Wine review — Mount Horrocks, Petaluma, Leo Buring & Grosset

Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling 2008 $27–30
Mount Horrocks Watervale Cordon Cut Riesling 375ml $35

Today’s selections are all top-end examples from the extraordinary Mount Lofty Ranges 2008 riesling crop – a vintage marked by 15 consecutive days of temperatures over 35 degrees. Fortunately, the riesling crop came in very early, ahead of the heat and looks to be the best since 2002. In a recent masked tasting, Stephanie Toole’s Mount Horrocks impressed for its pure, fine, lime-like varietal flavours. This is an exciting wine with long-term cellaring potential as well as drink-now appeal. Stephanie’s little sweetie, too, delivers, pure lime-like varietal flavour but with a plush texture and lovely interplay between sweetness and brisk acidity.

Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2008 $25–30
Leo Buring DWL18 Leonay Watervale Riesling 2008 $36–40

Grosset Springvale Watervale Riesling 2008 $32–36
In a line-up of comparatively austere young rieslings these three were the plumpest (comparatively), though with zesty acidity. Jeff Grosset’s seemed the most advanced of the three and ought to drink well in the short to medium term. Petaluma, though very rich, has a finesse to it that suggests good cellaring, though there’s no need to if you love young rieslings. And Leo Buring Watervale edged ahead of the other two with its lovely perfume and racy, deeply fruity palate. It’s a classic – irresistible now but capable of cellaring.

Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2008 $40–44
Leo Buring DWL17 Leonay High Eden Riesling 2008 $36–40

These were the two most austere wines of our tasting – that is, their grippy, high acid suggests a few years’ cellaring before consumption. Under that acidity there’s terrific fruit flavour that’ll blossom as time goes by. At the moment, though, that zingy, taut structure makes them aperitif wines best served with light, fresh, cold food – oysters would be good. As our masked tasting demonstrated, some people will prefer the Buring wine, others the Grosset. I rated the Buring a little ahead for its pure, restrained varietal aroma and beautifully intense, if austere, palate.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008

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