The definitive guide to Australian Wines
With riesling somewhat misunderstood and its quality on the rise, this richly diverse wine is underrated, which also equates to a bargain. Ralph Kyte-Powell and Gabrielle Poy reveal all you need to know about this incredible noble variety, including its German roots, its genesis in Australia, and the regions to watch.
The Clare and Eden Valleys both produce a wide range of exceptional wines with a true sense of place. But it was their famed rieslings that captivated Tyson Stelzer on a recent trip. "I’ll never see Clare and Eden Valley riesling quite the same way again," says Tyson. "The chance to film harvest in Eden Valley last year left me with a profound sense of the impact place has in defining its wines’ styles. It renewed my faith in the future of this noble variety in these two remarkable regions."
"A recent visit to the Great Southern region of Western Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the planting of the first vines in the region drew me back again and again to riesling," says James Halliday. "This was the variety planted at the Forest Hill vineyard that launched the region into prominence by winning numerous gold medals in an era when gold medals (and consistency) were rare."
Sommelier Tim Watkins from Automata Restaurant in Sydney shares riesling matches for a range of cuisines, spanning spicy Asian fare, rich pork dishes, light seafood, citrussy desserts and caramel-accented sweets. Read on to discover the right riesling for every persuasion.
Tyson Stelzer takes a trip to South Australia's riesling country and shares with us his favourite finds. Here are his tasting notes and ratings for 12 Clare and Eden wines. "In the ever-ascending calibre of Eden and Clare Valley wines, perhaps their most refreshing hallmark of all remains their affordability," says Tyson. "Eden and Clare rieslings have long been the unsung bargains of Australian wine."
Riesling has spent decades censured for a crime it didn’t really commit. The legacy of wines made famous in the 1970s like Liebfraumilch (which had very little riesling in it) has hit this beautiful grape hard, leading people to now believe it’s nothing more than sugar water when in fact it’s one of the classiest, most distinctive white grapes in the world. It makes wines that are lush and generous yet tangy and spicy, all in the one mouthful. Here, Jane Parkinson shares 15 international examples that should be on your radar.
Henschke took the opportunity of its spring new release tasting to launch its Julius Room and present a 20-year vertical tasting of Julius Riesling from 1996 to 2015. Here, James Halliday shares highlights from the vertical tasting, and looks at the way the wines have developed variously under cork, Stelcap and screwcap.
Straight from the tasting room, we've selected 12 new-release rieslings rated and reviewed by James Halliday. The young, zesty numbers are great warm weather refreshers, and those with a little residual sugar are our go-to for Asian BYO. There’s late-picked and botrytis rieslings to satisfy the sweet fiends among us, and aged rieslings make a good match for full-flavoured cheese. Riesling really is an all-rounder, and you can find top-rated bottles for an absolute steal.
From lighter Kabinett styles to late-picked Spatlese and super-concentrated Trockenbeerenauslese, Ralph Kyte-Powell provides a handy guide to some of the more confounding German riesling terms, so that you can make an informed decision the next time you go Euro at the bottle shop. Plus, discover the other top European destinations for refined rieslings.
James Scarecebrook chats to Hunter Smith. "Frankland Estate is one of the finest riesling producers in Australia, and it was Hunter Smith’s parents who established the vineyard in an area still very under-appreciated. When he took over the running of the estate he decided to convert to organic viticulture, which has had a profound influence on quality recently."
Australian winemakers are crafting exceptional rieslings that show a true sense of place. Here, 12 wineries share their new-release rieslings, including a winemaker's tasting note and quotes on what sets their example apart. Discover riesling from a broad sweep of the country, including the Macedon Ranges, Clare and Eden Valleys, Orange and Great Southern.
Someone like Tom Barry is rare indeed, as he is probably one of only a few third-generation qualified winemakers in Australia. Being based in the Clare Valley, one of the most important varieties for Jim Barry Wines and Clos Clare (which he and brother Sam took over a few years ago) is undoubtedly riesling. He joined James Scarcebrook on The Vincast to talk about his background, the Clare Valley, and how important riesling is.
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Wines considered to offer special value for money.