Grosset Watervale Riesling 2002

There are a lot of reasons why Riesling deserves a bit of love. It’s refreshing, tasty and is generally excellent value. I like it most, though, for its transparency. When made in the usual Australian dry style, there’s nowhere to hide, with vintage conditions shining through clearly. This makes Riesling the most tantalising of grapes; a great year, when it happens, promises so much. Tasting a Riesling from such a vintage is like tasting the potential of wine fully expressed. Such a Riesling with bottle age, then, simply multiplies the anticipation. Perhaps I should start this note with my conclusion: that this wine is extraordinary and beautiful. Now that I’ve set the scene, I can try to describe it adequately. On the nose, delicate aromas of white stonefruit, a hint of honey, flint, etc. As with the best wines, the aromas are in a sense indistinguishable from each other, because they fit together so elegantly. There are some influences from bottle age here, but I suggest they are limited to a sense of honey and softness that may not have been present in the youthful wine. It’s certainly not a full-blown aged style, which makes sense considering the vintage and closure (Stelvin). The palate is a wonderful mixture of freshness and rich flavour. Tingly, steely acid hits the tongue immediately on entry, and is somewhat deceptive in terms of the wine’s flavour development. Although the structure remains youthful, the mid palate reveals definite aged influences, as yet subtle, but indicative of a promising development path.  Honey, round stonefruit and lime juice are well balanced between each other, without the awkwardness of some Rieslings in the middle of their development period. I don’t know whether it’s a question of quality or simply fortunate timing, but some Rieslings just seem to taste awesome at each stage of their development, whereas others hit their straps at a certain point and, outside of this window, can seem gangly and unbalanced. This Grosset is definitely the former type; it’s a wine that seems to glide effortlessly into the moment, composed and confident. Beautifully structured acid that mellows somewhat with time in glass carries flavour through the after palate and onto a finish that clings to the tongue like a determined celebrity stalker. Just excellent. What more to say?GrossetPrice: $A35Closure: StelvinDate tasted: June 2008

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