Reviewed: May 18th 2014
There was an eclectic collection of wines at this tasting which presented some significant challenges. Not knowing the variety, or even the style avoided any preconceptions, but it also meant that there were some style clashes. A bone-dry riesling is always going to be difficult to taste after an SSB that has a degree of residual sugar.
That said, the two rieslings mentioned are well worth a look.
Willoughby Park – Riesling – Ironrock – 2013 (18). Restrained and taut, with steely minerality. This continues on the palate, with lovely lime juice and superb acidity that carries the finish. Slightly dumb on the mid palate, but with air this became wonderfully fragrant. Ideally this needs a few years to flesh out, but is a superb wine.
Zarephath – Riesling – 2013 (17.5 – 18). Very pale colour. Fresh and floral, with lime and lemon juice notes. The palate has fresh acidity, yet is soft, supple and quite delicious. A sublime wine with excellent length and a near seamless finish.
Hay Shed Hill – Chardonnay – 2013 ( 17.5). Initially quite neutral on the nose. The palate has barrel ferment and lees characters over quality fruit. Think pineapple and nectarine. Quite a serious wine that has been well handled. The finish is almost chewy and textured, but the lemony fruit and crisp acidity makes for an excellent wine.
Stella Bella – Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – Skuttlebutt – 2013 (17). A very drinkable wine here. This is characterised by lovely mouth-feel and texture. Excellent length with focused acidity to balance the fruit on the drying finish. An excellent wine with, or without food.
Millbrook – Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – Barking Owl – 2013 (17). I like the balance here. Floral fruit and citrus blossom is set against a background of minerals and flinty acidity. Good length, the touch of phenolic grip adds to the mouth-feel and finish.
Yilgarnia – Semillon – 2013 (17). Quite a smart wine that has fresh, vibrant fruit set against complex minerality. There is depth and presence here. This is not a quaffing wine. The complex array of flavours include lemon-like fruit and just a hint of minerals.