Taste through a region and its strengths become abundantly clear. Although many producers’ portfolios in Australia can lack focus and muddy the waters on paper, some variety and region combinations jump out with a bit of exploration. After a few days in Great Southern, it’s blindingly obvious to me that Riesling finds a natural home here, and I’m falling in love with the regional, and sub-regional, expressions of this variety. It’s no exaggeration to suggest I’m rediscovering the deliciousness of Riesling through these pristine, powdery, lime-infused wines.
Frankland Estate’s single vineyard Riesling portfolio is a nice crash course in Frankland River Riesling, itself subtly different from other sub-regional expressions such as that of Porongurup. I tasted all three 2012 releases at cellar door and took this one home for further examination. Grown on a strikingly chalky soil, this wine struck me as the most generous and fleshy, although this in the context of a collection of fairly austere wines.
The nose is quite expressive, though still with a bit of free sulfur, with pungent dried lime, sea spray, herbs and lemon juice notes. There’s a suggestion of something more tropical, and this edge gives the wine a fuller aroma profile than its siblings, but this thicker influence sits very much on the sidelines, more a faint imprint than something truly legible.
One expects a good dose of acid in these wines and I’m not disappointed here, though more important than quantity is character. The acid here isn’t ultra-fine; rather, it bubbles along close to the surface, pushing intense lime and herb flavours along the tongue briskly. There are savoury edges to the flavour profile, and I like the touch of mid-palate flesh that emerges before disappearing again in a cloud of torn herbs and firm texture, the latter less chalky and drying than in the other two wines.
More than anything, this is a delicious wine that, as I have discovered while tasting, pairs easily with food both savoury (green curry) and sweet (custard). I’ll have a few of these, thanks.