Riesling riot (Melbourne – 8 Feb 2015)

What great opportunity to try a big, big range of Riesling, mainly 2014 which have turned out very well indeed.

There was .almost enough room between the exhibitors, and very nearly, almost enough spittoons. Some producers put on older wines, and geographically included usa, Austria, Germany, NZ and Oz. Finally there was plenty of food – not just cheeses, but bread, meats, and oysters. Best of all, the food was included in the ticket price. Now if I only could have had a latte….

I tried 87 wines in just over 2 hours, and there were plenty I didn’t get to

Impressions, alphabetically

Brundlmayer (austria) You get what you pay for, the best of the 3 wines was the 2013 “reserve” – superb wine

Cherubino. I don’t have much experience with Larry’s wines but the 2014 Porongorups was ultra-fine and expressive

Crawford river; 2013 was a brilliant wine

Donnhof (nahe) 2013 Oberhauser Leisterberg Kabinett, was delicious

DR Loosen; again you get what you pay for, The 2013 Wehelener Sonnenuhr Kabinett was a step up on the bernkastler Lay Kabinett; the ws spatlese a further advance- gorgeous.

Eden Hall. Liked the 2014 and 2010, did not like the 2011.

Egon Muller (mosel) Their wines can be frighteningly expensive, as might be expected from their place in the hierarchy of German wines 2013 Scharzhof Kabinett and 2013  Spatlese were terrific

Framingham (NZ) There were 2 wines I actively disliked; but the 2013 “classic: and even more so the 2014 Noble (with notes of ginger and limes) – were very very good

Mt Horrocks. Another winery whose wines I only know via reputation. 2014 and the 2014 Cordon cut – in particular- were very impressive.

Henschke – 2014 “julius” is a super fresh, ultra-aromatic wine.

Hugel – Kudos for showing 08, 09 and 10 Jubilee Riesling. Of these the 10 was by far the best – rich and mouth-filling

Jim Barry; 2014 Lodge Hill clearly superior to their standard, and great value; the 2013 Florita is a distinguished vineyard and a wine with power still to uncoil; the 2007 Florita is at a nice “in-between” stage; fresh but showing some development.

Knappstein; a range of single sites, of which the 2014 Ackland was utter classical Clare limes; the others Bryskys Hill. Slate Creek and the Insider were lesser wines (the latter 2 with some skin contact, which in my view didn’t help, adds to texture but I think coarsens the bouquet.)

Mitchell -Under-rated! A terrific set from the standard 2014, a 2006 and the special block 2007 mcNicol.

Mt Majura (Canberra) 2014 pristine, and a 2005 was still amazingly fresh

O’leary walker; I preferred the 2014 Waterville to the Polish Hill; its denser and more powerful. The one-off 2012 cane cut was a wine of exotic spices and potpourri; another gram of acid would make this a killer.

Peter Lehman, As expected, the 2009 Wigan was a smart wine; but the 2014 H&V is the “almost-Wigan” and is another great value Riesling

Pikes -Great show results recently; the awesome 2014 Merle leaves the -pretty damn good- standard in its wake. Neil recommends his 2002, 2005, and 2012 wines as his favourites. The 2014 Gaelic Cemetery is more phenolic, but the “black” has the fruit density to carry t.

Pressing Matters (tasmania) Great press, great show results too; the 2012 R9 is stunning.

Robert Weil (rheingau) Can do no wrong, The 2013 Grafenberg GG shows how good a slow-ripened Riesling can be- not likely to be cheap!

Rebholz (pfalz)-I preferred the 2011 GG to the 2012 GG; packed with stony mineral flavors combined with delicate refined palate. Stylish, possibly even affordable….

Treasury; 2014 is the year of musk and sherbet; 2014 Leonay Eden Valley just had more finesse than the reliable standard Eden Valley. If you want a wine to confound people, I was thrilled with the 2013 “Leopold” from Tasmania; just like a crunchy Granny Smith apple, searing acid.

2013 Seppelt Great Western – a cellar-door only wine, packed with minerals and some well-judged residual sugar- will be long lived.

Vickery The man is a legend, but the 2 2014 wines did not have the “x” factor.

Wilson. Another excellent set of wines with the 2014 “wilson” better than the watervale or DJW.

Wines by KT. The 2014 “churinga” had real drive and power. Yum

PS – Spoke with a number of the OS contingent; even though some of their wines are under screwcap, I think in the hearts they think Aussies are a bit weird in their preference for screwcap; its also possible that the winemakers don’t want corks but are outgunned by the marketing arms

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