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It must be a strange feeling for John Vickery to begin at the beginning again,60 years after his first vintage, in 1951. His interest in, love of, and exceptional skills with riesling began with Leo Buring in 1955 at Chateau Leonay. Over the intervening years he became the uncrowned but absolute monarch of riesling makers in Australia until, in his semi-retirement, he passed the mantle on to Jeffrey Grosset. Along the way he had (unsurprisingly) won the Wolf Blass Riesling Award at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge 2007, and had been judged by his peers as Australia?s Greatest Living Winemaker in a survey conducted by The Age Epicure in ?03. His new venture has been undertaken in conjunction with Phil Lehmann, with 12ha of Clare and Eden Valley riesling involved, and wine marketer Jonathon Hesketh moving largely invisibly in the background. The Da Vinci code letters and numerals are easy when it comes to EVR (Eden Valley Riesling) and WVR (Watervale Riesling), thereafter the code strikes. The numerics are the dates of harvest, thus ?103? is 1 March,?172? is 17 February. The two initials that follow are even more delphic, standing for the name of the vineyard or those of the multiple owners. In 2015 ?ZV? translates as Zander Vineyard, while ?CK? is the Castine and Koemer families, who jointly own the vineyard. Da Vinci freaks will be buzzing with excitement when they find that the option of leaving ?B? for Brazel as a further ownership recognition was left out because only a small proportion of the fruit came from that vineyard.
Author: James Halliday
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Excellent winery able to produce wines of high to very high quality, knocking on the door of a 5-star rating. Will normally have one wine rated at 95 points or above, and two (or more) at 90 and above, others 87-89.
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