Reviewed: June 30, 2014
When it comes to Riesling, the Great Southern region of Western Australian deserves the same quality reputation as the Clare Valley in South Australia. Like Clare, there are several subdistricts within the region that are capable of displaying subtle stylistic differences. If Frankland River (like Watervale) is the engine room, then the Porongorup district is the Polish Hill of the region.
Several producers are now making separate wines under two or more of the subregions including Howard Park. Both the Porongorup and Great Southern wines are excellent example of the style. It is, however, the Madfish that really caught my attention.
According to Jeff Birch, all Riesling produced for the 2013 vintage started life destined for the top wines. Ultimately, some batches did not quite make the grade, and were declassified and then bottled under the Madfish label.
Whilst the 2013 Madfish Riesling is not quite as intense as its big brothers, it is an absolute bargain!
Howard Park – Riesling – Porongurup – 2013 (18.5). Closed on the nose, though hinting at potential. The palate has lime juice and grapefruit characters. The acid is fresh, yet remarkably polished and almost silky. With excellent length and persistence, this is a thrilling wine. (RRP $34).
Howard Park – Riesling – Great Southern – 2013 (18.5). Fragrant and supple fruit on the nose. This follows onto the most delightful of palates that transitions from citrus and minerals upfront, to delicately refined acid in near seamless fashion. The length and persistence are outstanding. Sublime wine. (RRP $33).
Howard Park – Riesling – Madfish – 2012 (17.8). Whilst this wine does not have the intensity of the Porongurup riesling, it has the same soft, polished fruit and acidity. Somewhat viscous in the mouth, with excellent line and length. From the Great Southern. (RRP $18).