It’s spring….and usually it’s all about the Summer of Riesling. But Riesling is such as good drink that you should be drinking it through all seasons. A glass a of Riesling to ease into the weekend is just the thing..even if it’s Wednesday.
Pewsey Vale and Heggies Vineyard are two stalwart brands of Eden Valley Riesling. Both offer exceptional value for money, with Pewsey Vale offering history in a bottle with the aged release of The Contours. Both are ultimately from the Hill Smith Family Vineyards stable, which is indication of pedigree. So in this instance, you can judge a book by its cover.
Heggies Vineyard, Riesling, Eden Valley, 2015
Made by Peter Gambetta (top bloke, good for a laugh) who is also responsible for Yalumba’s Coonawarra reds. His words on Heggies:
“I feel privileged to have been entrusted with the stewardship of Heggies Vineyard – one of the most prestigious single vineyards in Eden Valley and possibly Australia.”
Soft mandarin (almost to orange) and lime citrus and talc. Zingy, chalky acidity driving tart limey fruit with a cheeky wink of sherbert rosewater. Lean quartz and contrast of rich baked lime cheesecake up front to fall to austere structure. This feels chalkier and grittier (not in a bad way) than its Pewsey Vale cousins below…a little more rustic, but no lesser a wine.
TA: 6.0 g/L
RS: 2.8 g/L
Pewsey Vale, Riesling, Eden Valley, 2015
Made by Louisa Rose, also chief winemaker of Yalumba and from one of the oldest vineyards in the Eden Valley. All lime juice, calico, Wizz Fizz, soft bath talc and stainless steel austerity. States dry on the label on the IRF scale, yet holds plenty of juicy lime fruit. Steely with ginger spice and a lilt of jasmine flower. Approachable and yet always capable of going the distance.
TA: 6.0 g/L
RS: 2.8 g/L
Pewsey Vale, “Prima” Riesling, Eden Valley, 2015
Made by Louisa Rose, Off-Dry style, with plenty of natural fruit sugars left to provide sweetness and keep the alcohol down. The Alsatians have mastered the style, and as the pendulum swings in Australia, more and more makers are leaving stopping the ferment early to produce a refreshing fruit driven style, whilst still maintaining balance of acidity. Anything else is more like this Prima that I recall from my youth.
Sweet green apple, fresh bath soaps, flowery citrus which leads from lime to mandarin. Plenty of squishy, juicy fresh fruity acid, almost crystalline against the teeth. Sweet fruit fullness balances trademark acidity. Drink it in the sunshine over lunch.
Pewsey Vale, “The Contours” Riesling, Eden Valley, 2010
Made by Louisa Rose, Released at 5 years of age and still a teenager, just starting to show development. Lightest gold colour. Tiny hint of kero/plastic, warmed toasty brioche bun, candied lime and greengage marmalade. Still dances across the palate, yet with an authority. Intense lime spread, with smoothed out fruit: The angles of youth tempered by age like a steel blade on a forge. Acid still cuts long and sharp, indicating plenty of life. Lingering, mature, adult and sophisticated.
All wines samples courtesy of Hill Smith Family Vineyards