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.
Date tasted: November 2008