In lieu of a proper post, here are some quick notes on four wines I’ve had this week:Mitchell Riesling 2002 [Clare Valley]: Although this was once the Penguin Wine of the Year [if memory serves me right], it isn’t holding up particularly well. If there’s ever a criticism I’ve had of Clare riesling in general, it’s that it’s too stingy with the residual sugar. Six years after harvest, there’s little left to love: some kero on the nose, acidity still very much present, something like lime, and… that’s it. I was seriously tempted to add a bit of simple syrup in hopes of a Frankenmosel but decided against it. I still have half a case, so here’s hoping this either improves or I learn to like it better.Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2002 [Clare Valley]: This is, I’d think, probably about as good as Australian riesling gets [it’s either this, Grosset, or Steingarten, I suppose]. Six years on, the nose was strangely absent both straight out of the fridge and after warming up a bit. Eventually, I think I smelled something like hay or dust on a lightbulb. In the mouth, however, this wine is an absolute delight: so light it’s barely even there, ethereal, stony, citral… fantastic.DEWN Gonzo Pinot Gris 2005 [Bonny Doon Vineyard]: If you’re teaching a class in wine faults and need to show your students with reduction smells like… grab a bottle of this. Smells like someone dumped a load of sulfur in a barn stall. Ugh.Bonny Doon Ca’ del Solo Muscat 2006: If you’re going to drink a muscat, and if you’ve decided against Moscato d’Asti because you can’t stand bubbles or want more alcohol in your wine, then this is probably one of the best bottles you’ll be able to find. Truly beautiful stuff: all orange blossom and jasmine perfume, beautifully balanced, not sweet, and a lovely greenish yellow in the glass. Highly recommended.

1 thought on “Offcuts

  1. Interesting point about the residual sugar thing in Australian Riesling. Personally, I think Riesling in this country is at a turning point. Our ultra-dry styles are well established, if perennially unpopular, and I must admit I enjoy them greatly.

    On the other hand, you have Old World and, increasingly, New World styles with varying degrees of residual sugar that, at the high end of the quality scale, can be fantastic but which, it seems to me, may be tainted by a generally poor view of any “sweet white wine” held by many wine consumers.

    Despite this, producers here are starting to present off-dry styles in their Riesling portfolios, and I’m happy to have more of a choice in that regard. For example, GW from Winorama and Edward from Wino-sapien have both positively reviewed the Pewsey Vale Prima Riesling 2007, which is a new label for Pewsey Vale. I might hunt it down.

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