New Release Riesling: October 2017

New Release Riesling: October 2017

Barry Weinman: 4th October 2017

Great Riesling can come in many different forms. From bone-dry, steely wine, to off-dry examples right through to the spectacular, intensely sweet (and very expensive) wines from Germany.

Given that the majority of the Rieslings made in Australia are relatively dry, I have always struggled to understand why everyday consumers, when offered a glass of Riesling, will decline, stating that they prefer a dry wine. This same consumer is just as likely to order a Sauvignon Blanc or blend with noticeable levels of residual sugar.

Perhaps it has something to do with cask wines of old?

The highlight of this tasting was the wines of Koonowla. These wines represent such good value that one panellist was heard to complain that the wines were too cheap! This supports the wineries goal of “delivering consistent and high quality wines at affordable value”. The wines are made by David O’Leary and Nick Walker and are worth seeking out.


Cherubino – Riesling – Great Southern – 2016 (18.5/20 – $37). Restrained and very fine with citrus aromatics/notes. The fruit flavours are gentle, yet very persistent, with the fine acidity melding seamlessly with the fruit on the palate. A wonderful wine that is great now, but will also age well for a decade or more.

Koonowla – Riesling – 2017. (18.5/20 – $20). More aromatic than many in the tasting, with the lime blossom fruit a highlight. The palate is taut, restrained and firm, with the fine fruit a little subdued by the acid and structure. Will be great with food, but sure to age well. Brilliant value from this Clare Valley producer.

Poacher’s Ridge – Riesling – Louis Block – 2007. (18.5/20). More obvious toasty, aged notes on the nose over aromas reminiscent of Key Lime pie. The palate is fresh and vibrant, with the acid softened enough to allow the fruit to shine. The fruit gives way to gentle oiliness, along with fresh, vibrant acidity. At 10 years of age, this provides great drinking.

Singlefile – Riesling – Great Southern – 2017 (18.5/20) Lovely floral perfume, with talc-like characters. The palate is a delight, the fine citrus fruit slowly giving way to feathery acid on the finish. Remarkably easy to drink now, but sure to age well for 5 – 10 years.

Helm – Riesling – Premium – 2016 (18.3/20). Restrained, fine and elegant, with a long, supple and seamless palate. The high quality fruit sits perfectly with the acid, making for an elegant, age-worthy wine.

Howard Park – Riesling – Museum Release – Great Southern – 2012 (18.3/20 – $41). Fragrant and supple, with very attractive floral highlights. The palate is more restrained, with the acid and gentle phenolics giving way to a touch of toast. At 5 years of age, this fine wine is just starting to show the first signs of development.

Koonowla – Riesling – The Ringmaster – 2017 (18/20 – $16). A fine wine, with fragrant lemon aromas. The palate is fine and elegant, with the acid perfectly paired to the fruit, resulting in a great drinking wine. Deserves a good piece of snapper. Value!