Wine Lists

Six must-try riesling

By Halliday Promotion
The global renown and cellaring potential of Australian riesling means it is a regular fixture in online auctions and a new mixed case of classic riesling wines curated by Langton's looks set to fly off the virtual shelves this weekend. Designed to showcase the unique characteristics of riesling produced in the Clare Valley, Eden Valley and Mount Barker subregion, the collection features six pairs of reliably high-scoring wines you can drink now to spice up your summer repertoire or lay down for future enjoyment. Here, we preview this delicious dozen with Langton's portfolio manager Christophe Priddle and explore what sets each wine apart.

“Australian riesling is fascinating to explore, and popular with collectors, because of it’s ageability, affordability and regional specificities,” says Christophe. “The great thing about a pack like this containing wines from different years and places is that you get to experience a range of styles and see how they evolve. Whether you crave those tangy citrus flavours, prefer more Granny Smith apple notes or favour wines with powerful minerality, the unifying and joyful trait of Australian riesling is its purity. It's prettier than sauvignon blanc and more subtle than gewürztraminer, and works wonderfully as an accompaniment to a broad range of foods.”

Jeanneret Wines Doozie Riesling, Clare Valley 2010
97 points | Drink to 2029

The critic: In the latest Halliday Wine Companion, James describes this late-release as ‘a truly lovely wine, ready tonight or in another seven years’.

The winemaker: Ben Jeanneret says to expect a complex nose and well-balanced palate of ripe juicy fruit leading into a lingering finish with grapefruit and lime notes.

The professional buyer: Christophe explains: “This wine, held back specially by the winery from the memorable 2010 vintage, provides a perfect introduction to aged rieslings for the uninitiated. It has the added weight and texture of age, which acts like a wink to the chardonnay devotee and works well with richer dishes such as pork schnitzel, baked salmon or even duck. As beautiful as it is now, it’s still a nice cellaring prospect.”

Pikes Traditionale Riesling, Clare Valley 2017

The critic: James Halliday described the 2015 vintage as ‘filling the mouth with lime, lemon and apple flavours, perfectly braced by acidity’.

The winemaker: Neil Pike says to expect delicate aromas of citrus blossom, a palate loaded with citrus characters, and a clean finish with a hint of talc-like grip.

The professional buyer: “This riesling typifies the delicious citrus characters, slatey minerality and consistent quality the Clare Valley is known for,” explains Christophe. “I would enjoy this young wine with goat’s cheese as the acidity would cut through the richness of the cheese well.”

Jim Barry Wines Lodge Hill Riesling, Clare Valley 2017

The critic: Halliday Wine Companion tasting team member Campbell Mattinson described the previous vintage as delivering ‘a floral prettiness and plenty of limey flavour’.

The winemaker: Expect flavours of juicy lime, Williams pear and orange blossom, with a fine chalkiness and persistent finish.

The professional buyer: Christophe says: “Many people discover this finely structured riesling via the producer’s more famous shiraz wines, but it deserves your full attention. It comes from one of the highest sites in Clare and the third-generation family winery has got the formula down pat.”

Peter Lehmann Wigan Riesling, Eden Valley 2012
97 points | Drink to 2027

The critic: Halliday Wine Companion tasting team member Jane Faulkner describes this wine as ‘toasty yet fresh [with]… a glorious amalgam of flavours from glacé lemon and lime’.

The winemaker: Expect exceptional fruit purity and a crisp, dry finish from this late-release wine.

The professional buyer: “I love surprising semillon fans with this riesling because it has a liveliness and elegance that they appreciate, and which you don’t normally associate with the big, burly Barossa region," says Christophe. "Eden Valley rieslings have a chalkiness in youth that mellows to more floral notes with bottle age, and that’s what you see here.”

Head Stonegarden Riesling, Eden Valley 2016
94 points | Drink to 2031

The critic: Halliday Wine Companion tasting team member Ned Goodwin describes this as ‘a highly Germanic expression of riesling…. [with] citrus tang and ginger spice’.

The winemaker: Alex Head says to expect lemon and tangy grapefruit acidity with terrific length.

The professional buyer: Christophe says: “This is an intensely flavoured but approachable riesling with a softer, creamier acidity than others in the collection. If you know someone who insists they don't like New World riesling, this would be the wine to challenge them with. It’s the kind of wine to flip perceptions.”

Forest Hill Vineyard Block 1 Riesling, Mount Barker 2015
97 points | Drink to 2030

The critic: James Halliday describes this wine as ‘tight and racy as expected on the palate, but with a more expansive feel and depth not so often seen at this early stage’.

The winemaker: Expect citrus zest, grapefruit and slate on the palate, with a chalky texture that is typical of the Block 1 vineyard.

The professional buyer: “This celebrated wine out of Great Southern is about explosive flavour and crunchy acidity, so you could easily throw German-style sausages and sauerkraut at it tonight, or drink it in five years and it will still be refreshing,” says Christophe.

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