Saturday, May 17, 2008

What is so special about riesling?

Someone recently asked me why riesling was my favourite white wine. Other than the fact that I like the taste (and indeed, the difference in taste between the regional varieties - the steel and flint of Eden Valley, the florals of Clare etc.) my main reason was that it is a variety which is so amazing to drink at any age. A well made riesling, moreso than chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, simply prospers in the aging stakes. It is also perhaps the best wine to have with food - there are so many dishes that this variety complements.

A young riesling is fragrant and crisp. As a riesling ages, it turns into something really special and gets more aromatic and soft on the palate. Flavours of toast and honey, kerosene (sounds horrid but is actually quite spectacular in its own way) dominate. A good riesling can be put away for 15 years without any concern as long as it is stored correctly. Riesling has always been a favourite white wine of many highly respected people in the wine industry and it's sensational aging abilities are just one of the reasons for this being so.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Good things come in small packages!

I have just added a photo to this blog of our winemaker Peter Gajewski (aka Juicy) sitting next to Tank 1101 at Rocland Wines having a taste of our 2008 Eden Valley Riesling. It's not often you see Juicy "sitting down on the job" but on this occasion it was our end of vintage breakup and things were pretty relaxed:)

It is good to have a picture of the actual tank that our wine is made in as it gives you an idea of just how small our production is. You can see how tiny it is even next to an adult let alone in comparison to the other tanks at Rocland! Amazing..... We usually get between 100 and 150 cases of riesling each year and it looks like this year will be more at the top end of the scale but still, it is a miniscule amount.

I had a taste of it just last week again, as I have periodically still been helping out in the laboratory at Rocland, and it is very austere. It should be yet another vintage that will age exceptionally well!