Clonakilla Riesling 2002

The observant amongst you will have realised that I’ve been tasting a fair few wines from my cellar of late. I retrieved four dozen wines a few weeks ago, mostly things that are either not worth cellaring or that are due to be retasted. As an aside, I do love getting wine out of storage. There’s a whole ritual to it: browsing my little collection, constructing a cart, waiting for the delivery to arrive. Good friends have told me I need to get out more.

I last tasted this in 2008 and found it interesting but somewhat incoherent, as if going through an unfortunate stage in its development. The bottle I’m tasting tonight, by contrast, is quite well developed, expressing what seems to be the full extent of its potential as an aged wine. I was a little worried on pulling the cork, as I’ve seen stoppers in better condition, but the nose doesn’t seem excessively oxidised or otherwise compromised. It does, however, show a wide range of aromas, from honey and grilled nuts to biscuit and a bit of lemon curd. A small kerosene note quickly blows off, leaving the residual aroma clean and correct.

The palate really shows how developed this wine is. At its core, a thrust of full throttle tertiary sweetness runs right down the line, colouring the entire flavour profile with fullness and attack. There’s a multitude of other notes, most centred on nuts, butter and sweet lemon curd components. Acid remains a tad coarse, something this wine may never escape, but the structure is well integrated and supportive of the wine’s flow, while being prominent enough to keep the whole fresh and lively.

This, for me, is drinking at an ideal point as far as aged Riesling is concerned. It is showing a full spectrum of aged notes while retaining a firmness of structure and significant primary fruit. Maximum complexity, good bones, lots going on. If this bottle is representative, I’d say this wine is right in the zone.

Price: $A25
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

2 thoughts on “Clonakilla Riesling 2002

  1. Hi Julian,

    I share the ritual with you totally about retrieval from storage. I feel thoroughly vindicated in paying the money when I discover that a bottle remains slightly chilled up to 24 hrs after collection. Not so much chilled, as just right.

    And after drinking one or two raging successes with aging, I even start to give myself a little credit for being part of letting the wine reach a good stage of life – ludicrous!

    Maybe your friends are right – I also need to get out more.

    This wine sounds succulent, I’m still a few years away from really reaping the aged riesling rewards, and notes like this sure are encouraging.

    • I’m so glad there’s someone else out there who gets what I mean. 🙂 This wine was excellent, though I wonder whether my bottle was a little advanced (dodgy cork). I hope you enjoy your aged Riesling journey!

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