2012 Ashton Hills Riesling

Three Rieslings in a week and not a dud. It’s possibly the only variety that appears on auction sites that consistently sells for less than the original retail, Grosset from great years excepted, of course. This is another ageing with some grace, still a pale colour and hanging on to the aromas of youth. Yes, lime and citrus naturally but again more in the way of mandarin, apples and something that brings to mind those spice notes of Alsatian versions. Beautiful flavours immaculately controlled by svelte acidity and a fruit sweetness born of flavour or a scintilla of residual, hard to tell. Softly autumnal untrammelled by coarse phenolic extract. Over many seasons, a deeply thoughtful producer of great craft. Those of us who visited the cellar door high in the hills were always in for a treat and stunning bargains in the form of those Galahs!

13% alcohol. Screwcap. $24.50 at auction.

94 points.

2011 Frankland Estate Netley Road Riesling

It’s still February, thus it’s more Riesling. This one from the stack of cardboard boxes that passes for a cellar. From a producer who has done a lot to promote the wonders of the grape loved by wine geeks and largely ignored by the rest of drinkers, this one’s shrugging off the effects of age with aplomb. Still pale and fresh smelling. Limes, of course, but lots more in the form of apple pie, almost a touch of vanilla bean, mandarins, waxy candles and sweet green herby notes. Nice line of texture through the mouth, lithe, no real skin grip, just gentle acidity and perhaps a whisper of sweetness to balance impeccably. No shouting but a confidential wink of authenticity for those of us who love the charm of proper Riesling. As old football wisdom has it, form is temporary, class is permanent.

12% alcohol. Screwcap. Was about $25?

94 points.

2006 Poonawatta “The Eden” Eden Valley Riesling

February really is the best time to enjoy the majesty of one of the world’s best white varieties should you abide south of the equator, notwithstanding Melbourne’s summer, currently even more than usually fickle. It does seem that the quality of viticulture has improved a lot in the relatively warm growing climate of most Australian Riesling regions. Keeping fruit shaded by better canopy care has perhaps avoided the once too prevalent early appearance of those broad kerosene flavours. This old fellow is still sprite of colour and has the mellow, waxy, old incense calm of age but still hasn’t forgotten its lime and sweet young herb flavours of youth. Natural feeling acidity has settled well and there’s the slightest brush of phenolic skin and counterpoint fruit sweetness. Gentle but not lacking impact. Some kind people bring the best things to share over my attempts to make a mess in the kitchen, chiz!

12% alcohol. Screwcap once again takes the utter lottery out of opening an old white wine. A generous share.

93 points.

2012 Best’s Great Western EVT 51 Riesling

Some people always bring a thoughtfully chosen and delicious bottle when they have to suffer my cooking. Great Western isn’t exactly renowned for Riesling but it’s got a long history there, particularly in old vineyards like Concongella and its ancient soil. Often broad and diffuse but not lacking a focus on some ripe lime marmalade, toast and a sweet green herby twist. All those flavours plus an old incense, almost eucalyptus perfume buried in the richness. Autumnally sun warm and still full of life. Not too fruit sweet though, a bit of a nutty savoury edge adds extra satisfaction. Perhaps it’s the influence of the big oak ferment instead of the usual clinical stainless steel? Not sure the food was as good as the wine.

13% alcohol. Screw cap. Another generous share.

94 points.

2012 Sons of Eden Freya Eden Valley Riesling

Cain and Able dabble in Norse mythology to produce one mythologically good Riesling. Opens a bit reduced with what a favourite reviewer over on Winefront justly describes as asafoetida, lovely word, powerful smell. As the air gets to it, things freshen up to reveal lime, waxy vanilla spice, just ripe KP mango and lemon skin oil. Structurally the acidity is natural and mouth-wateringly modulated. Really bounces with a tireless youth. Good 2012s like this are legendary. On the list in Valhalla?

12% alcohol. Screwcap. About $25 on release.

94 points.

2009 Karra Yerta Eden Valley Riesling

Cost and value are often out of whack. Only 128 measly cases of this from 80 year old dry grown vines planted up high on a hill, yet it didn’t sell. The business sadly decided to close and out it went at $150 a dozen plus freight. Ludicrous value for little cost. Starts off with toast and lime as you’d expect but there’s still a freshness and the extra depth of luscious waxy stone fruit. Terrifically long and the poised balance of clean, mountain clear acid. Australian Riesling doesn’t get much better than this, believe me, had my fair share.

13% alcohol. Screwcap. $13!

95 points.

2018 Tasmanian Riesling, a Murphy’s cleanskin

Gently fragrant with subtle peach and stony fruit. Satisfyingly chalky and dry in the mouth. Not sure if it’s just the acid or if there’s a bit of skin contact texture that provides the attractive pucker and that’s probably a sign of good balance. It does lack some fruit power and for some will be a bit too dilute. Perhaps gained a bit of depth as it opened and held up to some Sashimi with aplomb. Bargain. Thanks, David, at Dan’s Alphington for the enthusiastic advice. Good pick!

12.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $10.90!

90 points.