Wine Lists

Cellar-worthy riesling

By Halliday Promotion

23 Nov, 2018

Australia’s wonderfully zippy and dry riesling wines are under-recognised options for the cellar, and here we unpack why (plus pinpoint five exceptional examples to try).

To celebrate Langton’s 30th anniversary, we had them select five top-performing riesling wines. Whether for the cellar or summer, grab a bottle or a case of the wines ahead before December 12, and you could win one of 30 great gifts, including trips to indulge in some of the country’s best winery experiences, a Vintec wine cabinet, and credit to spend on your favourite labels. Before diving into the selection, let’s take a look at why riesling is such an awesome option for the cellar.

1. Riesling is an acid freak

Alongside semillon, riesling is one of the world’s great age-worthy white grapes, offering the structure and acidity to stand the test of time.

2. Riesling ages gracefully

The varietal characters of a young riesling are ideal for pairing with food or sipping in the sun, full of bright, pure fruit flavour (most often in the citrus family) and refreshing acidity. As they age, they develop from a fresh, fun drinking wine, to an intriguing, complex thinking wine. The toasty, honeyed notes of mature riesling are moreish, and make a sophisticated accompaniment to cheese.

3. Riesling offers great value

Besides its capacity to age for decades and attractive flavour development with time, the other reason riesling is worth investing in is the fantastic value it offers, which in Australia is pretty much second to none. It’s a wonder that the distinctive, beautifully made styles of top regions such as the Eden and Clare Valleys, Canberra, Tasmania, Great Southern and Henty are available for such astoundingly small prices, especially when compared to the best international examples.

4. You don’t have to be patient

When it comes to wine, waiting is hard. We get that, and wineries do too – which is why more producers are holding back their riesling wines to offer museum and aged releases. If you want to cheat, you can add bottles such as the Pewsey Vale Contours Riesling and Grosset-Hill Smith Mesh Riesling to your shopping list, which will give you a six-year head start.

Five wines to try
by Langton’s

Duke's Magpie Hill Reserve

2018 Duke’s Magpie Hill Reserve Great Southern Riesling

James Halliday awarded the previous release of this riesling Wine of the Year and gave it a 99-point score – the first time he’s recognised a white wine with such accolades. A special wine from a special site, with incredible acid and a balanced palate that is ideal for ageing, this riesling will reward those who can wait greatly in another five to 10 years of time.

$38/bottle, available individually | 2038 | Find out more

Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling

2017 Larry Cherubino Wines Ad Hoc Wallflower Great Southern Riesling

Larry Cherubino has nailed the formula for highly drinkable, great value wines, and this Great Southern riesling fits neatly into that equation. Crisp, crunchy and delicious, you could just as easily crack open a bottle or few of this for thirst-quenching refreshment on a summer’s afternoon as you could leave it in the cellar to become richly aromatic and splendidly complex. 94 points JH.

$17/bottle, available as a pack of six | 2032 | Find out more

Clonakilla Canberra District Riesling

2016 Clonakilla Canberra District Riesling

The riesling wines of the Canberra region are on the rise, with more wine writers, critics and sommeliers singing their praises than ever before. Among these is that of cult Murrumbateman brand Clonakilla, which produces one of the best. A great varietal example, with pretty aromatics, bright citrus flavours and a firm acid line, with time, it will develop the toasty, honeyed complexity that’s so appealing in aged riesling wines.

$32/bottle, available individually | 2031 | Find out more

Henschke Peggy's Hill Riesling

2017 Henschke Peggy’s Hill Eden Valley Riesling

Henschke gets plenty of attention for its iconic wines, in particular for reds such as Hill of Grace, but the Peggy’s Hill Riesling is one from the range that should be better recognised, given its attractive combination of quality and affordability. Zippy and pristine in the classic Eden Valley style, this riesling has the acid structure and fruit concentration to age gracefully for upwards of a decade. It’s also drinking beautifully right now, which is all the more reason to get some for summer, and some for the seasons and celebrations to come. 94 points JH.

$19/bottle, available as a pack of six | 2037 | Find out more

Pewsey Vale The Contours Riesling

2012 Pewsey Vale The Contours Eden Valley Riesling

If you’d rather not wait 10 years or more before savouring your perfectly cellared bottle of riesling, The Contours – released with five years of bottle age – is a great option. Sourced from a single block planted in 1965, it exhibits lemon curd, white peach and herbaceous flavours, plus a wonderful creamy mouth-feel that has developed over time. 95 points JH.

$30/bottle, available as a pack of six | 2032 | Find out more

Purchase one of the above, or anything from Langton’s, before December 12 to go in the draw to win a share of a massive $20,000 worth of gifts.