Friday, July 24, 2009

Tasting Notes: 2008 Eden Valley Riesling


PRODUCT: Karra Yerta Wines 2008 Eden Valley Riesling
VARIETY: Riesling

HARVESTED: March 4th, 2008

BOTTLED: July 4th, 2008


TA: 7.79g/ltr

PH: 2.90
PRODUCTION: 85 cases/dozen
CELLARING: drink now to 2018


This Riesling was made by Peter Gajewski of Rocland Winery from 75+ year old dry-grown, hand-picked grapes which are situated a mere few hundred metres to the west of the famous Ringland "Three Rivers" vineyard in the premium area of the Barossa Ranges. With lime aromas and flavours, touches of peach, paw paw and honey, along with the usual regional minerality, this wine will age very well. Screwcap.

93++/100 points Philip White - "Drinkster", Adelaide
Alsace. Germany. Tasmania. High Barossa. Who cares? Honey and nuts; gewurztraminer and roses; spicebox and creme caramel: you'll find all these sorts of delicioso swimming round this bowl. It's not the austere crisp rapier some earlier Karra Yertas have been, but it's rich and wholesome, like some of the more Germanic rieslings made in the Barossa in the sixties and seventies, and what I imagine Petaluma tried to do sometimes during the eighties. The flavour has lovely honey as much as lemon and lime: not exactly sweet, but with an illusion of sweetness as much as your actual unfermented sugary juice. The aftertaste is a tantalising tumble of spiced mead, citrus pith, dried apple, lemon blossom and dry stones. It's like a serious spatlese riesling fermented dry. It'd be perfect with a creme caramel flavoured with a tiny squirt of lemon and garnished with citrus rind; or King George whiting fillets wrapped around a little squirt of prawn mousseline in beurre blanc. Savvy?

92/100 points James Halliday - "2010 Wine Companion", Melbourne

Julian Coldrey - "", Brisbane

"Lately, I've been thinking about wine styles and how some come to be defined as classics over time. In a way, it's more complex than the literary canon, for example, in which a single, unchanging artifact is evaluated and re-evaluated over time. With wine, a particular combination of variety and region remains static but a whole set of variables -- everything from particular vintage conditions to winemaking to long term climatic variations -- ensures a constant evolution. So, how to pin down the essentials? This wine poses the question because it seems to present atypically at first. The nose is heady, hinting at tropical richness without feeling at all broad. There are wisps of paw paw, honey and the sort of spice that would feel at home in a Gew├╝rztraminer. These elements are at the fore, and for a moment mask a backbone of fine, detailed minerality and a curl of lime rind that are all about the Eden Valley. There's also what appears to be a touch of sulphur, adding complexity as much as anything else.
On the palate, these potential contradictions resolve beautifully. It's not a sweet wine, but there's a luxurious softness here that comes from a combination of ultra-fine acidity and fruit character that recalls the delicacy of truly fine cuisine. The entry is clean, showing mostly citrus fruit and a refreshing level of tartness. It swells significantly as things move towards the middle palate, with a well defined wash of precise flavour and a finely textured, supple mouthfeel. An undercurrent of minerality, and some sulphur-like notes, add a savoury undercurrent to proceedings. The finish is exceptionally long and fine, fading gently over time with an echo of citrus flowers. Perhaps it is their very elasticity that elevates some styles above others, weaving a consistent thread through a variety of expressions, and drawing them together into something overarching and identifiable. This may not be a steely, forbidding wine, but it's an Eden Riesling just the same, with delicate minerality and an overall lightness of touch despite the generous flavour profile. An expression of this style I'm grateful to have tasted. A tiny production of 80 cases to be released in June." 18.8/20 points Andrew Graham - "Oz Wine Review", Sydney "The picture below tells the story here - those lovely gnarled 75 year old Riesling vines are located in one of the highest vineyards in the Flaxman's Valley, sitting high above the Barossa floor in an epicentre for Riesling in Australia: The Eden Valley. Hand tended, dry grown, hand picked (even hand labelled), its these pieces of vinous history that are what makes this very fine Riesling so very fine. Green green in colour and youthfully bright. Lime, slate, lime cordial and just ripe peaches on the very expressive and open nose - the aromatics fairly leap out of the glass and seduce the room. Unsurprisingly, the soft and long palate follows the nose with a flow of limes, lime juice and general limey-ness. I have two conclusions with this wine: Firstly, only 80 dozen were produced and if the price stays the same, it may not last long. Secondly, I actually think this may never be more attractive - its so beautiful now that whilst the backbone will carry it through for many years yet, I think it deserves to be drunk young and delicious. 18.8/20

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