nose open and showing quite juicy lime fruit. Direct, soft acidity, an open and generuos style despite the classic acidity. Lively, simple purity if maybe a little softer this year.
Best drinking: Now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 11%, $22. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
Ferngrove Black Label Off-Dry Riesling 2017
Nailing off-dry styles is hard, but this primary wine that shows the simple appeal of a fruity Riesling. Acid looks integrated, and this has more appeal than the standard Ferngrove dry Riesling. Entirely drinkable.
Best drinking: 17/20, 90/100. 11%, $20. Would I buy it? I’d drink a glass or two.
Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2017
Petaluma Riesling isn’t quite the benchmark it used to be. Doesn’t help that it has been owned by at least six different companies over the last 15 years. Subdued apple juice nose, a prick of development on the palate, celery and grapefruit before a long citrussy finish. A subtle and backward style this vintage that seems to be missing that trademark limey punch, the cool vintage giving acidity and less regional punch. Hold to wait for something to pop out.
Best drinking: I’d wait and drink this with a good four years of bottle age. 17/20, 90/100+. 12.5%, $29.99. Would I buy it? A glass or so.
Brave Souls The Lighthouse Keeper Eden Valley Riesling 2017
Brave Souls is the new brand of Julia Weirich, working with the Sons of Eden boys. Early releases – particularly the reds – look great. This Riesling is just a little forward but good drinking. Green melon and lemongrass with just a little development. Palate is citrussy but still fuller than expected, with an expanding ripeness through the finish. Pleasant and well judged, it’s a pretty nice drink.
Best drinking: Now. 17/20, 90/100. 12.5%, $23. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
The Enthusiast Clare Valley Riesling 2017
2017 wasn’t the most straightforward vintage, with plenty of lean wines. Water yellow, this is a very restrained and tangy style with a slightly sour grapefruit acidity. It’s super lean and pure, if a bit too lean and lacks a little expression. That mouth watering acid will help it live. But hold for now as it’s just so tight.
Best drinking: Later. I’d prefer seeing this as a five year old I think. 17/20, 90/100+. 11.5%, $22. Would I buy it? Maybe later.