There’s a good vibe around 2008 Clare Rieslings. Indeed, the Grosset newsletter suggests this is the best Watervale since 2002, which is music to my ears.
An aroma that initially reminded me of Sauvignon Blanc not so much for its profile as its impact and immediacy. A punch of lime and leafiness hits you each time you sniff this wine, and it’s a great antidote to an army of insipid “classic dry whites” and Pinot Grigios invading our bistros. I can’t imagine anyone not having a strong reaction to this based purely on the nose. More importantly, this is a really positive wine, one that wears its flamboyance on its sleeve. It’s the Versace of Australian wine — flashy, but immaculately tailored.
The palate’s greatest feature is its intensity of flavour, which is frankly remarkable. It strikes early and builds almost instantly to a climax of lime juice and sherbet-like notes that wash through the mid-palate. There’s so much impact that it takes a moment to realise the wine’s structure is really quite restrained in the context of the style. There’s acid, no doubt, but it’s fine and supports the wine rather than overwhelming it. The flavour profile becomes more complex on the after palate, with some herbal notes introducing themselves. A gently tapered finish with just the slightest hint of fruit sweetness closes the wine well.
I’m a huge fan of our dry Riesling styles and this wine both justifies my taste and provides great sensual pleasure. It’s a win-win. Brilliant value.
Date tasted: November 2008