Reviewed: 4 February 2013
Riesling is a fascinating grape as it can take on many different personalities depending on where it is grown and how it is handled in the winery. Bone dry, off dry, medium or sweet, the choice is yours. As long as there is appropriate acidity to balance the sweetness, the result can be thrilling.
This tasting had a variety of styles. Do not be afraid to try the wines that are off-dry. Done well, this style can offer immense drinking pleasure.
Howard Park – Riesling – Porongurup – 2012 (18+). Because this wine is quite closed and tight, it initially shows subdued fruit in a soft, round package that is easy to like and very satisfying. Opens to show apple, floral notes and citrus blossom, with minerality and precise acidity rounding out the palate. Deceptively delicious now, this is very age-worthy.
Galafrey – Riesling – Dry Land – 2012 (18). Minerals over lime-like fruit characters on the nose, while the palate is powerful, yet austere. The minerality is a feature of the palate combined with tart phenolic texture. Racy and lively, this has quality fruit and should age well.
Howard Park – Riesling – Great Southern – 2012 (18). Wow, this has piercing acidity right now. Very young and powerful, this wine is all about potential. The thrust on the palate is intense and powerful, but there is no joy at present. Drink the Porongurup while waiting for this to become ready.
West Cape Howe – Riesling – Mount Barker – 2012 (17.8). Very attractive, if somewhat subdued nose. The palate is fresh and racy with lemony fruit and acid. Not overly complex, this is an excellent mid-tier wine that can be enjoyed now or in ten years. Classic style.
Bellarmine – Riesling – Dry – 2012 (17.5 – 18). Almost tropical fruit on the nose and the palate. There is limey fruit that is fleshy and delicious, while the finish is near seamless and beautifully balanced. The flavours linger for some time. I am not sure why they label this as dry, as it is not bone dry. Perfect for current drinking.
Singlefile – Riesling – Porongurup – 2012 (17.5). Opens with floral fruit that is both attractive and alluring. The palate is rich and forward, with a touch of phenolics to add texture. The finish is dominated by lovely refreshing acidity that has citrus overtones. Delicious, but will also develop well in the medium term. Excellent length and persistence.
Leo Buring – Riesling – Clare Valley – 2012 (17.5). Closed on the nose, the palate has textbook riesling characters. Think citrus with a touch of fragrant, floral perfume. The plate is fresh, vibrant and zesty, yet well balanced. Delicious now, but will be better in a few years.