Sunday, March 11, 2012

Do you come from a land Down Under?

As much as tourists love them,
kangaroos are a major pest for
Australian wine makers.
Today I am venturing to a location that I seldom touch upon: Australia. It's a wine-producing region that I've formed something of a love-hate relationship with. Don't get me wrong, there are many unique and stunning wines produced throughout Australia. The problem is, in my opinion, that the value wines are usually good, but whenever I want to reach up to the mid-priced or top-shelf bottles, it's a minefield. Also, it seems that whenever I find a bottle I love (Penfolds St. Henri comes to mind), it tends to go up so high in price that any value associated with the wine disappears. And so, like many Americans have done over the last two years, my attention turned away from Australia--until recently.

I've always known that Riesling is grown in Australia, but it took a trusted wine merchant putting the wine in my hands to get me to take the plunge.

Springvale Vineyard
Grosset, located in the historic township of Auburn at the southern tip of the Clare Valley, is now on its thirtieth vintage. It’s led by Jeffrey Grosset, whose emphasis is on purity of fruit and wines that represent the place that they come from, with meticulous care in the vineyards and all handpicked fruit. The wine that really turned my head was the Riesling from Springvale vineyard, located in the northeastern corner of the Clare Valley 's Watervale subregion. I guess what truly made me take notice was how pure yet intense and mineral-driven the wine was. We all make assumptions, and the wrong assumption I had made was that Riesling from Australia would be as big and explosive as many of the other varietals that the country is producing. Instead, I found myself stepping back from the glass, in amazement of how much I truly enjoyed the seamless intensity and layers of citrus-tinged fruits and earth that wafted up from the glass. It was beautiful, and will find a place in my cellar.

2008 Grosset Riesling Springvale Watervale - The nose was gorgeous and pure, showing grapefruit and lemon rinds with wet stone, woodsy funk and hints of green grass. On the palate, it was focused and intense with cleansing acidity, mouthwatering citrus fruits and sour apple that lasted well through the staying and refreshing finish. (91 points)

Find it on Wine-Searcher!

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