Winemaker James Kellie has been presenting Great Southern Rieslings in sub-regional components since 2013. His aim is to demonstrate the diversity of the Great Southern District. Harvest is on mouth feel (but at anticipated equal flavour ripeness) as the same yeast, temperature of fermentation and time on skins is similar for all four Rieslings. James’ only other intervention is to finish the ferment when he feels the wine is dry and balanced. The differences you will taste between the wines are intended to be from terroir, not winemaking.
A note from the winemaker, James Kellie:
The 2019 vintage can be summed up as one of high quality but low quantity.
A cooler vintage has resulted in Rieslings with a classic backbone of crisp acidity supporting a purity of flavour typical to each of the four sub regional Rieslings:
Porongurup – altitude 400m: lemons and limes with a hint of grapefruit.
Denmark – South coastal maritime: “sweeter” mandarin acidity.
Mount Barker – 75km inland: softer red apple, hints of melon and honeysuckle
Frankland River – continental, dry, warm days and cold nights: textured, spicy, more tropical guava.
All four wines have a strong history of critical success and sell out each year. They just arrived in Sydney this week, so here are our first impressions!
Colour – they all look like water.
Nose – lots of bananas and other ester (yeast) characters – you do have to taste young wines with your mouth much more than wines that have had some time to settle, where the nose is much more indicative and important.
ZIP ZANG ZAP, just a zesty citrus explosion, how so much acid is contained in one little wine. One for the purists, this will age for 50 years, and scare the children in its first six months. If you’re new to Riesling you’re not ready for this. Limes / Grape fruit / Lemons the faintest hint of a citrus blossom, but quickly smashed by the structure. It will become what it is, a classic exemplar of Australian Riesling.
A bit like a lime pretending to be a mandarin, some citrus blossom here and a bit more of a chance to see the underlying wine and feel some depth of power. Very smart and very drinkable – popular amongst the SVS as a wine for today.
There is a really obvious jump this year from the coastal districts to the inland ones. Whereas the first two wines still smell like bananas, the inland wines are a bit more developed – and are dropping this character (more) already.
Tiny yield this year and a wine that digs down deep to bring up recurrent themes. Spice is the thing that is always the hallmark of this vineyard, and it is already asserting itself. The spice is like a fresh carrot. Quite a complete palate already.
Ripest of the lot this year (and the reason it should be tasted last (this year anyway)). James Kellie who makes it sees some Toffee Apple, I wouldn’t go that far, but it is clearly the most complete wine of the lot, as in, it already tastes like a fully formed Riesling. As a result probably the one to drink a bucket of this weekend.
Might be a bit of a non comment but this wine always tastes like a Riesling. Not as nuanced as the others, and if you took away their spice and crazy acids and minerality you’d be left with this wine, a Riesling.
Don’t hesitate to contact your Single Vineyard Sellers sales rep to have a chat about these cracking wines and to place an order… or head to our shop page if you’re interested in purchasing any of these wines – they won’t last long!
The Single Vineyard Sellers