Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2008

This, along with its Springvale sibling, is a lesson in terroir, Australian-style. There’s never any mistaking one wine for the other, with the Polish Hill often considered a more appropriate ageing style (and, perhaps by implication, the “better” wine).

Very pretty talc-like aromas that circle atop layers of minerality and lemongrass. Unlike the Springvale, this isn’t a full-on lime juice style. Instead, the emphasis is on high toned complexity. Having said that, it’s not as shy as some young Polish Hills I’ve tried, so there’s no struggle to extract aroma here. But it’s intellectual, this one, less easily read.

Interestingly, the palate reflects this evasiveness in its flow and structure. Not that there’s a lack of flavour; quite the opposite, in fact, the wine showing good intensity of flavour. Rather, the combination of detailed flavour profile and firm structure translates to a challenging experience in the mouth. Acid tingles the tongue immediately on entry, and carries a crescendo of flavour to the middle palate. Notes here echo the aroma, with lemongrass, passionfruit pith and a generally delicious sourness all socialising well. Great balance and complexity, especially for a young Riesling. Some may find the acid a little firm, but it’s a very fine acidity and personally I love its crisp line. There’s a little dip in intensity on the after palate, but the wine surges again through the long finish.

Fabulous Riesling, then, and one that would seem to have its best years ahead of it. Whether it’s a better wine than the Springvale is very much a matter of taste (and perhaps mood). It shows greater complexity and is a more angular wine, and I suspect may never be a completely sensuous style even with the luxury of bottle age. A wine to make you think.

Update: on the second night, complexity has notched up even further, with a range of musk and Turkish Delight flavours joining in the fun. There’s just so much going on here for a young Riesling. Extremely impressive.

Price: $A38
Closure: Stelvin
Date tasted: November 2008

2 thoughts on “Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2008

  1. Your tasting notes are pretty close to mine, except far more precise and elegant 🙂

    I think the whole “Polish Hill is superior to Watervale” argument is slightly specious. As you wrote, I believe its more a matter of taste and an excellent example of terroir.

    Having said that, will probably drink more Springvale young than the Polish Hill. I suppose the next bit of fun is cracking them both again in around 5-6 years time. Cheers jeremy

  2. I’m glad our notes coincide. In a way, it’s a tricky wine to come to grips with. Like you, I’m already looking forward to trying them both with a few years of bottle age. I recently did so with the 2002 and the differences remained quite marked.

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